CW:// discussion of weight loss – As we stand on the brink of a brand-new year, it might be nearly impossible to avoid conversations, ads and articles about a new year/new you type of vibe, which of course typically means weight loss. It might be hard for some people to understand that you have no intention of pursuing weight loss. So how are you supposed to steer clear of those conversations, embracing body positivity/neutrality, and focusing on holistic well-being when you’re being bombarded with constant messages of “not enough”?
The Pitfalls of Weight Loss Resolutions:
As the calendar flips to January, it seems like everyone becomes a self-proclaimed fitness expert overnight. The gym floods with eager resolution-makers, and social media feeds are inundated with promises of drastic transformations. If I had a nickel for everytime some lay person (or doctor for that matter) tried to give me weight loss, diet, or fitness advice, I’d have bought cryptocurrency before it exploded. It can be hard to exist without feeling inundated by people trying to lose weight.
Weight loss resolutions frequently set unrealistic expectations, promoting crash diets and intense workout regimens. This can result in disappointment and even harm to both physical and mental well-being.
Negative Body Image:
The relentless pursuit of an idealized body can contribute to negative body image issues. Constant comparison to societal standards can erode self-esteem and foster feelings of inadequacy.
Most weight loss resolutions focus on short-term goals, neglecting the importance of sustainable changes to habits that are personalized to your definitions of health and well-being.
This short-sighted approach often leads to a cycle of yo-yo dieting and focusing solely on weight, with individuals bouncing between extremes.
Avoiding Weight-Centric Conversations:
Now that we’ve identified the pitfalls of weight loss resolutions, let’s explore some practical strategies to gracefully sidestep weight-centric conversations and foster a culture of body positivity.
Redirect the Narrative:
When someone initiates a conversation about weight loss resolutions, it can feel hard to get out of, and might even make you feel trapped.
You can redirect the conversation in gentle or more harsh ways depending on your style.
A gentle way might be, “I’m glad you are so excited about your new year’s resolution.
My new year’s resolution is to read 3 books that aren’t children’s books!” A harsher way could be, “I don’t like talking about weight loss.
I am going to change the subject. Did you enjoy your holidays?” Whichever way you prefer is fine, but we would recommend having prepared responses and canned answers to common questions and statements because it’s almost certain to happen this time of year!
Express Gratitude for Your Body:
In the face of societal pressure to change our bodies, expressing gratitude for what our bodies can do is a powerful counter-narrative. Embrace the amazing things your body accomplishes every day, whether it’s walking, dancing, or simply breathing.
Set Non-Weight-Related Goals:
Encourage yourself and those around you to set goals that go beyond the number on the scale. Whether it’s committing to a new hobby, practicing mindfulness, or fostering meaningful connections, setting non-weight-related goals can shift the focus away from appearance.
Educate Without Judgement:
If you find yourself in a conversation about weight loss, and you have the spoons to share your own knowledge, do it!
Honestly, in my own experience, attempts have been futile, however it can be empowering to know you have walked away from a conversation where you were able to speak your truth and provide someone else even just a small nugget of insight into the impacts of talking about weight and weight loss.
Create a Supportive Environment:
Surround yourself with individuals who prioritize self-love and acceptance. Cultivate a supportive environment where conversations revolve around personal growth, positivity, and celebrating diverse bodies.
Embracing Body Positivity for the New Year
Now that we’ve covered strategies to avoid weight-centric conversations, let’s shift our focus to thinking about embracing our bodies.
Instead of fixating on perceived flaws, practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a dear friend. Remember, your worth is not determined by your appearance, nor is your physical appearance the most interesting or important thing about you.
Diversify Your Social Media Feed:
Curate your social media feed to include a diverse range of body shapes, sizes, and abilities. Exposure to a variety of images promotes acceptance and challenges narrow beauty standards.
These folks represent a wide variety of fatness and fields. Some focus on pregnancy related things, others are just rad fat people doing amazing things in the world. Here are just a handful of some of the accounts we love are:
Celebrate Your Achievements:
Take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, both big and small. Whether it’s completing a challenging workout, preparing a nourishing meal, or simply taking time for self-care, celebrate the victories that contribute to your overall well-being.
Mindful Eating Habits:
Shift your focus from restrictive diets to mindful eating. Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, savor each bite, and choose foods that make you feel good physically and emotionally.
As we embark on this new year, let’s collectively shift our mindset from the restrictive and often harmful world of weight loss resolutions to a more inclusive and compassionate approach. Embracing body positivity is not only an individual journey but a societal one.
By fostering conversations that celebrate diverse bodies and promoting well-being beyond appearance, we contribute to a culture that values self-love and acceptance. Here’s to a year of holistic growth, positive transformations, and a celebration of the incredible bodies we call home.