Many people choose to make resolutions when the clock ticks over from one year to the next. These often include things such as stopping smoking, being nicer to people, and – losing weight. While two of those are great resolutions (both of which I myself have successfully done back when I still bothered with resolutions), the latter tends to concern me due to vast quantities of body hatred encapsulated in such a tiny phrase.
While I won’t go on at length about the billion dollar diet industry and how marketing aims to make you hate yourself so you spend more money, I will point you to one of my favorite daily reads – Dances with Fat. Ragan, the author, brings a good dose of real science and facts, and most of all – a constant reassurance that movement is good, focus on weight loss isn’t ideal. Not that she disses on people wanting to lose weight; she merely reminds her readers that results are usually atypical on weight loss plans, and that 95% of people who try to lose weight regain it (and then some).
The biggest thing that she hits on, and the most important to me, is movement. She emphasizes that movement is good, and while you might not lose weight, you’re still improving your health. After all, thin does NOT equal healthy; this is something I know very personally due to difficulties in getting doctors to diagnose ANYTHING because I was (still sort of am) small, so presumed okay. Or don’t move if you don’t want to – after all, you are the boss of your own underpants. But movement doesn’t mean you need a gym membership, a trainer, and an hours-long workout regime. Movement can just be as simple as taking the stairs instead of a lift, walking instead of driving, or any of those things that get harped on. For me, I’m dancing like nobody’s watching, even when my family are watching – it’s great for endurance, and it’s great for muscle tone. And best of all – it doesn’t cost me a dime to turn on the radio and shake it. It is movement for the sheer joy of movement, and really – that’s the best reason of all to do it. I end up doing something I enjoy, that I’m not sitting there staring at a clock willing all life to end (or driving myself insane watching for milestones of progression!), and that works even harder to keep my depression in check than hours on a bike or janking up my knees in repetitive running motion on nasty-for-joints sidewalks.
In short – do what’s going to make you happy; resolutions should add to your life, after all, not detract. So why not resolve to do something that makes you happy and better, rather than poorer, sorer, and guiltier? It’s your call to make, and I hope it brings you satisfaction in this year to come. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s some Pink Floyd demanding my sway-time!