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New year resolutions

(13 Posts)
Chipsahoy Wed 28-Dec-16 11:33:41

I am not sure this is the right place to put this, but I didn't know where else.

So the people I work with were all discussing resolutions for the new year pre Christmas. There was the usual, lose weight, bikini body for summer (ugh) and the drink less wine. I kept quiet.

I know when I go back next week I'll be encouraged to share mine. They were on about supporting each other with them, so will want me to be involved. They are nice really.

I don't believe in new yr resolutions and I want to say that without coming across stand offish. I want to explain why I feel that way and I don't know how.

One reason is the pressure to improve oneself at the new yr, with weight loss etc. I don't need to do that. I don't need to take up exercise and I don't need to give up wine.
My every day is about self improvement. I'm undoing therapy to get over years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. I've gone from barely existing with my PTSD, to learning to live, really live, with it. I work my ass off in therapy and I work hard every day to ensure I stay well. I barely drink alcohol. I eat well, I exercise every day. Because these things keep me well.

I have goals and plans but right now, I am doing more than most people do to improve, simply, in order to be well. I have to do these things because of what male violence did to me, I don't do it for a bikini body, I don't do it for men, I do it because of men. And ultimately, in learning and shifting that to focus on doing it for me. Self care and self love.

So I hate the idea that we can only self improve in the new yr. It's setting ourselves up for a fall. If you want to do it, just do it, set an intention, set a goal, but not something that feels so forced.

Argh. I'm not explaining myself here at all. I want to be honest, real to myself and part of that is not to lie, but also not over share.

I guess this is sort of pointless, cos I know I'm not making sense. This just bothers me. Can anyone understand what I mean?

Prawnofthepatriarchy Wed 28-Dec-16 12:03:56

I understand exactly what you mean and, yes, it is a feminist issue in that your suffering, which you are so courageously fighting was brought into your life through male violence, and the constant reiterations of New Year resolutions to get that perfect bikini body (i.e. meet male beauty standards) seem pretty shallow and sick compared to your own fight.

Tbh, I am in awe of the work and dedication you are putting into your recovery. It reminds me of my early years in AA, though the details differ. I can promise you that it's worth it. The passion and commitment I put into changing my life gave me a foundation I rely on still.

I agree with you about New Year resolutions. The whole thing is a bit silly. I gave up making them after breaking them year after year.

It'll be tricky because the people you're describing clearly want to support you. Perhaps you could say something along the lines of "I've had some tough times growing up that I'm still dealing with. I work on healing myself every day, but it's still a sensitive subject and I would rather not discuss it. However I know you will wish me well in my progress. Working with lovely people like you is a support in itself.

I wish you all the very best in your healing. flowers

TrustySnail Wed 28-Dec-16 12:04:04

I don't believe in New Year Resolutions either - my feeling is that if you need or want to make a lifestyle change you should make it at the time that feels right for you, rather than defaulting to January 1st.

Having said that, I can understand why some people choose January 1st for weight loss resolutions - it's a good time in the sense that you're likely to be tired of rich food, there's less social pressure/temptation to indulge, no one's bringing cakes into the office etc. If you're the sort of person who is spurred on by friendly competition, sharing stories etc. it can work well - same goes for other common resolutions like stopping smoking. If it works for some people, great, but it's not for everyone.

You shouldn't feel you have to give a detailed explanation, and I can't see why your friends should think you are stand-offish if you simply say that you are intending to keep up the healthy habits you already have. You can support them by sharing any healthy eating or exercise tips without it having to be framed as part of a New Year Resolution.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being clear that you are living healthily for the sake of your own wellbeing, rather than because you want a 'bikini body' or whatever. Everyone's motivation will be different - I am sure an explanation that you just want to feel physically healthy and/or emotionally well would be respected, without the need for you to share more background than you are comfortable with.

0phelia Wed 28-Dec-16 16:47:54

Sounds as though you are suffering from "Strong Woman syndrome"
As in...
The strong woman is someone able to take a huge weight on her shoulders. A survivor. Able to stand a big punch in the face... Able to live with abuse and still smile through it.....
You don't get to be a "strong woman" without having your fair share of trauma.

I have strong woman syndrome. (Being a survivor of CSA and prostitution).
You see things differently. You can see shallow, frivolous aims for what they are, and are consequently perhaps less sympathetic to new year resolutions as a result.

I agree New year's resolutions are a waste of time.

illegitimateMortificadospawn Wed 28-Dec-16 17:31:43

While I get the point you are making about short term new year's resolutions and the wider effort you are making, it's OK just to say you don't have any or to tell a socially convenient lie e.g. about "eating healthily" which you covered off in your OP. There's no need to explain or qualify anything, but equally nor should you judge other people's motivations or aims. Each to their own, I say.

Chipsahoy Wed 28-Dec-16 17:40:17

Thanks all.

I guess I was looking for understanding and a little validation, which I got, thank you.

I agree with you 0phelia. I have always seem it differently, the world I mean. A dark side I don't believe most see. It's hard to explain. After so much therapy I see people differently, life too. Things that matter and things that do not. Trivial things that others deal with that I just cannot understand. It's why I post stuff like that on this board, much more understanding and allowances for working out what we think and feel here, than in other parts of mn.

Thank you for reading and contributing, I appreciate it.

QueenOfTheSardines Wed 28-Dec-16 18:32:53


Just say "oh I don't really do new years resolutions" and smile and leave it at that

Or if you think they're going to go on about it

Make up a couple of really innocuous ones eg find time to read more

QueenOfTheSardines Wed 28-Dec-16 18:34:14

I also think new years resolutions are bollocks by the way but mainly because I think if you want to make a change then you should just do it and the whole new years thing is just totally arbitrary.

DeepAndCrispAndEvenTheWind Wed 28-Dec-16 19:35:38

I do Resolutions, but understand why others don't.

How about innocuous ones like Queen says, eg discovering a couple of new authors you like and visiting a town you've never been to. Things that you might like to do but which aren't emotionally meaningful to you in a way you don't want to share at work.

DeviTheGaelet Wed 28-Dec-16 22:19:25

You sound amazing OP
New years resolutions piss me off. They don't last then everyone feels guilty in February because they haven't lost a stone/they fell off the wagon/they shouted at their kids/they only had sex with their husbands once last week blah blah blah. I really don't think the depths of winter is the right time to decide to make big life changes! So as you can probably guess I don't do resolutions either! And I don't feel any guilt about just saying "I don't do it". If pushed I will say what I said above.

Chipsahoy Thu 29-Dec-16 10:42:05

Thanks all. I don't think I want to make stuff up, just to avoid questions. That seems the opposite of all the stuff I've been working on. I've lived with lies, in lies and lied forever. It's important that I'm always truthful now. It's just hard to find the balance between being truthful and saying too much.
I feel like a new me, a real new me has emerged and at times I feel like a toddler or a child, experiencing everything for the first time. Testing boundaries, working out what's ok and what's not, what I want to say and what I do not. It's exciting and scary at the same time.
I have and will post questions like these I guess, while I learn and find my feet. This seems like a safe enough space with understanding people and varying view points.

Thanks again.

QueenOfTheSardines Fri 30-Dec-16 11:22:31

Ooh how about -when they ask - you can say "I'm having a year off them this year" or "I'm not going to bother this year" or something which will deflect them hopefully and not mean you needing to make stuff up!

TheMortificadosDragon Fri 30-Dec-16 11:29:40

How about 'live in a way which is true to myself' ? Not that this is a NY thing for you, of course.

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