Every day this Janaury my tweets will focus on helping us resist the avalanche of negative messages about our bodies we receive every January. Covid or no Covid.
In December it’s all ‘eat, eat, eat‘.
In January? “diet, diet, diet.”
Messages from the media, the diet and fitness industry are hard to fight. Trying to ‘improve’ us by bullying and shaming us can badly affect our self-esteem and mental health.
Studies show the constant urging every January to exercise, diet, ‘eat healthy’ make us more vulnerable if we struggle with disordered eating, eating disorders, poor body image and criticism (body shaming) from friends and family.
If you want to lose weight fine. If you don’t, fine too. But it should be your decision. And I’m never feeling we should be bullied or shamed into changing our behaviour.
This January, feel better about yourself.
Remember, it’s no coincidence that diet companies make most of their profits in January. They get richer. We get poorer, financially as well as mentally.
You can fight back. We all need help – especially as so many of us are starting 2021 from a lower point emotionally than we have ever experienced. And, for many, weight gain.
To help you fight back against these negative messages every day I’ll be tweeting recommendations for books, articles, bloggers, podcasts, films, TED talks, support groups as well as positive quotes and proven strategies.
Every suggestion is one that has resonated with me and those I have met as an educator and speaker.
This is what helps you fight back – understanding, compassion and encouragement when it comes to understanding body image, weight stigma, fat bias, disordered eating, eating disorders and the effects on us of diet culture.
For the sake of yourself, and others.
This is so important for everyone, whatever their colour, race or background. My blogs on eating disorders and body image in ethnic communities (an issue so often ignored) raise awareness of extra pressure for BAME groups. This month, and every month.
I can’t finish without stating what to me is obvious every January: –
Don’t slavishly follow the prescriptive diet or non-diet someone is selling you. (Yes, they are, sorry.)
Of course, some of us (me…) could use, perhaps, a break from the holiday indulgences – this is normal. What isn’t normal -but we have been made to feel is normal – is the demand when every January – the darkest, coldest and in my opinion most miserable month of the year (contact me if you disagree) – we are pressured to reinvent ourselves, usually by losing weight – in 31 days.
You can choose to feel better this month:
1 January – Why not read my review of Giles Yeo’s book, Gene Eating, describing how our genes affect our weight?
2 January – Great article on body image and how to get it or increase it in Positive Psychology. Featuring body positive bloggers, YouTube videos, Ted Talks as well as relevant books and exercises to reinforce a positive body image. Trust the psychologists! https://positivepsychology.com/positive-body-image/
3 January – “New Year’s Resolutions don’t need to involve a scale.” Especially this year.
4 January – Why have 5M watchers watched neuroscientist Sandra Asmodt’s Ted Talk? Because 90% of diets don’t work. Watch here: https://www.ted.com/talks/sandra_aamodt_why_dieting_doesn_t_usually_work?language=en#t-745995
5 January – January’s diet/body shaming messages can be triggering. Charity ‘Beat’ & others provide helplines, support groups and chat rooms to help. Link for Beat: /http://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk
6 January –
7 January: Affected by diet culture & its toxic fallout of weight stigma, fat phobia & disordered eating?
The Food Psych Podcast, hosted by nutritionist & author of ‘Anti-Diet’ Christy Harrison is a MUST read. Life saving.
8 Jan A series about a woman who decides she no longer wants to shrink her body?? ‘Shrill’ shows how life-changing it is to stand up for, instead of apologising, for our bodies.