New Year, Same Me?

Over the last couple of days I’ve been watching a lot of bloggers, Facebook friends and twitter followers all write about New Years Resolutions. Normally something along the lines of ‘Joining the gym’ or ‘Dieting’ or sometimes just plain old ‘Lose weight’. They’ve been plastered absolutely everywhere. The more I see, the more it come to my attention that these resolutions are normally aimed at self improvement (for the most part). The more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me. I’ve ranted on here before about the media creating unrealistic standards for people to live up to; more so for women, but we often see the god-like tanned male on TV who’s body is rippling with abs, so both genders have this insane pressure. Just last night I personally had a breakdown slight issue with my current appearance, as I was trying so hard to pack outfits for my approaching holiday that made me feel insanely hot…and instead ended up face down on the floor moaning that I felt like a potato in everything I wore. I normally eat like a horse, with a diet that is raging with carbs and cheese (Brie. That’s all there is to say.) and am lucky enough to be able to remain slim simply due to high metabolism. I am truly blessed. But still, even though I know I’m in good shape and very healthy…I always have days where I feel like utter rubbish.

It frustrates me that there is such an idealistic standard of beauty that weighs on our shoulders day after day. I stupidly watched the Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2014…and I felt as though I should starve myself for at least a week. I didn’t, because my relationship with food is simply too strong –  I promise you we are in undeniable love. I’ve read some posts about the thin privilege, and as my best friend pointed out, I don’t really know much about the psychology behind it. So judge me, call me a hypocrite for what I’m about to say, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. I don’t base this on ‘scientific research’, but personal experience.

I’ve watched so many people, with so many different body types, so many different lifestyles/jobs/social lives (etc) try to diet. Don’t get me wrong, for some people it works. When it works, it really does work. My Nan (I hope she doesn’t mind me writing this) was on a diet of a peanut butter crumpet for breakfast, the same for lunch, and a healthy dinner – like the truly wonderfully stubborn woman she is, she stuck to it, and now she looks faaaaaaaabulous. So I’ve seen the diet success stories. But I’ve also seen, in other cases, the guilt people go through when they eat slightly above their daily intake, the shame they feel when they haven’t lost weight that week or even the devastated devouring of a box of chocolates, because they haven’t lost weight. The way I see it, some diets just cannot be healthy.

There’s a huge difference between dieting healthily, and just starving yourself. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you have to be hungry 24/7! So PLEASE for those of you who have ‘lose weight’ on your list, I’m proud you want to change, it’s sassyyyyyy! But wanting to lose weight doesn’t mean going hungry. In fact, expert Shaun M. Talbott, PhD (nutritional biochemist and former director of the University of Utah Nutrition Clinic) told Huffpost about a month ago, that the key to weight loss is to eat smart. ‘An analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies found that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat smart…I recommend striving for a more balanced plan that focusses on fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grain carbs.’

So don’t eat basically nothing all day. Swap those Pringles for an apple, change that bowl of Cocopops for some red berry Special K, and most importantly – don’t cut out your meals, just cut down your portion sizes! And whilst you’re at it, dieting on it’s own is not healthy. Put dieting with exercise, and now you’re in for some obvious and healthy results. Michele Olson, PhD (Professor of physical education and exercise science at the Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama) said that ‘Without it, only a portion of your weight loss is from fat — you’re also stripping away muscle bone and density.’ Sounds really healthy right? Noooooooooooooooooooo! She also highlights that if you just exercise, and don’t diet, the number on the scale might not be as instantly rewarding, but it’s craaaazy healthier. That weight you think you ‘haven’t lost’ has actually just turned into muscle tone, which means you my friend…are toning up.

Also, please remember that what is healthy for some body shapes, just isn’t for others. For some people being 7/8 stone is spot on. Their BMI’s are on point, they look great and they are healthy. However, depending on your body shape/type, if you’re aiming to be 7/8 stone you may be putting your health at a serious risk. For example, for someone like myself (5.7ft ish tall, with a naturally curvy booty) if I aimed to be 7 stone I’d probably be killing myself. It’s not about the number on the scale, I promise you that doesn’t matter at all, but being healthy does.

Going back to the original thought trail, the more I thought about how annoyed I was by these unrealistic standards of beauty obviously affecting my friends and family, the more I realised just how wrong I was. Yes, we do have some insane levels of perfection around us, and most of us look up to people who are hotttt to trotttttt. (I can’t talk, my life role model is Beyonce) But, if you’re aiming for a healthy weight loss/toning up, how can it be a bad thing? It’s okay to want to be healthy, and it’s fantastic that so many of you around the world want to improve. If I have a day where I feel like I look fabulous, I tend to feel fabulous, and end up having an oh-so-fabulous day.

I admit it. I was wrong. (Yes I did just say that) I very quickly judged these New Year’s Resolutions as unhealthy, but actually if you do it correctly, it’s wonderful.

Please please please be careful. Be healthy. All in moderation. No cutting out the exercise part, no beating yourself about that tiny piece of chocolate you just ate, and please lord no starving yourselves. I’ll see you all at the gym…and down the fruit and veg aisle…

And for an extremely sassy list of actual resolutions you should aim for, try this one. http://totalsororitymove.com/15-shockingly-easy-ways-to-make-2015-your-bitch/ (Um, this ones more for the ladies not going to lie. Men, just use your imagination?)

Now, at 3am tomorrow morning I begin my journey to what I hope will be a stress free romantic week away in Venice. I have planned until I’m blue in the face. I have made lists of things to take, and ticked off everything I wrote down. I. Am. Fully. Prepared. I am SO EXCITED. My lovely boyfriend spoilt me for Christmas and bought me a Sony Alpha 58 AKA the professional camera I’ve wanted basically forever, so now I can take loaaaaaaaaaads of beautiful photos to show you all when I get back!

Have a great week,

Ci vediamo dopo…Rimanere sassy! 

Aka see you later…stay sassy!

Lauren

xxx

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