Did you know that one of the most luxurious gyms in the world literally banned people from buying memberships in January? Yes, Equinox, a high-end gym (think gym, spa, shopping, dining, etc. all wrapped into one) spoke out this year saying, “We Don’t Speak January.” This has some people baffled and others saying, “I think I get it.” The reality is, many people start gyms or commit to eating healthy, reading more, getting more sleep, and all that New Year’s Resolution stuff, only to end up falling off the wagon, some within months, some within weeks, and some within days.
It’s a dilemma, we want to feel better, but most people just want to LOOK better. So, we jump on the treadmill and think, I got it. A couple of days in, eh, kind of boring, I’ll just go a little shorter today, maybe take today off. Then it becomes a few days off until we’ve totally forgotten why we wanted to be on the treadmill in the first place. Or we kill it, the pounds are coming off, people are commenting, the “likes,” on social media are happening, “we did it!” So, we take a break, just a short one. Only to come back the next January wondering what happened, oh yeah, we stopped.
Fitness isn’t a season, it’s a necessity. We know this. We know that for most people to be as healthful as possible and to keep their strength and independence they need to move their bodies, yet even at the cost of our own health, we just sometimes can’t do it. Too many people are living in shame over existing in their own bodies. The National Library of Medicine reports one in two women left the covid closures feeling unhappy with their bodies. If people don’t like their bodies, they feel shame, guilt, and fear over them. It’s going to be even harder to take care of them. Instead of the next fad diet or forcing yourself to “lose weight,” what if you allowed yourself the vulnerability of joining a group fitness class? Yes, a group. Before you go back into the shaming, remember, one in two women are feeling the same way! These groups of people aren’t so different from you!
If we are going to deconstruct the myths of New Year’s Resolutions, we need to deconstruct the myths we tell ourselves. This means, we take small steps (even literally) towards healing the wounds, so we don’t have to keep starting over, and it’s a lot easier to do it together. Groups are a way to connect, to find a sense of belonging, a fulfillment we can’t reproduce alone. If you are hoping to bring more movement into your life, do it. Move, go. But consider joining a community that’s also committed. It might take more courage for you than someone else, but who knows, maybe that person at work always talking about Zumba® was really scared to go at first. They share the joy now because they welcomed themselves to be worthy of healing and health.
New Year’s Resolutions and goals aren’t bad, they are great! But they require a commitment to planned action. No one ever got the body of their dreams or a mindset by beating themselves up about it. Psychologist Traci Mann, at the University of Minnesota, said, “Long-term weight loss happens to only the smallest minority of people.” Maybe that’s because there’s only a small number of people who are doing the hard work of allowing themselves to heal and allowing themselves to believe they deserve health. If your mindset is getting in the way, get to a group class, and come to The Wellness Center. Once you are here no negative self-talk can stop you. No amount of self-body shaming can keep you from your goals. Little by little, maybe you will be able to start seeing yourself in a new way, and that resolution becomes the solution to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled you, not for January, but forever!
Maybe what Equinox was trying to say isn’t “We Don’t Speak January,” maybe they were trying to say, “we want more for you! We want you to trust us for more than just one month. Do you trust you?”
Director of the Wellness Center