Happy New Year! 2014 has landed, the first Tuesday blog is here and to celebrate here’s a photo of a pancake elephant. I love kooky things like this.
So far January 2014 is flying by – I graduated from university less than a month ago (which has really put things into perspective), re-evaluated things and look forward to a decent year, after a bumpy start. Along with copious amounts of rain that have decided to stop over in London, comes the onslaught of the mantra: “New Year. New Me.”
“New Year. New Me.”
What does this mean to you? A new start to do things right? For many people the way to achieve this is by making New Year’s Resolutions. This is all well and good, provided that the goals are realistic. I believe that being reflective is something that everyone should try because it helps with self development, self esteem and confidence. All over social media, the main preoccupation everyone seems to have is with how they look and how much weight they want to lose. From vowing to become a gym bunny to having a drastic makeover, everyone is hell bent on undoing the horrors of over indulging at Christmas.
Facts, figures and fads.
Posters, billboards and adverts screaming the latest miracle weight loss products that will help get rid off that “muffin top” and banish your “thunder thighs” (who even comes up with these names!?) surround us. From fat busting pills to shakes that will melt away fat, we are drowning in shoddy products and their companies’ even shoddier catchphrases. The UK diet industry is estimated to be around £2bn click here to read more in comparison to the American diet industry which is around $20bn. This just shows how many people buy into the diet industry every year hoping to get their dream body. You only have to type weight loss into Google for it to come back with 454,000,000 results in 0.27 seconds and see the latest celeb mothers whip back into their pre-baby bodies – 6 months after giving birth. Just what we needed to see after eating too many roast potatoes.
You are in control of what you do.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight if you want to stick to a strict gym and food routine – you go for it and get those results you want. The issue I have is with the “quick fix” crash course of losing weight in a short period of time. Not only is it unrealistic, but it has harmful side effects on the mind and the body. Most people seem to want to lose weight for aesthetic purposes because they think that it will make them happy and more accepted. It hurts me to see both men and women say: “If I lost weight, people would like me more.” In this case, even if you did lose all the weight, you wouldn’t necessarily be happy because the issue isn’t skin deep. And the weight loss industry knows this: they are cashing in on people’s insecurities. I worked as a plus size model for under 4 years, which is supposed to be a “friendlier” version of the mainstream modelling industry. I’ve seen men and women determined to starve themselves to please their agents, photographers and get bookings just to look like what we see in magazines, with devastating consequences. I’ve also seen first hand at how much editing goes into photos after a photo shoot – believe me, it’s quite frightening.
You only have to see how we can drastically change the way someone looks in 37 seconds:
Instead of depriving and hurting our bodies to look like someone’s distorted image of what “beauty” should be, we need to focus on how we can face our insecurities and focus on feeling better about ourselves. And we can start by concentrating on things that we are good at, things that we like about ourselves and things that make us feel good. If we want to to do things right this year, don’t hurt yourself and your body – in the long run it’s not worth it.