Every year, usually around the funny-weird period between Christmas and New Year’s, I set aside a little time to have a good think about what I want to achieve in the coming year.
And almost every year, I find myself thinking, “I want to lose five kilos.”
But this year, I’m doing something different. I am done focusing on losing weight for aesthetic purposes and instead, I’m focusing on the sh*t that actually matters – like feeling happy and strong.
Watch: How to help your daughter improve her body confidence. Post continues after video.
Here’s what else I’m absolutely done with:
I’m done with the scales, they’re not helping me feel body-positive and never make me feel happy afterwards.
I’m done fretting about my double chin.
I’m done asking my partner if I look fat in outfits.
I’m done pulling on the ‘flabby’ skin hanging off my arms.
I’m done thinking I’d be more feminine if I was lighter and more easy to pick up and carry (don’t ask).
I’m done standing in front of the mirror holding my butt up to see how good it would look if it was perky.
I’m done holding on to clothes from years ago in case I fit them again one day.
I’m done thinking about ‘shredding for the wedding’.
And I’m done wearing board shorts to the beach because ‘my legs and butt have cellulite on them.’
Listen: Rebecca Sparrow talks body image – from breaking down expectations on what it means to be beautiful to learning how to feel more comfortable in your own skin. Post continues after audio.
What I will promise myself instead:
- I’m going to eat more vegetables. The veggies I usually eat sit atop my large Mexicana pizza and usually only consist of capsicum and mushroom. Which leads me to…
- I’m going to cut back on ordering Uber Eats and buying takeaway foods in general. My fiance and I have finally moved into our own place together – no flatmates – and have become a little… housebound. With all the space that is 100 per cent ours, why would we bother to go out of the house for dinner? We used to have a weekly date night, and now we tend to eat Indian food or, like I said, pizza on the couch. And while this was glorious for the first few weeks, I do miss things like getting excited to go out and dressing up for dinner. Now it has become our go-to when we can’t be bothered cooking, and it’s become an expensive habit.
- I’m going to get my 10,000 steps in each day. I don’t like (paying for) the gym so I’ll at the very least get my steps up – no excuses. Well, maybe if it’s pouring rain all day… And rather than focusing on exercising to lose weight, I will work out to feel healthy and strong.
- I’m going to drink more water. I swear, some days I drink more coffee than I do water. Other times I am “too busy” to get up and get a glass of water… who is too busy to drink water?
- I’m going to read more. For someone who claims to enjoy reading, I sure can come up with any excuse not to do it. ‘I can’t read in a messy house’ (i.e the blankets are not folded the way I like and my morning coffee cup hasn’t been washed. Also the kitchen needs a mop!), ‘I read for a living so need a break from that before/after work’ and ‘I don’t have time.’ You know what I do have time for? Netflix! Two hours of it a day!
- I’m going to be more grateful for what’s going well in my life. Things are great for me at the moment, and I don’t want to squander this period with thoughts of “what if” and “I should’ve done this”. Things are wonderful the way they are. I am going to stop striving so much and appreciate the life I’ve worked hard for that is happening right now.
- I’m going to say “yes” more, even when I can’t be bothered. As an introvert, I sometimes find it hard to get excited about social events in case an awkward situation arises, but I’m having a lot of fun pushing myself to try new things and meet new people, despite feeling quite drained afterwards. I feel like I’m really making the most of life when I do this.
- I’m going to focus on the things that actually matter – my family and friends. After living overseas and travelling for three years, I feel refreshed and more appreciative of the people around me. I no longer take for granted the ability to meet someone for a cup of coffee whenever we feel like.
- I’m going to be less harsh on myself and learn to like who I am: I am not an A-type personality, despite desperately wanting to be one. I am not a ‘chill’ person either, though, I am really highly strung and I’ll never be that care-free woman who talks to everyone like they’re best friends, does yoga because they like it, orders classy foods in restaurants and actually enjoys white wine. I am not always present, my head is quite often in the clouds thinking about my next holiday, my wedding or food. Despite being a journalist, I feel deeply insecure that I do not know enough, but I find it exhausting to be ‘on’ all the time, trying to absorb everything happening in the news. I’m not the person I had hoped I would grow up to be – still successful in my opinion, but perhaps not as poised or confident as I had envisioned at 16. And I’m going to accept that this weird collection of traits and quirks are what makes me me, and that is more than enough.
What are you promising to do in 2020? Tell us in a comment below.
Feature Image: Getty Images.