New Year New You???

It seems to be the sentiment of this day worldwide.

And it is the biggest pile of shite that I have been a part of for way too fucking long.

I’m a little bit tired with being manipulated into thinking that I’m not enough…..never enough.

So this year I am not giving up a single god damned thing. I am taking on a few things though…things that will make me happier and healthier and more content.

Things like BOUNDARIES!!!!

I want to not care what people think of me. I want to not feel responsible for fixing every single thing.

I want to wake up in the morning pain free and peaceful.

I want to get outside more, move my body more, explore its mobility, keep it hydrated, do more of what I love and less social media, I want to have an anti-anxiety lifestyle as opposed to a thin figure. Yes, I would love if, whilst doing all of these things, my body changed to a healthier version of itself, and if that means smaller or leaner than so be it but I absolutely do not want size or shape to be the end goal!!!

A new year does not need a new you!!! You are enough!

WE have been conditioned by social media and television and magazines and celebrities and bloggers affiliated with brands who receive free publicity or payment for making us miserable and making us believe that happiness lies within a dress size or a diet or a slimming world certificate or a PT session or a gym selfie or fuller lips or a flatter tummy.

Last year, on this day, I made a list of all the things I was going to change about myself and I failed miserably because I got side-tracked with my life and I let that take over….and guess what happened??

Bloody EVERYTHING!!!!!

And I’m still standing….I didn’t lose any weight. Actually, I put some on!!! Ooops about that! All the bad things still happened. All of the anxiety and the disappointment and the lessons learned the hard way, the fights with my family, the blood, sweat and tears, the hurt and the heartache….all still happened. But so did all the amazing moments. I celebrated new babies, new marriages, birthdays, anniversaries, I won a major award, I met people that I look up to, I spoke with people I admire, I went to places I was dying to go, I saw things I was longing to see…all the things that made my heart sing.

The same heart that is inside the same body that I said was all wrong last new years eve. I did all those things with this body, and these stretch marks and my unfilled lips and my one bald brow and my short nails that I hide from people because I am supposed to be the one that has the best nails and the glorious skin! Pffft!

And after all that, a full year later, all the people that hated the sight of me last year still hate the sight of me this year and all the people that loved me last year still love me this year. So fuck all changed really did it?

So far today I have seen 7 advertisements for weight loss programmes for the new year. SEVEN!!!!! They all told me in their own way, that I wasn’t good enough. I watched an advert that told me to “look after myself” and “eat clean” in the new year by purchasing some home delivered clean meals that cost over €100 per week and I would “be happy”.

But if I spent that one hundred euro a week and succeeded and lost the weight I wanted to lose, and fitted into the dress size that the magazine told me I should be, would I be happy? Would I be content? Or would this new “perfect” body still house the same sinking heart that didn’t address the stuff that have no shape or weight? The underlying things …. the call of your soul. The things you didn’t do because you were worrying about what people would think and what they would say about you, and you were too busy counting calories and crucifying yourself in the gym and waiting until you looked “perfect” to do them.

Instead of promising yourself a gruelling gym routine in 2019, instead of lining the pockets of all the people who get rich on your misery and depriving yourself of all the things you love from tomorrow morning because you have started to believe you don’t deserve them until your body looks a certain way….why not try a different approach.

Take that body and dress it in the good clothes that you are keeping at the back of the wardrobe for a day you “deserve” to wear them. Bring it somewhere it wants to go. Instead of waiting until your a certain size to do it. You don’t need an excuse….you are alive!!! GO! GO NOW!

Take those lips, the same lips that gave you your first kiss .. remember that? and instead of filling them with injectables and changing the way they look…go taste something new or buy yourself a new lipstick. you deserve it…just the way you are! And it will give you more pleasure than fuller looking lips ever will!

Take your body and treat it. What has it done for you lately? Has it breathed for you? Has it kept you warm? Has it fought infection? Has it given you orgasms? Has it made you laugh until you cried? Has it held a friend in grief? Has it offered comfort to a spouse? Has it cuddled a sleeping child? Has it given you your own children? Is it lined with the reminders of carrying new life? Those lines that you now dread and another woman is longing for. Don’t scold it afterwards. It has given you all of the things you have dreamed of since you were sixteen. Try to remember that when you look in the mirror today and say tomorrow you will change it. It has done more for you than anyone’s opinion ever will! Don’t take it into 2019 on a bad note.

Listen to your body instead of all the other external things….. they all profit from your misery. Your body does not. It will tell you what it needs. Don’t get me wrong…..take care of it and never take it for granted. Food is medicine. Eat the good greens and the fresh leaves and enjoy them. Don’t eat them because they will make you smaller. And don’t force them into you mindlessly. Eat them because they are what your body is crying out for. The colourful vegetables and the juicy fruits that we so often see as punishment for our size or our weight. Spend time in your kitchen discovering new tastes and try to find a new satisfaction in good food regardless of what the scales say. Do as much research into what nutrients you get from eating real fresh food, as you would into what you get from a protein shake!

Have a positive body image…..try not to believe your body just looks good but believe it IS good. Having struggled with body ailments for the duration of 2018…this is a big one for me! Focus on how it feels rather than how it looks.

It will still be suggested to you a million times a week that your body is a project you need to work on…..instead see if for what it is….your vessel. The only one that will see you through this life. Stop messing with it!!! Look after it like you do your car. Don’t punish it.

And don’t punish yourself.

Last year I let somebody stop me from doing something I loved. Writing. That person’s opinion mattered more to me than my own and I shut up.

In 2019 I will not be letting the opinion of others, map my way.

So…those extra pounds I carry wholeheartedly into 2019, the ones the internet keeps telling me I need to shed, those pounds that sit in that place where my body naturally wants to be….if you notice it, please know that this space, these extra pounds, it is my life. It is my late night wine with my husband, it is ice cream with my kids, it is all of my treasured memories, it is unforgettable trips and celebrations of life. It is my love, it is all the times I have celebrated love, it is my spontaneity and my freedom and I refuse to apologise for any of it. THIS IS ME.

If you see me in 2019 make up free or tan free or hair askew…I wont be offering an explanation. Please know I am alright with how I look.

Because “pretty” or “slim” is not the rent I pay in this world for being a woman!!!

So on the last day of 2018, after spending a whole year not saying a word………….