2020 Resolution: Body Respect
The year 2020 is here!
We all know that saying that is widely heard on January 1st..... "New Year, New You."
New Year resolutions come in many forms. As a promise that you make for yourself - in hope of new beginnings - you may be wanting to break a bad habit or create something more positive. For most, resolutions are goals that you want to accomplish over a course of several months or over the year.
If you suddenly feel the need to make a change, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be more active, eat a more nourishing diet or live a healthier lifestyle.
However, because most New Year resolutions involve diet and exercise in an effort to change body composition/weight, this resolution to look, feel or perform differently may become detrimental to your physical and mental health. It's not uncommon for resolutioners to restrict food/nutrients and mistreat their bodies in an attempt to reach weight loss goals. If your New Year, New You goal is to improve your health, you have lost all health benefits of your resolution by abiding to such strict, rigid and extreme dietary and exercise regimes.
Do you feel the need to conform to societal norms or to please others?
Is your self-confidence wreaked from all the things you feel you didn't achieve in the previous year?
Do you feel judged by your appearance?
Do you regularly compare yourself to others?
When was the last time you thought about who you are as a person?
Do you know yourself?
In 2020, I encourage you to make this year about being more kind to yourself. If you want to change something about yourself, learning how to respect yourself is an instrumental part of the process.
Search inwards to start understanding your "self."
Self respect is an important component of achieving a health-related goal. The more you respect yourself, the more you are able to take care of yourself. If you find it extremely difficult to treat yourself respect yourself, how do you expect to achieve something that is important to you?
On the topic of self respect is body respect. It doesn't matter how much weight you lose or what diet regime you adhere to, you have to respect your body before you make a change.
If you struggle with body dissatisfaction or body comparison or constantly find yourself gravitating toward the latest dietary fad in hopes of finding a diet that will actually work for you, let 2020 be the year where you focus on respecting your body.
When it comes to dietary or exercise resolutions, most stem from a place of frustration, dissatisfaction and disappointment. You probably don't like/love something about your body and you feel like making a change will help you love your body. But how can you properly take care of something that you don't respect?
To show your body respect, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Update your wardrobe - Dress the body that you have right now. You deserve to buy clothes that fit you. If something doesn't fit right, don't wait until you are a certain size to buy new clothes. Show your body respect by buying clothes that you like and clothes that you feel comfortable wearing. Express your personal style - wearing clothes that make you feel great about your body.
- Clean-up your social media feed - Even a brief exposure to body-image posts can negatively impact your mood and your own thoughts about your body. Follow people who have a healthy and positive outlook on body image and spread good messages about health, food and exercise. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself, unfollow. If anything, by diversifying the images you see on social media, you will constantly remind yourself that this world is better with a variety of body sizes, shapes, ages, ethnicities and genders.
- Thank your body - When you eat, exercise or sleep, you are doing something good for your body. Don't punish your body through your diet or exercise regime. Be mindful of negative self-talk, especially when you are feeling anxious, stressed or frustrated. During these times, you may take out your emotions on your body. Don't forget to thank your body for all that it allows you to do. Show compassion and kindness for yourself.
- Don't compare - Every body is different. What you see (body image) doesn't tell you what's going on inside of a person or in their private life (work, relationship, family, health, etc.). More so, what makes someone special has little to do with their looks or body. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others, give yourself a pep talk by describing a few of your amazing qualities that make you unique and special.
- Live your best life - You don't have to look differently to be happy. There's nothing wrong with wanting to adopt healthier habits but don't value yourself by a number on a scale (or your look). Don't let your weight, shape or image stop you from doing activities that you enjoy. Don't let assumptions keep you from trying something new. Your appearance does not determine your self-worth. Make a difference in this world and make this world better because you are in it.