Make a New Year’s Revolution

Stand up speak up fight backWe are reaching another of the Dieting Axis of Evil days – New Year’s. Where we are inundated with messages insisting that it’s in our best interest to resolve to diet, again. The Underpants Rule is very clear on this – people are allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies and that includes attempting to manipulate their size and shape because they think it will improve their health, or that it will stop bullying and stigmatization, or for whatever reason.

People are also allowed to choose NOT to try to lose weight for whatever reason we want – whether it’s because we believe that the research shows behavior, not body size, give us the best chance for health (knowing that health is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control), or because we believe that bullying and social stigma should be solved by ending bullying and social stigma, not by giving the bullies our lunch money.  But this time of year that group doesn’t find much support.

I get a lot of e-mails for people this time of year asking “If I’m not making a weight loss resolution, what resolution can I make?”

I’m glad you asked!

Instead of a New Years Resolution, we can make a New Year’s Revolution.  There is no doubt that we live in a culture that was created around the idea that there is there is only one standard of beauty, and that it requires digital retouching and photo illustration to achieve it.  There is so much pressure to buy into this culture where the beauty and diet industries make billions by convincing us that we are not good enough, and probably never will be, that just waking up and not hating ourselves is an act of revolution, and that’s a pretty good place to start!

With that in mind, here are some ideas to create your own New Year’s Revolution (as always, these are just suggestions,  your mileage may vary and feel free to change any of these to make them work for you.)

  • Resolve to make your first thought of every day one of gratitude for your body, maybe put a note on your ceiling that reminds you to start each day saying something like “You’re a great body and I really appreciate you” (if you need a little help finding the love, this might help.)
  • Create a little mantra to say to yourself (or, hey, out loud if you want to) every time you hear a message that’s meant to make you feel bad about yourself so that you buy a product.  My personal mantra is “That’s BULLSHIT!” but you create one that works for you (and feel free to share it in the comments if you’d like!)
  • Resolve to stop participating in negative body talk – about other people and your own body.  Start with what comes out of your own brain/mouth (when you start to have a negative thought or utterance, replace it with something positive), and then consider the conversations that you are part of. Maybe when others start body snarking you just walk away, or maybe you say “I wish we could live in a world where we saw the beauty in everyone and didn’t try to tear other people down,” or maybe you say “I made a New Year’s Revolution to stop negative body talk, I’m just not interested in being part of a toxic culture any more.”
  • Resolve to do one piece of activism every week (or day, or month, or whatever) it could be something as simple as posting something body positive to your social media, or interrupting negative body talk, or writing an e-mail to a company that is using the creation of self-loathing as a marketing tactic, or sending a thank you letter to someone who supports you on your journey to size acceptance, or posting a body positive comment to a body negative space online.
  • Resolve to reach out and join/create community – join/create a body positive club at your school or work, join/create a body positive meet-up or Facebook group, subscribe to blogs/tumblrs/instagrams etc. who supports your goals
  • If you are choosing health goals, consider making them about behaviors, consider making them additive (an extra glass of water, or serving of vegetables, or hour of sleep a night) rather than choosing “never to do/eat/be [whatever] again”.
  • Resolve to cut yourself some slack if you aren’t able to do these goals 100% of the time. We’re pushing back against a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy that is invested in convincing us to buy into a culture where self-loathing is the norm, and where we see buying diet and beauty products as our only way out. So if we slip back into this mentality it’s not a big shock – I think that the best thing we can do when it happens is recognize it and move on.

The diet and beauty industry machine that oppresses us runs on our time, energy, and money.  When we take the fuel away, the machine ceases to run.  That’s going to happen, but it’s going to take some time.  For now we can help change the whole world by changing our world, and staging a personal New Year’s Revolution.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

If you’re looking for fun fitness stuff to do in the New Year without any diet talk, weight loss talk, or body shaming, but with lots of fun, flexibility, and body positivity, check out the Fit Fatties Forum Virtual Event Challenge!

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.


Published in: on December 29, 2014 at 11:44 am  Comments (19)  

19 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What can you resolve to do if you don’t resolve to lose weight?

    Resolve to learn to cook a new cuisine, to take voice lessons, to start conquering your fear of heights, to read a classic novel every month, to improve your bridge game, to be more diligent about recycling, to spend more time with your dog… anything you think would improve your life.

    And of course, as per usual, Ragen has some lovely suggestions that seriously do improve our lives.

  2. I like this suggestion of something to do instead of a resolution:

    Make a rememberence jar for 2015 and fill it with all the things you do during the year you are proud of. Then at the end you can read through all the things you did.

    • I really like that! It sounds like a good reminder of what to continue with and what to reflect on.

  3. My favorite response to all the body-shaming commercials in January, is imagining Carol Kane in “The Princess Bride” screaming “Liar! LIAR!! LI-AA-AARR!!!”. (Will supply video link after work, no computer access…)

    • Here we go! (later than I wanted. Got sick, feeling better now)
      Happy New Year, all!

      • Sorry, it looks like a playlist loaded instead of just the video clip (which is very short).

        My YouTube-fu is weak…

  4. “Instead of a New Years Revolution, we can make a New Year’s Revolution. ” I think you have on “v” too many – and are one S short – in the first Revolution.

  5. This year I am resolved to not let my families crap get to me any more. Its going to be really hard, especially with the crap that happened at Christmas but this crap has to stop and I am going to stop feeling like crap over it.

  6. This blog is freaking awesome. I’ve been reading it for a few hours and I feel so much better about myself. I was sitting here thinking about the holiday’s with my family. It was horrible. I was just so humiliated by the way they spoke down to me, made snide comments and just made me feel so ashamed because of my weight. But if I am happy with myself and I don’t care, why should they?

    This gives me so much hope and really empowers me. Thank you so much. My New Years Resolution is to be stronger. I know what is right for me. And I won’t let anyone make me feel bad about me. Thank you.

  7. This is from the LA marathon site:

    Is there a time limit to complete the Marathon?

    Yes. The 6 hour, 30 minute time limit means race officials will reopen streets to vehicular traffic on a rolling basis at a 15:00 per mile pace. Participants still on the course at this time will be required to move to the sidewalks and obey all traffic signals. Participants who cross the finish line after 6:30:00 are not guaranteed to be recognized as Official Finishers and are not guaranteed a medal or finishing time.

    Is there another official site?

    • Thanks for responding with this! For those who missed the buildup, I blogged yesterday about postponing my marathon because the LA Marathon that I was going to do changed their guaranteed finish time from 8 hours to 6.5 hours. One of the haters who is completely obsessed with me got through comment moderation today and then having, as they all seem to have, a ton of free time on their hands they left a bunch of comments about how I could still finish and get a medal, which is (big surprise) misleading. But as you can see from the website, they are not guaranteeing a medal or finish time for those who finish past 6.5 hours. When I first noticed the issue I sent an e-mail to the LA Marathon in which I wrote:

      “Last year the website said that those who finish in more than 8 hours are not guaranteed a medal or finishers time and this year it says that those who finish after 6.5 hours are not guaranteed a medal for finishing time, I’m wondering about that change specifically.”

      Carsten F. Preisz (the Vice president of Brand Strategy and Marketing) wrote back

      “Since the “Stadium to the Sea” course was introduced, we have had to dismantle the finish line area on Ocean Blvd. per our agreement with City of Santa Monica to allow re-opening of traffic late afternoon. With the dismantling of the finish area, the timing function becomes disabled at which point we no longer can provide an official finish time.”

      So while it’s nice that they may still give me a medal if I finish in 8 hours, that is not the same thing as getting an official finish time which is what I want – I’m only doing one more marathon before the IM and I want an official finish time,, I have a year and 11 months until the IM which is plenty of time to fit a marathon in, so I’m not worried.

      Sorry about all of the ridiculous comments, thanks so much for helping out Isstrout!


      • No worries! I wondered about that comment, but I guess you can’t catch everything. 🙂

  8. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes the week before Thanksgiving. Ever since then, weight has been a subject on many people’s lips (myself included). Thing is, I didn’t start rapidly gaining weight UNTIL I ended up with diabetes. But people like to blame me (aka, my diet) for getting diabetes.

    Ironically, my New Year’s Resolution this year had nothing to do with dieting or weight loss. My resolution is to create and stick to a household budget, and pay down our school debt a little. 🙂

    There are many other goals in life than trying to alter our packaging.

    • Don’t people realize diabetes is genetic and you can’t get it if you don’t have genes regardless of what you eat or weigh?

      And if you do have the genes, you will develop it at some point, again, regardless of what you eat or weigh?

      I don’t know all of your health stuff, but part of my health stuff is a tendency and to gain and hold onto weight due to PCOS.

      Good luck with your resolutions and have a happy new year!

    • Last year, when I was seeing my new endocrinologist for the first time (for thyroid issues) he told me that I’ve developed insulin resistance, aka “pre-diabetes.” As we were talking about my overall health concerns, I said “I don’t understand why I’ve gained 30 pounds in the past couple of years even though I’m not eating more and I’ve increased my exercise.” And he said “You’ve gained weight BECAUSE you’ve become insulin-resistant.” In other words, at least in his understanding of the way this works, insulin resistance leads to weight gain, not the other way around.

  9. I love these ideas. I wrote a similar blog post and am linking to yours as well for all the great suggestions.

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