It’s currently my seventeenth year on earth, meaning that I’ve celebrated the new year seventeen times, and those that I can remember (for the first few I was too young to recall and for the last few I’ve been to0 drunk, oops) have all been relatively the same: the fireworks go off, everyone’s cheering and it’s a pretty happy time. So why is the next day so different? On January 1st every year, pretty much everybody I know (including myself) makes the same resolution; to lose weight. It seems as though January is a time to tear ourselves down and try anything no matter what to fix everything that’s wrong with us. This year I decided against that. I decided to spend my year doing something more important than trying to lose weight through a series of fad diets and starving myself, and instead make new year’s resolutions that mattered, ones that would help me to improve and become a better person.
My first was to become a better feminist. I strongly believe that everyone should be, in the words of our Lord and savior Jameela Jamil, a “feminist in progress”, and whilst I’d always been a really strong feminist I felt as though I’d stopped trying to improve. Throughout 2019 I’ve been trying so so hard to be a better feminist, mainly by not tolerating the offensive actions of friends and family, and making sure I call anybody out on saying or doing something sexist, racist or homophobic. It’s caused me a LOT of arguments with boys in my school who have tried justifying their views on the gender pay gap and abortion and it’s even lost me a close friend (a friend who thought it was his God-given right to use homophobic slurs, so really not too big of a loss) but despite this I’m really proud of the way that I’ve stood my ground so many times to try and improve the outlooks and attitudes of those around me. I’ll probably never be able to fully change people’s views on feminism, but I feel as though trying to educate people on important issues that are often the cause of discrimination and stigma is helping me to do my fair share.
So my second resolution was to start being a lot nicer to myself and try to boost my confidence levels. Self-esteem is something that I’ve struggled with my entire life, probably from as young as six or seven, and spending the last five years in secondary school with hormones running high has meant that I’ve spent a lot of time with my confidence levels being rock bottom. For years I’ve critiqued everything about the way I look, particularly my weight and hair as these are things that have been picked up on by other people so I’ve always been particularly conscious of them. I’m honestly so proud of the progress I’ve made this year in terms of self-esteem and body positivity. I started small by embracing my natural hair (that I’m now in love with!) after years of straightening, dyeing and essentially killing off my hair, then and moved on to my bigger issues: my weight. Embracing my belly has been the toughest part of this resolution by far, but I’ve had a couple of little victories that I’m proud of and that have really boosted my confidence. At the beginning of this year I would feel completely stressed if my boyfriend of over a year would put his hand anywhere near my stomach, and would move it straight away because I was so self-conscious of it, but recently I’ve been focusing on trying to like my body (rolls included) and I’ve grown enough confidence to let him squish my belly all he wants. It may seem like something tiny and insignificant to some, but for me, this was such a huge deal and I’m really proud of how much confidence I’ve developed.
After spending the entirety of 2018 alternating between eating complete shit or eating next to nothing, I decided that my third new year’s resolution would be to become much healthier. I’ve started counting my calories to avoid overeating and trying my best to become more conscious of nutrients, making sure I eat enough protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. I’m also trying to plan food ahead (I’m meal prepping while I’m writing this and I feel like I really have my life together) to make sure I’m not running to Morrisons on my lunch break to buy stupid amounts of rubbish food. This resolution has probably been the most difficult for me (mainly because I can eat for England) but I feel as though I’m definitely getting better at watching what I eat, and the best of it is that I feel so much healthier in myself. It’s 100% a work in progress but I feel good about what I’ve achieved so far!
My fourth and final new years resolution this year was to start studying for my A-Levels by making revision notes and trying my hardest to up my grades… but Id’ like to end this post on a good note, so it’s probably best not to talk about that one!