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January Blues

It is the start of 2019 and the "new year, new me" slogan becomes a prime conversation starter. Then comes the interrogation of questions: How was your Christmas? Get anything nice? Did you do anything for New Year? Have you set any New Year's resolutions? And so the list continues. We have become so accustomed to associating January with change and goals that it seems odd to think any differently. After you have lied about how great your Christmas was (trust me, I'm guilty) and sugarcoated your alcohol-induced coma that was New Year's day, comes the diet talk. Our ears are bombarded with the latest weight loss fad and 800 calorie diet. The sale of fitness products rocket and you start to contemplate why you haven't thought about losing a few pounds. Despite your iron willpower to not give into detox propaganda, it becomes a tiresome battle not to become absorbed by it all eventually...
It is at this point I want to reach for the mute button. Curl up in a ball like a cat. Listen to Morrissey on repeat. Put the covers above my head and sleep until it gets brighter.

I know what I'm saying reads a little melodramatic, but I struggle to think of the last article I read which actually portrayed an honest account about what it is like coping with the expectations of the New Year whilst juggling their mental health.  Of course, I could just be inflicting my negative opinion over many. For some, the New Year is great. It writes off the lows of the previous year and presents an opportunity for improvement. I am a firm believer that YOU are the only person who can change your own mindset, however, is the association of New Year and change always the best one? Personally, I am not a supporter of it.  Therefore, am I a failure if I go against the status quo and do not write a list of resolutions that I probably won't stick to? Would it not be better to view the New Year as just another month instead of publicizing it as a chance for you to become the "Best Version of Yourself".

My intention is not to make this post come across as aggressive, however, it floods me with anxiety when I am confronted at the idea of another New Year. I would much rather see it as a continuous path of self-development as opposed to trying to uphold the expectation of dramatic change. Is it a crime to celebrate the little victories we make? What happened to baby steps? In my eyes,  you do not need to validate your own success by ticking it off a resolution list. Whatever works for you is the most important thing regardless of what everyone else is doing.

 I am aware I have alluded to my personal frustrations at the New Year diet talk, however, I don't feel there is enough support given to those who have previously struggled with their own weight when this type of conversation is going on. Constantly being inundated about how you should be investing in "Skinny" tea's and Joe Wick's latest cookbook does not exactly work wonders for boosting your self-confidence. Every advertisement is just another form of exploitative marketing which picks on societies insecurities to make money. It is 2019 now, why is society still like this? Would it not be a more respectable idea to promote self-care packages and warm items for the chilly January/February months? As someone who has battled anorexia for five years, hearing everyone talk about how they want to lose a stone before summer makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. I want to shout from the rooftops: "YOU DO NOT NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER", but know that cruel voice will stop me before I am given the chance. No matter how "recovered" or "mentally well" you consider yourself, being force-fed (a bit ironic) how to lose weight by the media can be detrimental and toxic for those struggling with body image issues or an eating disorder. I'm not saying that it is not a good thing for the government to be encouraging looking after ourselves and keeping track of our health and fitness, but it does not take a genius to work out that an 800 calorie diet is a form of starvation.

I wish my first blog after a few months could have been more positive, but currently, I do not feel so great in myself. The whole purpose of my blog was for me to be able to give a raw account of my struggles, as well as my interests, hobbies and passions. Unfortunately, January has left me feeling rather blue, and I find myself hibernating in my room in search of brighter days. So, if you are feeling like this too, know it is ok. You are allowed to struggle. You are allowed to not have your shit together at all times. But know - you are not alone. Not everyone says it, but I will. It is ok.

Love you lots,

Is xxxx


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