So we are now reaching the tail end of what has been, according to the media, a pretty crap year.
We had a carrot elected as President of the United States ahead of the most qualified person to ever run.
We lost icons who have changed the Arts forever and who touched the lives of many.
And of course, we’ve seen humanitarian crisises worsen across the globe. So yeah, it hasn’t been great.
But I’m not here to talk about that.
I’m here to talk about the New Year. Particularly, New Year’s resolutions.
At the tail end of the year and at the very beginning of the new year, the dieting industry really picks up the pace and invests a lot of money and energy into trying to convince you that you need to lose weight.
It’s just after Christmas so they’re going to try to hit your insecurities hard. They’re going to try to tap into your lack of self-esteem and self worth, your concerns about your body image and your insecurities around your weight, to sell their product.
They’re going to sell hard. They’re going to try to convince you that you need to shed the “Christmas kilos” (whatever they are?). They’re going to try to convince you that by buying their shake/capsule/product and by losing X amount of weight, you’re going to be so happy and healthy you’ll be farting rainbows. They’ll attach some before and after images with the phrase “I lost 10 kg in 10 weeks” to go the extra mile and make you feel especially shit about yourself.
Please, for the love of all that is good and right in this world, don’t fall for their tricks. It’s all a monumental lie. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about your nutrition or your health. They care about selling a PRODUCT. Their product to be precise.
Instead of setting a goal to lose weight, shift your focus away from the scale and towards your health.
Because here’s a list of what a scale tells you:
- What you weigh.
That’s it. That’s actually it. It tells you that one thing. And yet we all seem to be obsessed with getting that number down. Because we’ve been taught to believe that getting that number down will make us happy.
Here’s what a scale doesn’t tell you:
- How fast you can run.
- How strong you are.
- How fit you are.
- How capable you are.
- How healthy you are.
- Whether you’re getting the right nutrition.
- What percentage of your body is muscle and what is fat.
- How kind you are.
- How happy you are.
- Whether you’re reached your fitness goals.
So basically a scale tells you nothing. It’s a number. That goes up and down. Not just daily but hourly. Depending on when you drank water and when you did a poo.
Of course, we all have different fitness goals. Maybe your fitness goals will result in some weight loss but that should not be your aim. Because aiming to lose a certain amount of weight won’t solve your problems or provide you with happiness forever.
When I was at my lowest weight I was, without a doubt, the worst version of myself. Unhappy, hungry, obsessed, unfulfilled, dissatisfied. Never good enough. I still compared myself to others. I was highly critical of my body. I was completely focused on my body and my weight and every other goal I had didn’t even take a backseat. It took a taxi.
I’m now at my highest weight since I got sick six years ago and I am, by far, the most happy and the most fulfilled. At this weight (which I haven’t checked in around six months) I am the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been. The healthiest by far. I’ve been able to focus my attention on other areas of my life. My goals are no longer just physical. I have goals in my personal and professional life too.
These ads are inevitable. We’ll be seeing them soon. Telling us that we can “reclaim our summer body” and “lose the Christmas pounds.” All bullshit slogans designed to sell something rather than make you a better version of yourself.
So turn them off. Throw the scale away if you have to. Sit down and write out what YOU want for 2017. If those goals happen to be fitness related, make sure they focus on living a better lifestyle rather than weight. Your goals may not be fitness related. That’s fine too. We all have different pritorities. That doesn’t make you any better or worse than the person next to you.
In 2017 I have fitness goals. One of those goals is to be able to squat 100kg (approximately double my weight). I also have professional and personal goals.
I want, every year, to do better. To be the best version of myself I can be. And that has absolutely nothing to do with my weight.