A bit late but better late than, never right? Happy new year! I hope everyone had a good new year and a good time off everything that usually keeps you busy. I’m back with a new post that follows briefly from my last one, where I mentioned this month being the world famous ‘diet month’. This is only going to be a short post as I’m on the train back to University and if I don’t pay enough attention, I will get off at the wrong stop because I’m clumsy like that…
So, it’s a new year, and everyone is boasting about ‘New Year New Me’ as always. January marks the opportunity for a fresh start, the opening of a new chapter, and focusing on the best version of you. With a fresh start and a new month, comes the adverts and promo’s I see everywhere about losing weight and getting in the gym which is why I like to call it the ‘diet month’. I regularly go to the gym anyway which was and still is an important step in my recovery from my eating disorder, but seeing all of these promos about it everywhere puts me off and makes me feel like I’m behind, like I need to exercise more to keep up with society and this image of what it means to be ‘healthy’. I’m conscious of days I choose to go to the gym because (I think I’ve mentioned this briefly in another post) I have to be in the right mind set for it. Not in the mind set to ‘lose weight’ but in the mind set to want to go there because I know it will make me feel clearer in my mind, and powerful in my strength physically and mentally.
It’s frustrating for anyone who likes the way they were 5 days ago in 2017, and doesn’t want to change anything about how they are or how they look. It puts pressure to feel like they have to get up and join in with this ‘new year new me healthy lifestyle’. I understand that the promo is to make you literally start afresh, and work hard but what the media fails to understand, is that it puts pressure on people who don’t want to do that. Especially on those with an Eating Disorder or having had one, it can be triggering. Just as you learn to love and accept yourself for who you are, suddenly there are pictures and videos EVERYWHERE on how you should look, and behave this year which is confusing I can’t even tell you. It’s hard to explain but for someone with an Eating Disorder, and having a perfectionist mindset, naturally when you go through such mental pressure, you want to look the best all the time, and CAN’T look any other way because it’s just not allowed in your mind. And if you don’t, you’re failing yourself. Even on days where you might feel the slightest bit ok with how you are, (when I say slightest, I mean SLIGHTEST), you look on BBC NEWS and see them advertising a diet plan, or how much sugar you should eat in a day – which of course is being considerate and educating people on healthy amounts – but it does NOT ACCOUNT for anyone who suffers mentally with food. AT ALL. By telling us how much sugar we have to eat, someone with an eating disorder, will just straight away feel like they eat too much of it, or feel like they’re doing something wrong. To see things like on BBC NEWS which you watch to EDUCATE yourself with what’s happening in the world, makes you question, what can you watch? Where can you look without being confronted with food? Nowhere. I know if it was me, 3 years ago seeing things like that on TV thinking the way I did, I’d be really questioning why I even bothered and how shit I looked, even though looking back now, I didn’t look shit, I was sick.
How I deal with this month having had an eating disorder, is by leaving the media alone. Avoiding Instagram and places where you’re more likely to see anything like that. Even though it can be hard to avoid because social media is like a drug, resist it and work on yourself and just doing things you love away from the media, that’s what keeps me alive anyway. Focus on things that make you feel good about yourself and like you’ve done something good.
As well as applying for people with an eating disorder, the same thing applies for people without one who just don’t want to change how they look, and have just gained self-confidence. The way this world works, is backwards. As soon as you feel ok, it hits you with something in the face, to remind you that you don’t look like what you’re supposed to look like. – Let me ask you though, what are you supposed to look like and who said that you’re supposed to look that way?- It makes you feel bad for how you are as a person, and like you’re not good enough because you don’t look like THEM which is nothing near OK… this applies to men too. More so today, men have an image they have to live up to more than they did even just 5 years ago. ‘Bigorexia’ has become something really relevant in today’s society, putting pressure on men to be big, and muscly otherwise, they aren’t ‘manly’ enough. These expectations are too much and unrealistic, and just made to make people feel like they’re not good enough. Read this article on bigorexia to open your eyes to what society is doing to us without us realising:
One thing that I haven’t yet, but want to realise soon and am in the process of doing it, is understanding that getting off your phone, away from your laptop, reminds you of what it means to feel alive like I said earlier. I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to focus on helping other people through my blog, in general, and getting involved in things I’m passionate about. Leave behind worrying what people think about you or how people will read something you do. Do it because you want to and that’s it. Even if it’s something small, do it. Self-love and acceptance is key to happiness; I’m not there yet because it’s not something that happens from the 31st December 2017 to the 1st January 2018 just like that. It’s a working progress… Write down your goals for this year, add to them, stick to them, tick them off, and see yourself progress without even realising.
If you have/have had an eating disorder and are struggling this month, take time to think about why you wanted to get better or want to, and remind yourself of the little things you do on a daily basis that you love, what you’re passionate about and let that take over your mind. Please anyone also message me if you’re struggling, a problem shared is a problem halved, and we can help each other…
As a little taster, I think my next post is going be another story, one that I think a lot of people will connect with well, it’s not going to be easy so be patient with me as I figure out how to write it….
I said this was going to be short… lol oh well. Luckily my stop is next, so see you all very soon