New Year Same Fads: Diet Culture

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Tasha addresses diet culture, and why wrong intentions should be left in 2018.

We’re (finally) at the end of January and as the New Year swung around the old tradition of making unrealistic and self-indulgent New Year’s resolutions came with it.

While it is by no means a bad thing to wish to improve yourself or your life, breaking New Year’s resolutions seems to be just as much a tradition and expectation as making them is, and they are therefore always linked to failure. By their very nature, we are telling ourselves that we are not good enough. This, coupled with the fact that it feels like we are expected to fail, is anything but constructive.

Feelings of failure and consequently low self esteem are not the mindset or condition in which to try and improve yourself – this is particularly important and even dangerous in relation to dieting and diet culture in January. If the aim of a New Year’s Resolution is to improve yourself (and if we tell ourselves that the way we are going to do that this time is to finally get abs or to lose ten pounds), then we continue to tie our self-worth and successes to our appearance.

The very nature of a fad diet is that it will end, and when it does all we have done is failed. We know that it is impossible to find a space in a gym car park in January, but by December it’s only filled with tumble weed. The mind set of “I’ll start in January”, or “I’ll start on Monday” stops us from achieving what we want when we want.

It is important then to focus on the intention of our resolutions. For example, do you want to be healthier for yourself and to improve your life as you do at any other time of year, or do you perhaps feel that you don’t fit into some ideal beauty standard and get swept up in the ‘New Year, New Me’ craze?

Getting fit or aiming to do something that will make you or others happier is great but by buying into the belief that what is finally going to push us into doing it is the beginning of a new month, is ultimately unhealthy.

Tasha Austen