At new year, whether it has been a bizarre one like 2020 or not, many people pledge to change some aspect of their life. Most of the time this involves giving up or restricting something. Whether it be giving up chocolate, meat, alcohol, sweet treats, or something else, it all involves restriction. But, do we need to have a New Years resolution, especially one that is about denying ourselves specific things?
In the world we live in now, it is almost seen as abnormal not to want to change something about your lifestyle and yourself. It is abnormal not to feel like you should cut chocolate out of your diet, or restrict something else. Restricting what you eat is normalised, and seen as ok, especially at the start of each year. Why should we start the new year off on a restrictive note? Why should we feel the need to completely cut something out of our diet? This only has a negative effect. It either makes you crave that thing you have restricted, or reinforces bad habits and causes you to restrict other foods.
For some, the opportunity to restrict something as part of a New Years resolution is a welcome excuse to cut a food item out of your diet without it being questioned. And sadly, this is because society has made it ok to deny yourself certain foods just because it is a new year. For others, this is all part of the trend set by society. Why is it not ok to keep everything in our diets and just focus on balance? Eating a little bit of chocolate everyday, or having a sweet treat a couple of times a week, is realistically absolutely ok for you. If you exercise and eat all foods as part of a balanced diet, it is ok to keep them in your diet. You don’t need to completely deny yourself of these and you don’t have to set a New Years resolution.
Ultimately, what I want to convey is, it is absolutely ok not to want to give up anything. I believe this is a sign of contentment and a sign of self-acceptance. It represents your recognition that it is abnormal to completely deny yourself certain foods. For me personally, not giving up any food at the start of the year shows that I am able to recognise that it is not healthy for me, as a unique individual, to follow restrictive behaviours.
I want to plant this seed in your mind. Before you focus so hard on giving up something for New Years, think again. Do you really need to do this? Why not transfer your energy elsewhere and be kind to yourself. Maybe pledge to read a book a month, or show yourself some TLC once a week.
We shouldn’t feel like we have to restrict foods just because it’s a new year. Do what is right for you and not what society says is right.
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I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!