Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Year, New You?

It seems pretty impossible to miss the pressure of New Years Resolutions factoring into every part of our lives at this time of year. Walking down the street and glancing in a shop window to be greeted with sportswear, turning on the TV to be greeted with a cooking programme or opening a magazine to see a weight loss DVD advertisement. It seems impossible to get away from it.

Now I am not saying that we should simply bury our heads under the carpet to hide away from it all. Yet what bugs me, is the pressure to throw ourselves into something, to pledge to lose an unsustainable amount of weight and the shame of failure haunting us all. I for one would love to know how many sign up on New Years Day and pay the astounding monthly prices for a slimming club or gym. A quick browse on the old internet shows Weightwatchers from £32.90 (before all of the other bumph you have to buy too) and LA Fitness membership for £44 per month!!!

There are many parts of my body that I dislike. My large thighs from sporting days gone by, those damn love handles poking out. I pose for a photo and stick my head out to hide my little double chin and breathe in to reduce my belly. Yet I look in the mirror when I am all glammed up and think, you know what, I look great! I then also sometimes look in the mirror and think oh god, things really need to change!

I am all for Gok Wan esque loving yourself and completely believe that everyone needs to love their body. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we are women, and most women I know will scrutinise themselves until there is nothing left to scrutinise. I think if there is something that you hate, that you look at every day and feel rubbish about, why can't we make some small changes to improve it. This doesn't mean signing up to pay loads every month, or promising yourself that you will go to the gym every night, because at some point, when tired, hurting and hungry you will cave in to a night on the sofa with some crisps and wine (my favourite snack!).

Part of the reason I absolutely adore vintage clothing is the way they are cut for real women with boobs, waists and hips. They are brought in at the waist, and flow out to a very flattering length. It is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged!) to wear sexy, shaping underwear like from What Katie Did. Most importantly, you feel like a woman! Whether you buy a more poofy skirt to hide your belly, or a longer dress to hide your legs, no one will know and you can work away to improve these areas, safe in the knowledge that you look fabulous.

I have personally decided to make some better choices for my 2013. I mainly want to get 'more of a life', so get out more and have lots of fun. This will mean, for me, less evenings sat at home watching tv whilst munching away; instead getting out, meeting more people and learning some new hobbies! I want to continue my Lindy Hop lessons as that is so fun and active. I am also going to go to a gym class once a week and that is all! I have found a spinning and weights mixed class that will increase my fitness and help me tone up slightly. I would also really like to find a Jive class in Brighton city centre, so if anyone knows of any let me know, I can't seem to find one!

Hopefully these small additions to my lifestyle will not only help me tone up my body slightly, but add some fun into my daily life! I really think that finding the inner willpower and determination to throw yourself into something new is the hardest yet most rewarding part of making some positive lifestyle changes. Don't do it on Monday, or when you next get paid, or when work isn't as busy, just do it! It doesn't have to be joining a gym or eating more healthily, but maybe that one thing at the back of your mind that you just WISH you could do. Why the hell not, just do it! You are the only person that is in charge of your own happiness, confidence and self esteem so make some positive changes to find that within yourself.

Rather than it be the year that you lose that weight, or go to the the gym every night after work, let this be the year that you work on your own happiness and making the most out of your life. Whatever this may entail. And then, when you achieve it, get yourself that dress you dream of, or handbag you keep looking at!

With lots of love from a rather determined Brighton Belle,
Hannah xxx