“New year, new me.” This is a common phrase we hear when New Year’s is around the corner. New Year’s resolutions are an exciting feature of the new year, but often people forget those resolutions the next day.
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the top New Year’s resolutions for 2017 were losing weight and eating healthier (21.4 percent).
Finding themselves tempted by drinks, pizza and fast food, many people are not able to truly commit to their resolutions. Amongst sharing memes about food and trying to lose weight, they begin to admit that a New Year’s resolution of having a healthy, “summer” body seems like only a dream.
Senior biomedical sciences major Antonio Warren has been working in the fitness center for three years. Over the course of his time there, he has made many observations regarding people’s fitness failures.
“I think body image plays a lot to how much and how many people work out and who all works out,” Warren said.
“For instance, the more you are insecure about your body, the less you work out,” Warren said. “We have people who come in for a few weeks or whatever and think that they are going to drastically change their body in a short amount of time. And those are the people that ultimately quit within a few weeks or so.
“But I believe the more secure you are in your current image of your body that you have now, you’ll go through the process and take the time it takes in order to change your body. You will wait the months that it takes to go through that process to achieve that physical goal.”
Victoria’s Secret’s 2014 “Perfect Body” campaign caused much controversy with 27,000 people signing a petition requesting the lingerie company to apologize and change the campaign, according to The Huffington Post.
The ad showcased Victoria’s Secret models wearing lingerie. People debated how normal individuals did not have bodies a fashion model had and how the ad could be psychologically harmful to young people.
While the models have physical criteria that need to be fulfilled, people are unsatisfied with the social standards being set.
The ad also sparked inspiration in a New York-based retailer, Dear Kate, to include people of all shapes and sizes from different ethnicities to create an imitation that was much more applauded.
But who defines these beauty standards? It all comes down to perception and choice, according to Warren.
“Really, to me it’s your personal choice, you know,” Warren said. “It comes back to how secure you are in your body, so if you like what you see when you look in the mirror, you won’t become distracted by all the outside noise.”
Ultimately, having a positive body image is required in order to achieve whatever body goals you have.
“No matter what size you are, the most important thing for me is to be healthy,” Jessica Shrestha, a freshman computer science major from Kathmandu, Nepal, said.
“This year’s resolution for me is to lose the weight that I gained after I came here,” Shrestha said. “It’s really difficult for international students to maintain their health after coming to a completely new place.”
“Don’t concentrate on the outer appearance; concentrate on what’s inside,” Janet Gatson, lecturer and health professions adviser, said. “If you’re eating healthy and exercising, it makes you feel better, and if you love yourself, that creates a good body image no matter how much you weigh or how you look.”
Plenty of resources are available to those who want to lose or gain weight, whether they want to have curves or build muscle.
On the other hand, if a person is confident in his or her own skin, it doesn’t matter what others have to say. Just be healthy and happy!