Have you felt it yet? The swirl of diet talks, new gym memberships, “new year, new you” hashtags, etc. surround us this time of year. While I’m one who loves (and participates in!) the practice of reflecting on the past year and dreaming, planning, and creating resolutions for the next year, I’m finding the voices declaring a refusal to jump on the bandwagon to remake our bodies surprisingly refreshing.
Though starting with a clean slate is helpful to many when deciding to begin new habits, it’s not necessarily enough motivation for those new habits to stick. We see this when the busyness of the gym in January drastically dies off a couple of months later. So perhaps if we’re longing to make some changes to improve our health, we need a different way to make those changes last long term.
Instead of thinking about how you need to change this part or that part of your body, or thinking that you should do x,y, or z workout/diet/habit, what if you focused on giving great love and care to your body-for the long haul?
What if 2018 was the year you celebrated your body?
It’s a radical thought, isn’t it?? Celebrate your body instead of demean it or get angry that it’s not doing what you think it should or looking the way you think it should. It’s kind of counter-cultural.
It may sound like a copout at first, but if you think about it, caring for your body is a much more positive way to usher in good habits than thinking about how much you don’t like something about it. When we have positive associations with things, it’s easier for us to do them. If you associate working out with positive outcomes (feeling stronger, mood lifted), you’ll be more likely to work out regularly, as you want those good rewards (Check out this post from last year for more on the habit/reward cycle: Yes You Can Change). And if you approach working out as a means of loving your body, you may find yourself doing it more. Conversely, if working out is only associated with a desire to get in shape and change how you look, it can be tough to motivate yourself to make time for exercise.
So…what would 2018 look like for you if you celebrated your body?
What guilt and pressure would be lifted off of you? What stress would be relieved? What negative thought patterns would be dismissed and replaced with positive affirmations? What health changes would you feel are a joy and a pleasure to make, instead of a burden, or something you have to do?
We’d love to hear what celebrating your body in 2018 looks like to YOU! Leave a comment below and cheers to a fabulous new year!
Written by Brittni Paris, SFC Blogger and Wellness Coach