Body Shaming is always in season for some people, but January 1st often heralds a special time in the push to capitalize on women’s dissatisfaction with their bodies; headlines shout, “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!”, the gyms fill up, and magazines and blogs everywhere explode with suggestions on taking off that “WINTER WEIGHT” and undoing the “damage” of all the holiday meals and indulgences.
Fitness industry professionals are in the business of getting people to pay for guidance on how to change their bodies. So it might seem contradictory for a blog post on a fitness website (intended to get you to buy workout plans) to say that you don’t need a “New You”.
But the message that strengthening your body, and eating in a way that supports that is a great goal does not automatically engender shame about the state of your body right now.
There’s the train of thought that fitness should only be about health and strength, and not aesthetics at all, and while that’s a strong body positive message, it’s not out of the realm of healthy mental attitudes to believe that you can love your body right now, and also take action to change the way it looks.
You can love your body and still think that it would be badass to have defined biceps, or bigger glutes. You can want fat loss for health reasons, and you can desire to have a different silhouette, and still appreciate what your body has done--carried you this far in life, housed children, etc.
Making changes that we like is a right we have, and sometimes changes that facilitate health also change our bodies in ways that we admire. That’s not wrong. Just remember that your body is worthy of love just the way it is. Desiring change doesn’t necessitate shame.
You can love your body at every stage, even if you’re enacting a plan to change it. Things change, people grow and evolve, and if you can love them every step of the way while they do, you can apply that same acceptance and love to yourself, as well.
Happy New Year, to the Current You.