Five New Year’s Revolutions

DefendIt’s that time of year again, we are being pressured everywhere we look to lose weight.  Tons of offers for weight loss products and plans.  It can be hard to resist the urge.  The beginning of a diet holds so much promise – maybe this time it might work, and I’ll be thin and all of my problems will go away and I’ll solve social stigma by changing myself!

Except we know good and well that the most likely outcome is that we’ll lose weight in the beginning and then slowly gain it back plus more. It’s not your imagination, it’s what happens the vast majority of the time.  So this year, I’m going to pass on resolving to feed my body less food than it needs in the hopes that it will eat itself and become smaller.  In the world we live in, waking up and not hating yourself is a revolutionary act.  Here are some ideas for a New Year’s Revolution:

1.  Add something.  I don’t know about you but I spent a lot of time giving things up, making resolutions about what I was not going to do, doing diets that restricted certain foods or entire food groups.  Things really shifted for me when I turned health into an additive process – another serving of vegetables, another glass of water, another day of movement etc.

2.  While you’re doing all of that adding, here’s something to consider subtracting:  negative body talk – including your own body.  Become conscious of your thoughts, interrupt negative thoughts about bodies (including yours) and replace them with positive thoughts.  Try this quick exercise to get started.

3.  Fight back.  Sometimes activism is about changing the world, but sometimes it’s about making ourselves feel better because we know that we’ve stood up to the bully.  This can take so many forms – post something body positive on your Social Media, comment on social media when you see something you don’t think is right, call ahead and ask the restaurant if they have armless chairs, call out fat shaming when you see it,  tell that friend or family member that conversations about your weight are off limits, start a petition.  If there’s anything that I can do to support you, e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org.

4.  Find and Create Community.  There is amazing Size Acceptance community online, and you can look for local community as well.  Check out meet-ups (or start a meet-up of your own), get a couple plus-sized friends and stage a fat clothing  exchange,  create a support network (online, in person, or both) that you can share the good times and victories with, and turn to when things get tough.

5.  Come out. Ok, if you come out as fat people are likely to think that you had a few too many glasses of champagne at the New Year’s Party.  I’m talking about coming out as being part of Size Acceptance and/or practicing Health at Every Size, or resolving never to diet again.  I am still shocked at the number of people I meet who are dieting even though it doesn’t work and hating their bodies because they just don’t know there is another option.  Obviously nobody is ever required to come out, but by doing so we create new options for people. Of course they get to make their own decisions (just like we do) but you never know when you might give someone an option that they will take and use to make their lives so much better. Plus, being “out” is another way to tell the bullies that they can’t have our lunch money anymore.

Whatever you do, know that the world is seriously screwed up and you are fine, and that resolving not to hate yourself, not matter how you go about it, makes you a revolutionary!

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Published in: on January 2, 2014 at 11:51 am  Comments (11)  

11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for such positive suggestions in a negative social world! Happy New Year!

  2. I’ve learned not to make myself crazy when the world gets hard. Then my NY resolution is to NOT listen to Lionel Ritchie music. I can go decades and make this one resolution last.

  3. Happy New Year to you Ragen! What a fantastic blog today! I love it-being positive about life and enjoying it for the short time we’re here on planet earth! It is revolutionary thinking for a lot of people. I’m so tired of all the negativity from others, but mostly from inside my head! I’ve been working on that. It’s hard and takes practice, but so worth while!
    I am proud that I’ve already been doing 1 & 2 for about 6 months now and love it. I’ve been adding more veggies and fruit and do fill up faster and feel better about myself for putting in better fuel. I can’t wait till the middle of this month to see the results in my blood work. I even have lost a little weight-I believe as a side bonus-yea!
    I wish you the most success in all that you do this year and good health along the way. A big THANK YOU for all that you do in standing up for all people, everywhere to stop bullying. Many blessings, Laura

  4. I made exactly one new years’ resolution this year: Take more selfies.

  5. My resolutions for 2014? Take more time for doing crafts and try at least three new foods.

    I like resolutions about adding things that improve my happiness. Good food, tossing bobbins, and stabbing wool rovings into shapes all make me happy.

    • Ooh, you needle felt too!? I would love to see your creations! I’ve been felting for 3 months and it is my favorite thing EVAR!

  6. Weight loss dieting increases the body weight set point.

  7. Happy New Year everyone. The focus of my 2014 will be my new daughter, now 6 weeks old and happy and healthy. And I resolve to call out fat shaming and negative body talk when I see it. I wish us all more happiness, more friendships, more appreciation, more cooperation, and more self love.

  8. I have never been much for NY resolutions, but revolutions–I can get behind that! I really like the concept of adding more healthful factors to my life, so this is one I intend to embrace in 2014, but a big one for me is Speaking Up. Hence my comment here (which I have done in the past but not often). Happy New Year to you, Ragen, and to all the fabulous folks here who I feel I have come to know at least a little by reading their insightful, pithy, and hilarious comments–Twistie and Helena, you two spring to mind immediately! May it be a big fat wonderful year for us all.

    • That is really sweet, and I’m very touched!! And I’m so glad you spoke up – your voice is lovely and I’d love to hear it more often. 🙂 May 2014 be an amazing year for you!!

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