Shameless Inspiration

The fight for fat acceptance is a going to be a long haul, so today I thought I would post and oldie but goodie about inspiration.

I am unrepentant inspiration junkie. The theme of Greatest American Hero is always on rotation on my iPhone. “Believe it or not Iiiiiiiiii’m walking on air… ” (I always loved that show.  Just a normal guy who got a suit with some gifts he didn’t understand – he overcame his fear and made the most of it.  Awesome.)

I have vision boards with pictures of what I want and words like “Inspire” and “Change Reality” all over my house.

I have a blue box with hundreds of motivational quotes that I painstakingly wrote on index cards from the time I was in middle school.

This is one of my favorite videos:


Some people I know make fun of me good-naturedly.  They say it’s silly, they say that they are too jaded for such cheesy things to motivate or inspire them.  They imply that I am perhaps a bit of a simpleton for deriving motivation and inspiration from Michael Bolton singing Go the Distance from Hercules.   They may well be right and as usual I’m not saying anyone else has to crank up the Michael Bolton.  So maybe I am kind of cheesy and simple when it comes to this.

I.  Do.  Not.  Care.

We live in a world where we can get 386,170 negative messages about my body every year and so those of us who choose to love ourselves and our bodies, and those of us who want to let other people know that they can do the same if they choose not only have to actively reject every single one of those messages but then find the energy to shout new messages at the top of our voices.

For me – I want to stand on top of the mountain and see the view of a world that embraces bodies of all shapes and sizes and the beauty in every person, and I’m willing to fight for that.

You know how every 18 year old thinks they and their friends can change the world? Now that I’m 35 though…

…I’m absolutely CERTAIN we can.  For me, I want to see who can I be, what difference can I make  if I do everything that I possibly can.

The catch is that in order to do that we have to avoid buying into all those negative messages.  We have to conquer fear after fear after fear.  We have to fail spectacularly and not let our failures get us down.  We can’t become jaded and bitter, no matter how many life experiences we have that make jaded and bitter seem like a reasonable things to be. We have to be honest and authentic  and avoid settling, even when things are hardest and an easier, safer option seems like a good idea; and no matter how many people would find us less weird/obnoxious/cheesy/intimidating  if we did.  Maybe we’ll be cheesy simpletons, but we’ll be cheesy simpletons who are KICKING ASS!

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Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact, with foreword by Marilyn Wann is now available for pre-order.   This is a book about living life in the body that you have now, making decisions about what you want in the future, and how to get there.  Whether you want to change your body, fight for size acceptance, just live your life, or understand and support your fat friends and family, this book was written to provide the insights, aha moments, humor, and hard facts to help.



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12 thoughts on “Shameless Inspiration

  1. That “DARE” Video is still one of my all time favorites, and I cry every time. I know it’s a commercial but I don’t care, who ever designed it and thought of that idea is freaking genius.
    It’s damn near perfect in that we ALL know at least ONE of those fears, or being in those situations, and we have ALL had times where we scoured up our courage, put on our big girl (or boy) underpants and walked into the situation with our heads held high.
    And that’s what it’s all really about isn’t it.
    Taking all this fat Hate and saying “No I will NOT shame me from being a nude model, actress, dancer, artist, musician, professional, nurse, Doctor, athlete ,PERSON…you will NOT! I am Me and even if I can;t say I am beautiful yet.I can at least stand here in my skin strong, can you say the same?”

    That is what this WHOLE thing is about. It happened during segregation, it happened during women’s rights, it;s happening now for LGBT rights, and it IS happening for Body acceptance rights.

    It just takes that couple of extra seconds to remember that

    I am SO glad I am able to live it every day, and I hope that when I do something like get on stage with no fear of my body, that other will then think “well if she can do that without fear, maybe I can tackle my own goals without fear”

    ❤ you Regan!!!!

    1. Just a reminder that it’s STILL happening for people of color and for women (including women of color).

      1. You are absolutely right! If it seemed I was neglecting to include that most of the most common rights that people should have and don’t doesn’t exists, then I apologize. I know racism still exists, I know that Chauvinism still exists, Hell, I can’t go one day without someone making some off the cuff comment about a Minority or a woman as a stereotype, and it seems that the LGBT community (or individuals) are also slammed at least once a day by someone I know in my prescience. Sometimes it is not mean as a bad thing (it’s always bad, stay with me here) The person is for equal rights, it’s just those horrible things we say that seem like..Oh for example a younger person calling someone a “Retard” that is awful because it is insulting to a person who has some mental disabilities, but people still do it.

        Larger scale…change takes time. It still exists, but I do feel that with HE/and HAES we are at least moving in the right direction. And with a lot of those other issues, some being quite old, the struggle still goes on.
        But hey, if it wasn’t worth fighting for..well…would we fight for it? in ANY area of people being put down because they are different?

  2. I love it when you are inspirational like this! This is the part I am working on. It’s always good to hear the science-y facts reiterated and the shaming called out for what it is, but your last couple of posts are filling in a gap for me about what to do with that information emotionally.

    I dreamed last night that I was explaining to a thin woman why I am not dieting. In my dream I heard myself articulating why. Her teen daughters came and heard only enough to be concerned that I was passing out diet advice to their mother who wasn’t fat. I told them I wasn’t telling their mom she should diet, that she looked fabulous, and that my new philosophy was thinking I look a little bit fabulous too in my own way. The girls smiled their approval at this, totally taking me by surprise. I felt encouraged.

    Have a great day, Ragen! Thank you for being an encourager!

  3. I remember going into your room and seeing all those beautifully written inspirational index cards. They made me so proud of you and they inspired me too.

    Just like you still inspire me today, you’re amazing, and the world needs people like you who in the face of all the negativity can be a positive, funny and witty influence

  4. Ragen, Go see the movie “For the Greater Good” . Want to be inspired? I cant tell you why as it will give it all away. Just go see it and then you will know. I found I can have strength if I choose to.

  5. Hello everyone, Im going to stand up for Ragen here. I am not a great speller, and I see some of you arent either. But her name is spelled
    with the A frist and the E second like this Ragen. I know she hasnt said anything because she is a greater person than I am.

  6. No matter how much ass we are kicking, I think we all need to replenish the well now and again. Whether we find that inspiration in Michael Bolton, Frank Capra movies (I’m not ashamed to say that Mr. Smith Goes to Washington has actually moved me to tears on more than one occasion), or something else entirely, it’s a good thing to let yourself have what you need.

    It’s the only way to keep on fighting in a world that’s fighting us tooth and nail.

  7. <3.

    A friend and I were discussing how, since graduating college, coming and being home has been detrimental to our body positiveness. Families tend to pick at you more than the anyone, mostly because they feel like they have the right to say ' should you really be eating that?'

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again (and again and again) for being one source I can always count on to get my body-love. I find that stopping by here, even just to peruse comments or flip through blog titles, helps me remember who I am, what my body is capable, and why I love it unconditionally – and why I should keep fighting to help others feel the same.

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