Why we need to stop the pressure of a ‘new year, new you’



It has been a rough month. Yes, the holidays happened. But something else happened. Something I can’t really put my finger on or find the exact ‘why’ for. I lost my way, almost. My spirit. My go-getter drive. My zest for taking care of myself. Yes, the holidays are a time to eat, drink & be merry with your closest friends & family. But this was different. I couldn’t bring myself to eat right, exercise, focus on the important things, the things I love – like work and this blog, or even enjoy those times with friends & family.

It was weird. And depressing. And I didn’t like it. Not one bit.

So, I gave myself a couple weeks. To do whatever my body needed to do. Rest, binge, sleep, drink, whatever. Sometimes you have to do that, you know? Give in to what your mind and body are telling you they need. If you’re craving your bed, junk food and Netflix instead of morning devotional, nutritious fuel or the gym, this is your inner being trying to communicate something to you – something that’s out of balance. Maybe it’s a suppressed emotion that needs addressing. Maybe it’s your body’s way of telling you to slow down. Maybe it’s an alarm that you have a big nutritional void that’s begging to be filled. Who knows. But, it’s important to listen.

Honestly, I think it was the anticipation for the new year. Knowing that I was supposed to start my road to a ‘new me’ come January 1. All the pressure of having to ditch my old, toxic, yet comforting habits, cold-turkey in the new year.

But, no matter the cause, you can’t live forever like that. The addictive, toxic behaviors can be coping mechanisms for only so long.

So, it came time to cut it out.

I told myself that January 1 was my day. My day to turn over a new leaf. It was after all, officially the new year, and the time to go after the “new me.” No better time than the present, I guess.

Well, January 1 came and went. My bed was mostly my friend that day. All of a sudden it was January 2nd. I do recall making it through a run that day, but later, sadly, I found myself in the Bojangles drive thru [oops]. Alright, January 3rd…yes, THIS is the day. It was a Sunday, the beginning of a new week…THIS is the perfect day to start a new beginning. By nighttime, my face was deep in a bowl of ice cream, and January 4, 5 and 6 went somewhat in the same fashion. I did manage to complete a 30-minute 21 Day Fix workout and a 2 mile run somewhere in the mix. Better than nothing, right? [Always count your wins, I say!]

My first week in 2016 looked something like the yellow squiggly line below.


Source: BuzzFeed

Forget the squiggles though. Man, the guilt. The shame that came with not starting my year off how I “should’ve” – in the gym and on vegetables.

The night of January 6, I laid in bed knowing that I didn’t want to go on like this. Not because it was the new year and I should be on my way to a new person, but because I wanted to stand up for myself. I wanted to go after my goals. I wanted to feel good, again. And ditch that shameful nonsense. Woof.

January 7. Here you are.

Today I decided to make one goal for myself, and ONLY ONE. Because that’s much less intimidating than having to follow all of your new diet and fitness rules:

  • Count your calories, but don’t go above 1,200.
  • Coffee, but no creamer. Okay, a little creamer. But measure it. Two tablespoons and not a drip more.
  • No more caffeine. Except for green tea.
  • No weeknight wine anymore. Or maybe ever, for the foreseeable future.
  • No carbs after 12.
  • Actually, no carbs at all
  • Lift weights. Run 10 miles. Burn 1,000 calories.
  • Take your supplements. Make sure there’s fish oil, a fat burner and a multivitamin at the very least.
  • Eat when you wake up. Don’t eat after 7.
  • Eat every three hours. And always protein and carbs together.
  • Sleep 9 hours.
  • Drink half your body weight in water.
  • No sugar.

I think you get the point. Holy moly. I’m exhausted from even typing that.

Back to today. If I checked off more than one thing on the above list, cool. But if not, I was going to make sure that if I did anything, it would be to meet this one, and only one, benchmark I set for myself.

That mile marker was simply to: make it to boxing. Yes, the goal was to set foot in my boxing club again; to coach myself through an entire day of work, enough so that I wouldn’t back out of my 5:30 class. Easy enough, right? Not always. But today, I did it.

I won’t say that I didn’t think of every excuse on the hour to get out of it. I won’t lie that I wasn’t so nervous about going back. Yes, I’m a fitness gal, but when you’ve taken a month off, a boxing class is TERRIFYING. I didn’t know if the trainers would remember me, if the new ‘resolution’ peeps taking over the gym would look at me like a newbie too. Or, if I would die [my biggest fear]. Yes, die. People get near death during boxing classes. It’s that good of a workout. And this is a good near-death experience I’m talking about.

But, I was full of fear. All day. Fear of failure. Fear of lacking strength. Fear of looking like I had gained weight [because I had]. Fear I wouldn’t remember how to put my wraps on. Fear of being called out for being MIA. Fear of who knows what.

And that fear…man it’s debilitating. It’s toxic…for your mind and your body. Fear…it strips you of your potential, your confidence, your strength.

Folks. I realized today as I worked through my fear….ALL.DAY.LONG…that it’s not the month off of working out that depleted my endurance and my will to go back.

It was my fear.

That damn fear. It gets us when we aren’t even aware of it. It makes us fear things that haven’t even happened. I mean, I fear going to a boxing class. I fear not accomplishing the goals I’ve set for myself for 2016 [and 2016 JUST began]. I fear that I may not build this blog up as big as I have dreamed. I fear not reaching or helping as many people as I want through it. I fear not finding love again. I fear becoming financially unstable. I fear what I’m going to look like in the dress I choose for my 30th birthday [which is THIS month…let’s not talk about that].

I mean, c’mon. Fear makes us fear things that are so far in the future, that we haven’t even wrapped our heads around. It makes us worry about all the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s. It’s dumb really. Just plain dumb.

But it’s real. And it’s a part of life. Every day. So we have to face it head on. Just like I did with my boxing class today.

You know, it’s funny the timing of things. A friend posted this BuzzFeed article on their Facebook newsfeed today, and I just so happened to click on it. Fifteen Important Reminders for Anyone Who Wants to Lose Weight this Year” it read. And this was one of those reminders:

Ditch the shame of being a beginner or of being someone who has to hop back on the wagon.

There’s nothing shameful about it.

It’s so true, ya’ll. There’s nothing shameful about falling off for a month, or gaining 10 pounds and finally deciding to pick yourself up, or just beginning. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves and letting fear brainwash us into thinking we don’t deserve and can’t reach the best version of us.

So push through those voices in your head. Kick fear in the butt. Tackle your goals head on.

Remember, it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. Wake up and decide one goal for each day. By the end of 2016, I guarantee you, you will have made a lot of progress.

And for me that means a lot of boxing classes.


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