It’s 1st January and all you can hear are howls of ‘new year, new you’. Which makes me want to gag. I mean, excuse me: What was so wrong with the OLD you? For a long time during my twenties and thirties, I compared myself to others – and it only made me sad. I was tormented by thin, happy, healthy people. I would see joggers whizzing around the streets in the early morning as I returned home from a night out, the self-loathing seeping into my bones. I never dreamt I was a runner. I was (am) a dawdler, a loafer and a smoker. Until one day, I decided that I didn’t want to think about what I couldn’t do – I wanted to think about what I could do. And so began my journey to self-acceptance. Last year, I ran all 26 miles of my second London Marathon – in my underwear. You don’t have to run a marathon in your knickers, obviously. But every time you find yourself thinking that you need to be a ‘new’ version of you, stop. And remember: this new year, you just need to be fearlessly, unapologetically you.
10 tips from Bryony Gordon on how to stop beating yourself up:
- Eat: A piece of cake every now and then – BUT don’t punish yourself for days afterwards.
- Drink: A glass of wine if you feel like one. Just maybe not 5 or 6.
- Run: Just once this January, and see how it goes.
- Be: Fearlessly and unapologetically YOU. Do not compare yourself to the person sitting next to you at work.
- Dance: To a Beyonce to a dance work-out. Ditch the spin class if it’s not working for you.
- Enjoy: A few sober evenings at home each week.
- Walk: If you can’t make it to the end of the race, walk. The most important thing is getting there in the first place.
- Take time: You and a girlfriend to a weekend away every now and then. Do it.
- Sleep: Before 11pm at least 2 times a week.
- Accept: Your body and your mind, and never be ashamed of it.