Why We're Reclaiming New Year New You

30/12/2015 18:04 GMT | Updated 30/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Since time immemorial, New Year New You has been this terrible nonsense peddled by magazines and diet companies that January is the time to get a new self.

You know, because your old self is a pungent bag of crap that you must distance yourself from at all costs.

This new self should ideally be a lot thinner, which involves cutting out the foods you like and depriving yourself of life-sustaining booze in the coldest and most wretched of months, all of which combines to make you the Most Unhappiest You've Been All Year.

There is nothing wrong with a drive to get healthy, but the biggest bugbear with New Year New You is the insistence that thinness is better than all other body types and that attaining it will make you happier.

Thin people are not happier just because of their body type; just go and ask a model, like our chum Miranda Kerr who has said that they are some of the most insecure people you will ever meet.

It dangles this concept like a carrot, which is terrible for self-confidence if you don't achieve your goals and no wonder it is hard to swallow. (Metaphorically - on your NYNY diet you won't be allowed to eat anything but water and gruel).

In fact it's no surprise that most people abandon gym memberships or go back to bad eating habits before the end of January because this magical, thin self they have been groomed to want and expect just won't materialise.

The fact is that whatever your goals are: weight loss, a more active lifestyle, cutting back on sugar, quitting smoking, reducing the number of vinos per day, it takes a lot longer to see the benefits than four weeks.

Any kind of sustainable change that develops into a lifelong habit usually starts small (like maybe a daily walk rather than HIIT classes six times a week), it doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly won't produce quick results.

While it isn't the kind of sexy reinvention that will sell a thousand magazines or a million Fitbits, does that mean it isn't worth doing? Of course not.

That's why this year, we want to reclaim New Year New You.

Although for the last two years we've run a campaign called Say No To January that was a pushback against diet, detox and living like a pod person for four weeks, we want to embrace the idea of change but promote it in a sustainable way.

After all, January didn't do anything wrong - we did.

What should be a month of positivity and renewal has ended up being a misery month - a time of restriction and forced change.

So this month, let's look at how we want to add to our lives, rather than subtract from it.

That could include going down a dress size, eating more vegetables or even something completely unrelated to body size like travelling to somewhere you've always wanted to.

It's not about creating a new self. Rather, it's about giving your current self the courage to do the things it has always wanted to try.

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