Last year I wrote a piece about failed New Year’s Resolutions. Now, another Resolution season is almost upon us, and, in this DWF annual tradition, I find myself reflecting on one of the most commonly failed New Year’s Resolutions — weight loss. Even for those who manage to lose weight, almost everyone will gain it all back, with the majority gaining back more than they lost.
Trying to make major life changes at the end of a holiday season that can leave us broke and physically and mentally exhausted is difficult enough and sets us up for failure.
But what’s the alternative?
Every year people make the life-changing, life-affirming decision to stop waging a losing war with their bodies and get off the diet roller coaster. However, when it’s time to make their resolutions, they often get stuck with a pretty basic question — if not weight loss, then what?
The good news is when we decide to stop spending our time, money, and energy trying to manipulate our body size, a whole world of possibilities opens up.
Here are some ideas to kick off the New Year by ditching dieting and creating a revolution in your own life.
One of the best places to start your revolution is to resolve to stop participating in negative body talk, starting with your mouth. When you have a negative thought or utterance, replace it with something (anything!) positive.
Decide to start and end every day by appreciating your body. Maybe put a note on your bathroom mirror or the ceiling above your bed that reminds you to bookend your day thinking or saying something like, “You’re a great body and I appreciate you” or “Thanks for everything you did for me today!”
While you’ve become wise to the ways of the diet industry, they are still out there duping people. And they’re good at it — to the tune of over $60 billion a year. They use plenty of that money to pummel us with a ceaseless barrage of marketing.
To avoid being tempted back into the weight loss equivalent of three-card Monty, you can resolve to create a quick phrase and say it to yourself (or out loud if you want to) every time you hear a message meant to make you feel bad about yourself or sell you a diet. My mantra is “Hey, that’s bullshit!” I have heard from other people who use phrases like “Never again, diet scum” and “Nope! Nope! Nope!” It can be anything that helps remind you to appreciate and support your body in a way that dieting won’t allow.
If you are choosing goals that support your health, first remember that health is not a barometer of worthiness entirely within our control or guaranteed under any circumstance. So, focus on setting goals around behaviors you can control rather than outcomes you can’t.
While you’re at it, consider making them additive (start getting body work, work on creating stronger social connections, drink an extra glass of water, eat a serving of vegetables, or get an extra hour of sleep at night etc.) rather than restrictive (like saying that you’ll never do/eat/be [whatever] again). If you’re looking for support in weight neutral-discussions of fitness, you can check out the Fit Fatties community on Facebook.
Also, remember to cut yourself some slack – making resolutions that don’t have any flexibility for the realities of life is just setting ourselves up to fail.
Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)
Sick of diet talk? Want to tell fatphobes to take a hike? Want to explain how important fat-friendly seating is? There are songs for that. Jeanette DePatie and I have collaborated on some revamped holiday songs that we are releasing between now and the new year! Below is a playlist of the songs we’ve released so far. If you want to make sure not to miss future videos, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective. This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)
This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)
Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here! (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)
I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .