In January my tweets focused on helping us resist the avalanche of negative messages about our bodies we receive on the first month of the year…
However, to be honest, isn’t this message the same every month?
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.
So, I’ve decided to keep my original post with a few tweaks, written during lockdown, in the coldest and darkest month of the year…
“In December it’s all ‘eat, eat, eat‘.
In January? “diet, diet, diet.”
Studies show the constant urging every January (and every other month…) 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. Either way we shouldn’t be bullied, or shamed, into changing our behaviour.
This month & every month fight back!
Remember, it’s no coincidence that diet companies make most of their profits in January. ( and do very well, thank you, the rest of the year…) 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 low point emotionally due to the effects of the pandemic. And, for many, weight gain is one of the effects.
To help you fight back against these negative messages check out the body positive bloggers, podcasts, films, TED talks and organisations on my resources pages, as well as my books pages for some great reading to support and empower you.
Every suggestion I make 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.
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.