By Alison Halpern, Wellness Manager
It’s January, and the “New Year, New You” message is everywhere. The pressure to take lifestyle changes to the extreme can seem inescapable, especially when it comes to exercise, dieting, and weight loss. In our culture, a great deal of emphasis is placed on weight and body size, and the pressure to change your body’s shape only intensifies around the New Year. A primary factor at play here is that the idea of getting smaller has been promoted in the media and perceived by the public as “healthy,” regardless of how that weight loss is achieved and maintained.
Now that we’re a few weeks into 2018, take a moment to reevaluate the goals you set for yourself this New Year. Think about the intention behind your resolution. Did you set a goal in order to change something you feel you need to fix or something you hate about yourself? Does your goal involve food restriction, deprivation, or over-exercising? Instead, why not make a resolution to do something that helps you love yourself more?
Use that sense of renewal and motivation January brings to take small, sustainable steps toward better overall health, including your mental and emotional health. Set goals to treat yourself with more compassion, like enjoying more time in nature, expressing gratitude, eating delicious food to nourish your body, moving in a way you enjoy, setting boundaries, or cutting back on negative self-talk. This year, resolve to develop a deeper sense of appreciation for the fact that you are a pretty awesome person already. No new you required.
If you are interested in learning more about body positivity, join the Sports and Wellness department in welcoming Katie H. Willcox, body activist and founder of Healthy is the New Skinny, for a presentation on March 20 from 1-2 p.m. in the Chalon Campus’ Hannon Theater. Willcox works to change the game of body image by giving people the tools to challenge the beauty ideal implemented by the media.