New Years is perhaps the most triggering of all holidays. Marketers take full advantage of the holiday, hoping to profit off of people’s resolutions. It has become an endless parade of dieting commercials and gym advertisements. Social media can be become a tangled web of detox articles, all saying the same thing: Your body needs to change in the New Year. In response to those articles, I have decided to write a piece on how to remain body positive during this season of change.
Loving my body has become a radical act, since every magazine cover tells me that I shouldn’t. My relationship with food and my body has changed drastically in the last few years. The fact is you have to eat: You have to eat protein, fruits, vegetables, salt, sugar and even starch – and none of these things are enemies. These are fuels that keep you alive and give you the energy to do the amazing things you do each day. Food is a complicated subject because we all have our own unique relationship with food. Many of us have unhealthy relationships with food because the media overwhelms us with information about how, what, and when to eat. Why does the mainstream media force us to justify the perfectly natural act of eating?
Remaining body positive and proud among the plethora of media stating you shouldn’t be has become a movement. People are taking back their bodies and forming their own ideas about what their body means to them. None of us will ever look the way a computer program wants us to. I owe my body a great deal of gratitude, as I have not always treated it well – I’ve tried to police it and mold it to look a certain way. I’ve done the rigorous weighing, measuring and counting, and none of it actually made me feel better. Since letting go of that mindset I’ve become much more at home in this vessel that takes me through life.
A quote I love and repeat often is “You are not fat. You have fat. You have fingernails. You are not fingernails.” See how much sense that makes? You have fat on your body, like every other human being ever, and having fat does not make your body wrong or different or any other adjective you might see splashed across a screen or magazine.
To stay body positive this year, go on a media cleanse. If you enjoy exercise, find a space to work out that makes you feel empowered, not a space where ‘thinspirarion’ is rampant. Find a space with people who make you feel comfortable and move your body in whatever way you like. Eat food that brings you joy – cook it with your own hands. Feel good about it because it will nourish you and give you the energy to kick ass. Mute the TV when the Special K and Weight Watchers commercials come on.
A lot of people make a pile of money by making sure we feel like we have to look a certain way. Slowly, we are taking back our bodies. Slowly, we will once again make exercise and food acts of joy rather than acts of punishment.
This year, check out these healthy media sources:
What are your favorite sources of healthy media and some healthy resolutions you have this year? Let me know in the comments below!