Dry Insta-Jan

‘Tis the season and the time of the year where we will undoubtedly start seeing 101 of our social media friends reel off the fruits of their labour that came with 2016. “I met some amazing people”, “Saw some incredible places”, when we really all know that half of these are just clutching at straws for likes and comments, and they actually just took a trip to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and stumbled across one of Made in Chelsea’s’ finest celebrities along the way.

I expect no less than 30 “New Year, New Me” endeavours from different people, with 99% of these not showing those actual written words in the boxes of their Facebook status, instead showing what these people feel is a unique take on what is practically the same motive; “Turning over a new leaf” being one of my personal favourites because we know full well that leaf isn’t going to be any greener on the other side and they’ll remain the same person they’ve always been. You can’t blame people for trying though eh?

Maybe you’re wondering why I am so okay about downgrading and insulting these past-loving, future-changing, epiphany-encountering people…?

…Because believe me, I once was one of those and only did TimeHop just remind me of being one only three years ago. What was a boastful status about how amazing my 2013 was, accompanied with bullet points listing everything that was great about it, was enough of a cringey reminder of how YOLO I thought my life was. So all offence aside, I’m really just insulting myself!

As for marking a new year and overturning the brown tinge that’s made its way over one side of your leaf, change happens and should happen at all times of the year, and not just at the turning of some other wretched year towards our death bed. Now how’s that for a happy New Year.

There’s a lot to be said about my 2016 and although it progressively got better, I by no means feel regretful bypassing all that was good about the year and saying that I can’t bloody wait to see the back of it. Thinking about the year ahead, I am so excited to make it a New Year because it will by all means actually be a completely New Year and not just some empty New Year, New Me garbage. I am fortunate enough to be starting in a brand new London-based job (shit, is this me boasting now?) officially starting on the 3rd, finally being able to dust away the dark cobwebs of a previous job, university study and select people, that only remind me of a darker time suffering with anorexia and distorted eating. My yearly gym membership has also passed its expiration date so the dawn of 2017 in a brand new gym will no longer remind me of the treadmills and other equipment where I’d spend an endless, miserable amount of time, relentlessly exercising on tired, skinny limbs. I hope that a new gym won’t scream all the past energy depletion I once felt and gives me a fresh new way to fuel my love for fitness – but I will miss Orange Theory desperately.

I have no desire to make any more changes now that 2017 is around the corner. I bloody well conquered and endured some of the worst months of an eating disorder, changed enough throughout the year to make it out the other side in what I feel as a now relatively normal human being. Okay maybe I’m boasting a little about my years’ achievements now, but screw hypocrisy because I had a blinder defeating anorexia and I’ve been boasting enough about it throughout the year on this blog anyway and not just now that it’s the end of the year.

Having said all that, I’ve decided a resolution should still be in order for my own personal reasons, which is where I now get back to the title of this post. No, I unfortunately am not giving up alcohol, though I’d still feel completely compelled to sponsor anyone else taking on the challenge because Dry January is certainly for a very good cause. I like alcohol, I love a cocktail and I kinda gave up far too much food and drink over the past few years anyway and just ended up starving myself to illness so there’ll be no more of that for me. Hardly one of my best decisions to date that was.

So instead of giving up something either edible, of monetary value or looking for a decent bloke that can handle me (something that seems to take care of itself) I’ve decided to go cold turkey with social media and deprive all access to Instagram for at least as long as January.

Though I’d love to state it be for a valued reason such as “appreciating life without pretty pictures” or “being less anti-social”, I’m unfortunately not on such a high moral, selfless plane as that. For weeks, months and years, I’ve found myself divulging into the filtered lives of what Instagram makes a person. Why I’ve felt the need to know that healthygal101 had turmeric porridge for breakfast in the skimpiest bowl only small flies could ever eat out of and needing to know that slimjim28’s weight loss journey saw them losing 2lb last week, which we probably all actually lost after our bowel movements yesterday anyway, I’ve decided that I achieve nothing but negative comparison in seeing the world behind these people that Instagram seems to shove in my face.

My goals are not the same as anyone else’s and everyone else’s goals won’t be the same as mine. I shouldn’t be spending so much energy and emotion scanning images of what I could look like, what I could be doing, what I should look like and what I should be doing because I am just not those people. I won’t be that thin, because I’m genetically not built that way and I actually quite like food now. I won’t be that ripped because I don’t think I’d have any femininity left about me if I was and I’m still pretty afraid of weights heavier than my handbag. And I won’t be that perfect in a picture because I don’t have the time and the patience to decide the optimum angle, background and shade of Valencia in order to look so.

Though I’ll probably never stop comparing the hatred I have of my body to the desire of other people’s, I can at least help minimise the problem by eliminating what is a potential causation of many of my underlining body image issues.

So it’s a Lo-Five from me now Instagram. Though I may Sierra you soon, I think it’s only Mayfair for my own self-esteem that we take a short break.

(You can tell I’m secretly an XX-pro on Instagram filters – that was the last one, I promise)