So here we are, again. Everyone’s talking about it, and no matter how much I try I have not yet found a way to make the year longer and avoid the icy temptress that is January and the almighty comedown that she heralds. Now, it’s not that I dislike January particularly, I just dislike nearly everything that is associated with it. I feel bad because it’s not January’s fault, it’s the fault of decades of social conditioning and the media which upholds the barbaric traditions that make us feel like we are our own worst enemies just because the piece of space rock we call home has taken another trip around the sun. That’s right, I’m talking about ‘New year, new you’ or as I like to call it, ‘new year, new FUCK YOU’.
This year has been different for me though. Sure, I’ve been bombarded by millions of adverts that are gently trying to pull me back into the cyclical nature of diet culture, but I’ve also been bombarded by a lot of brilliant tweets and Instagram posts that have reminded me that actually this New Year, I am good enough the way I am. Now usually I try and stay away from the topics that everyone is writing about because I still can’t shake my desperate teenage need to be different from those around me, but seeing as how much we’re being hit from every direction by companies trying to sell us an ideal that is not actually achievable by drinking their weird green juice, I think it’s time we hit back with force.
I remember the first time I actually genuinely realised that the diet industry was well and truly a scam. It was horrifying, it was like finding out Father Christmas isn’t real. Something I had so vehemently believed in my entire life came crumbling down before my very eyes, and even though I’d had an itching suspicion, I had never had wanted to believe that something I had invested hundreds, possibly even thousands of pounds in, couldn’t work. So here’s how it goes: We are sold an ideal body by the media, it is projected everywhere and we are told that our life will be perfect if we can just achieve the ideal body (which has changed from generation to generation to continue to make it unachievable for a large percentage of the population). The diet industry sells us a diet or a fast or a cleanse or lifestyle change that will supposedly give us this ideal body if only we pour enough effort, and more importantly money, into it. Some people will achieve the results and will be heralded as champions, whilst the average Joanne will be left to achieve minimal results, put the weight back on and then buy into the scam time and time again. How many times have you tried a fad diet as a quick fix in January, only to put the weight back on and have to try a new fad diet a few months later when you need to achieve a beach body as summer rolls around, only to put the weight back on and do it again in January. And if you’re still trying to fight the idea ask yourself this, if there was a genuine way to lose the weight permanently why is diet industry saturated with so many different products? There would only need to be one product because everyone would know it works, but that product doesn’t exist so there’s thousands of plans and schemes and clubs that mean if you fail one way, you can just plough your money into the diet industry another way.
So how can you avoid feeling like a complete this January, because guess what, you’re not actually a failure, that’s just a marketing technique. Here are some practical tips that I’ve gathered over the years from Instagram and Twitter and clowns in sewage drains:
1. Report and block adverts.
So you’ve realised that the diet industry is a scam that’s cheated you out of a lot of money and you’re pissed, what can you do about it? Well I personally like to block and report all diet adverts that appear on my social media, depending on how I’m feeling will change what I report them for. Some days they’re offensive, some days they’re a scam or misleading and somedays they’re harmful. Take your pick, but just get that shit off of your radar because it’s 2018 and you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
2. Imagine all the negative things you’re saying to yourself are being said by that big orange dildo who’s running the White House.
I’m not actually American, or even live in the US, but my God is he annoying. So whenever that little voice pops up in my head that tells me I need to change the way I look because I don’t look like a certain celebrity I just imagine that that meathead is saving them and it changes my entire outlook. Suddenly I’m not agreeing with the voice, instead I’m telling it to eat shit and choke. Try it next time the voices of self doubt plague you — it worked for me, so it might just work for you.
3. Diversify your newsfeed.
I feel like I’m constantly harping on about this, but it genuinely does wonders. The reason I’ve been bombarded with so many messages that tell me my worth doesn’t stem from how my body looks is because I erased all traces of people who contradict that. You follow a celebrity who promotes those bullshit detox teas? Delete them. Your friend from school won’t stop going on about their new diet? Hide them from your timeline. Instead try and find some accounts that inspire you to amount to more than how much you weigh or what you look like in certain items of clothing. They’re out there, and they’re waiting for you.
And finally, if you still want to set a new year’s resolution then try and set one that steers clear of dieting. In fact The Unedit posted a brilliant list called 39 New Year's Resolutions That Don't Involve Weight Loss Or Gym Memberships.
It’s 2018 guys, it really is time to accept that everyone’s body is different and that we can love and deserve love no matter who we are, and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to focus on wellness, whatever that might look like for each person.