Health & Wellbeing

New Year, Same Me: Bodies (Part One)

Welp, we’ve made it through a whole year of teaching. When did that happen? It’s true what they say about time passing faster the older you get. Both freaky and kind of humbling, in a way. Just when I’m starting to thoroughly enjoy my existence, too. Not that I didn’t before, but also – sometimes we don’t, you know?

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and Pākehā New Years period, filled with laughing, good kai, and only going a little bit insane. In my whānau context, ours looks like kids tenting in the backyard, pavlova city, trifle up to your eye balls (still never quite enough) and goofy games. Unfortunately, Zumba made no such appearance this year, but I introduced my fam to the hat game, and we played many a Kubb and a fierce round of badminton doubles with my heavily pregnant cousin who did not disappoint.

Every Body is a Beach Body

At this time of year it’s pretty normal to harbour a number of negative feels around body image, relationship to food. I have spent way too much of my 25 years hating my body, feeling guilty or ashamed of putting on weight, having stretch marks, a fuller face as my body has fluctuated over time. Horrifically, that’s pretty typical for the average woman/afab person (and not uncommon for cis-men either, even if it can present differently). In large part, it’s because of all the implicit and explicit messages of what a body should look like, accrued over a lifetime. Baked into magazines, tv shows, pop culture, social media. Echoed in changing rooms, at family dinners, coffee meet ups with friends, visits to the GP. But we know this already; it’s old news. How can we start to unpack it and undo the harm?

Changing Your Mind

Nowadays, I have a much healthier perception and appreciation for my body than I ever have. I’m still not where I want to be in terms of self-acceptance, but I have consciously changed behaviours which have made a huge difference:

  • I don’t weigh myself anymore
  • I don’t ever count calories
  • I don’t punish myself with exercise
  • I try not to hold onto clothes that haven’t fit me in years anymore
  • I spend more time naked
  • I speak kindly about mine and others bodies
  • I avoid partaking in conversations which centre a negative body image

If you have been feeling shit about your body recently, or if you would like to work on your thoughts, I highly recommend doing any and all of these things.

If you have been dreaming up New Years resolutions that pertain to your body, I challenge you to question where the want stems from, and whether it actually benefits you mentally and emotionally. You could include resolutions like:

  • I want to take up (yoga/swimming/basketball) for pleasure/stress relief/social/health benefits
  • I want to be more comfortable with my body by…
  • I want to get a better night’s sleep by… (reading every night/setting a devices deadline/meditating…)
  • I want to only speak positively and/or neutrally about my body by…

Lastly, what are your thoughts on New Years resolutions? What’s been your journey with body image so far? How are you being kind to yourself this year? I would love to hear your thoughts, wonderings and wishings.


Short and sweet homies, but hopefully it resonates x

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