New Year's Revolutions

A major step in my own body positive journey was relinquishing the control that New Year’s Resolutions had over me. They were often filled with shame – promising to make changes to “better myself,” specifically my body, in some way that felt forced upon me by society instead of some way I personally wanted to grow. I recently found three lists of New Year’s Resolutions I’d penned in the early 1990s to my teenage self. Every year, the top three resolutions I made were exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight. And every year I tried to do those things and ended up feeling worse about myself and failing because the truth was? I was already unhealthily addicted to exercise – I was captain of my cheerleading squad and had practice every morning, performed at one or two games after school, and attended one or two aerobics classes in between. I literally couldn’t have fit in more exercise if I tried. I also felt bad when I ate candy bars from the vending machine and buttery popcorn from the football concession stand, which fueled the exercising obsession, because I needed to “work off those calories.” I tried diet pills (which I hated because they made me feel nauseous) and making myself vomit after eating (which I also hated because I dislike puking as much as I dislike nausea). It took me fifteen more years before I learned that there was a different way, a more positive way, to celebrate the ringing in of a new year.

Brilliant words by  Caroline Caldwell  that has become my life - and work - mantra since 2015. I made it into these body positive buttons for my  RADCAMP: A Body Positive Boot Camp for Feminists  (and  Feminist Teens ).

Brilliant words by Caroline Caldwell that has become my life - and work - mantra since 2015. I made it into these body positive buttons for my RADCAMP: A Body Positive Boot Camp for Feminists (and Feminist Teens).

And when I did, it was not only eye-opening, it was soul-awakening. I finally learned the healthiest way to shed the weight I’d been longing for this whole time – only it wasn’t the pounds of flesh on my body that needed to go. It was the heaviness in my heart telling me I was a failure. I realized that it wasn’t me that needed fixing or changing, it was society. So I decided to take that on, one little New Year’s Resolution – scratch that – Revolution at a time. I already had an extraordinary life and a body I was comfortable with that allowed me to move through my days doing the things I loved. I decided to focus on the DOs rather than the DON’Ts.

Spending more time making things with my hands is always a good intention for me, anytime of the year. This unfinished cross stitch piece has been waiting in my art room for a few years now but I have to say that it’s perfectly done enough. I love the simple but important sentiment. There’s perfection in the incomplete projects, too.

Spending more time making things with my hands is always a good intention for me, anytime of the year. This unfinished cross stitch piece has been waiting in my art room for a few years now but I have to say that it’s perfectly done enough. I love the simple but important sentiment. There’s perfection in the incomplete projects, too.

Maike Devon Photography  took some amazing family photos in 15 minutes flat in thrift store sweaters and snow and laughter. This stolen kiss sums up my relationship with Dr. Brown perfectly.

Maike Devon Photography took some amazing family photos in 15 minutes flat in thrift store sweaters and snow and laughter. This stolen kiss sums up my relationship with Dr. Brown perfectly.

January marks new beginnings – a fresh calendar with an empty slate to fill with living life in extraordinary ways. I also love the notion of taking on a good hearty challenge and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, to do something hard, to make a difference. Here are a few of my favorite shame-free body positive suggestions:

  • Buy a fun piece of clothing in a style that pushes you outside of your normal comfort zone, with no regard for the size on the tag.

  • Find a cookbook from a new chef and learn to make all (or several) recipes out of it.

  • Take your bathroom scale to the thrift store. (Better yet, take it to the backyard and smash it with a hammer!)

  • Revamp your media feed. Delete all the weight loss and diet pages you follow and replace them with fierce fabulous fatties on Instagram and Facebook pages from body positive resources (like me!).

  • Add a body positive book (or three) to your reading list this year, like Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body Is Not An Apology, Brittany Gibbon’s Fat Girl Walking, or August McLaughlin’s Girl Boner.

  • Invest in yourself. Spend a little money taking up the space your deserve and on things that will bring you more joy in the new year. If you’re local to the Boise area - I’ve got the best place to start adding more sex positivity to your life. Kick off 2019 with me at the Positively Good Sex workshop at the Linen Building on January 5th!

Photo from our first  Boise Rad Fat Collective  Body Positive Boudoir mini photo shoot last spring; wise words by Dolly Parton inspired by  Dumplin’

Photo from our first Boise Rad Fat Collective Body Positive Boudoir mini photo shoot last spring; wise words by Dolly Parton inspired by Dumplin’

Wearing a crop top with my belly rolls has been a push out of my comfort zone as well as liberating. This cute one was thrifted from  Curvy Girl Kate’s  consignment shop, Curvy jeans by Lee, decade old sandals from Walmart, sexy attitude courtesy my own hotel room at the Mirage in Las Vegas for a self-love mini workshop I was leading for a body positive girls’ birthday weekend.

Wearing a crop top with my belly rolls has been a push out of my comfort zone as well as liberating. This cute one was thrifted from Curvy Girl Kate’s consignment shop, Curvy jeans by Lee, decade old sandals from Walmart, sexy attitude courtesy my own hotel room at the Mirage in Las Vegas for a self-love mini workshop I was leading for a body positive girls’ birthday weekend.

Remember, New Year Revolutions don’t have to be grand proclamations. They can be tiny, beautiful and personal things that mean something to you. So here’s to celebrating revolutions and changing the world – one big or small step at a time.

“Full of shit” was a comment made about me recently regarding my ideas on body positivity and feminism and opting out of our body shaming pro-diet culture. I’m not full of shit, actually. What I am full of is positivity and hope and love and acceptance and pride and courage and resilience and power.  So I’ll gladly climb up on this soapbox and preach the liberation of bodies and stand up for the most marginalized among us all year long.

“Full of shit” was a comment made about me recently regarding my ideas on body positivity and feminism and opting out of our body shaming pro-diet culture. I’m not full of shit, actually. What I am full of is positivity and hope and love and acceptance and pride and courage and resilience and power.

So I’ll gladly climb up on this soapbox and preach the liberation of bodies and stand up for the most marginalized among us all year long.