Its January 2nd already, and many of us may be full to the brim with good intentions for changing ourselves and our lifestyles in 2015. This is a good thing right, and not be laughed at or discouraged by those around us? Well it is – and then it isn’t! Any type of change should come entirely from within and be brought about by a genuine need and a real desire to succeed – not just a change in the calendar. We have found this awesome article from Deborah Coughlin who writes for The Independent, which we though said it so well, we would share some of it with you. (You can read the full article here if you would like to).
“Hope you enjoyed the sausage rolls, the tumblers of Baileys and the Lidl five-bird roast while you could, because today marks the start of the annual self-flagellation that is the phenomenon of “New Year, New You”. Touted by magazines, breakfast television and well-meaning friends, we’re supposed to grab ourselves by the shoulders and force ourselves to become the person we know that we really should be – rich, thin, with loads of lovely friends. Last year, in my role as editor of Feminist Times, and as an attempt to fight back against the annual onslaught of sanctimonious diet and lifestyle twonks, I commissioned a psychotherapist, body-confidence coach and fat activist to write anti-New Year, New You manifestos.
Each of them urged us to throw away the weighing scales, ditch the points systems and look inside ourselves. The response from our readership was amazing – with many making it to our panel event in London of the same name to tell us in person how they wanted to get off the gluttony/redemption ride. I also swore not to become involved in the cycle myself; there would be no grand announcements on Facebook that I was quitting the booze, no planning a run at 5am EVERY morning that would inevitably fail.
What happened? I lost all my body fat, I ran a marathon, I earn more money and my life’s perfect. Except I didn’t, and it’s not. However, for the first time in years, I am exactly the same weight that I was the previous Christmas. In fact, I’ve stayed pretty much the same weight all year. I’m still overweight, which may be a little underwhelming, but to me it’s a little miracle.
I’m normally either gaining or losing pounds; this year, it’s been neither. After years of yo-yoing, I have finally come to realise that when I put myself on a crazy diet such as only eating lemons before noon, or hitting myself in the face every time I think of bread, I may lose weight in the short term, but I will gain even more when I give in and buy a baguette. By not giving myself unrealistic New-Year goals, I’ve actually stayed at a stable weight, while being more relaxed about it. Talking to myself in a non-judgemental way and taking myself out of the guilt cycle is making my head healthier (and, I think, my body) in the long term.
It has also been my most sober year, which may well come as a surprise to anyone who saw me on the Crazy Mouse ride at Winterville. This year, I’ve drunk less alcohol than ever before, the whole year long. In 2013, I was super strict with myself and spent the first three months sober, but for the rest of the year, I couldn’t even begin to count how many hangovers I had. In 2014, I had my first hangover by 4 January, but I can count the rest on one hand. Not making over-the-top pledges has meant that I’ve been less up and down, less all-or-nothing. Basically, NOT taking part in the whole New Year, New You schtick has made me more balanced. This year, I want to keep to that path. So once again I have asked people that I respect to help me.”
It is true, that some people are happy to see the New Year as a finite point for making much needed changes in their lives, but surely making one day of the year your entire focus for becoming a whole new person is putting a great deal of stress on your already overburdened shoulders. So by all means, look carefully at what you are eating, maybe don’t finish that whole bottle tonight and perhaps think about walking once a week rather than taking the bus to work – but dieting, giving up smoking, joining the gym and becoming superwoman all in one go is definitely too much to ask of yourself.
However you chose to make changes to you life in January, start by being kinder to yourself. One of the very best ways to do this has nothing to do with counting calories or burning them off, but instead by giving you the luxury of extra time. Employing a cleaner to keep on top of your housework can allow you more time to do the things that really make you happy, like spending more time with your family. At Maid In Essex we appreciate just how important that is to you, and we can offer you reliable and professional cleaning staff to work hours that suit you and your lifestyle needs. Call us on 01277 812220 or click here to contact us by email.