Our no-pres­sure guide to mak­ing time to take care of your­self

Help­ful tips for a body pos­i­tive 2018

The Coast - - FRONT PAGE - WORDS AND ILLUSTRATION BY MOLLIE CRONIN

The new year sym­bol­izes a fresh start, a chance to shrug off last year’s bad choices. But it also rings in prime sea­son for diet cul­ture. Al­most as soon as that clock strikes mid­night we’re in­un­dated with weight loss ads, gym pro­mo­tion, “fit­spo” and a sea of be­fore­and-af­ter pic­tures, all there to re­mind us that our bod­ies are gross and this will be the year that we change them.

Jan­uary is pretty much de­signed to make us feel bad.

But what if 2018 is the year where we stop let­ting it? What if Jan­uary didn’t mean pun­ish­ing our­selves for our hol­i­day in­dul­gences and beat­ing our­selves up with tar­get weights and body goals? What if we took our New Year New Me im­pulses for self-im­prove­ment and chan­neled it else­where?

Let’s leave diet cul­ture in 2017 and spend the new year learn­ing to be nice to our bod­ies. Self-love and body ac­cep­tance can be a long road, but here are a few help­ful tips to get you started:

1 GIVE YOUR EYES A BREAK

See­ing lots of skinny tea ads? Block ’em. Lots of friends or in­flu­encers post­ing gym self­ies and diet tips? Smash that un­fol­low but­ton (at least for now). Cleanse your so­cial me­dia of any­thing that says (overtly or oth­er­wise) that your body is bad. It’s sur­pris­ingly liberating.

Next, fill that sparkly clean feed with some new con­tent: Find body pos­i­tive (bopo) ac­counts, fat-pos­i­tive fash­ion blog­gers and il­lus­tra­tors whose draw­ings look like you. In­stead of work­out and weight loss tips you’ll find self-love and self-care ideas, ways to be nice to your body when you’re not feel­ing par­tic­u­larly in­clined and big, beau­ti­ful babes liv­ing their best lives.

2 BOPO BOOT­CAMP

Now that you’ve set the stage and filled your feed with af­firm­ing con­tent, it’s time for you to ful­fill your end of the bar­gain. In 2018 it’s time to start be­ing nice to your­self. Once you’ve looked through some of these bopo and fat-posi ac­counts you’ll re­al­ize that a lot of them use af­fir­ma­tions or small mantras, and some­times these sim­ple words can hold the most power. “My body is nice” or “fat is not a fail­ure” (full dis­clo­sure: That’s one of mine). While these seem ba­sic, they also coun­ter­act pretty much ev­ery­thing you’ve ever been taught about bod­ies, beauty and suc­cess. They’re small but mighty.

Take these kinds of af­fir­ma­tions and put them to use. When you look in the mir­ror and see some­thing you don’t like, say some­thing nice about it. “My cel­lulite is cute,” “my belly is soft and nice,” “my thighs are big and strong”—say these things to your­self even if you don’t be­lieve them. You may have to fake it ’til you make it, but even­tu­ally this bopo train­ing pays off and you start to be­lieve those nice things. Show­ing your­self kind­ness in the face of your per­ceived flaws can go a long way.

3 RE­MEM­BER: YOUR BODY IS NOT A MEA­SURE OF SUC­CESS

It’s great to be proud of the things your body can do, but it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that your body im­age is not linked to your suc­cess. You don’t have to be thin to be suc­cess­ful; all the amaz­ing things you ac­com­plish are just as amaz­ing if you’re fat (and some­times even more so be­cause you have to put up with more non­sense).

Fat is not a fail­ure: Fat is nice. Soft is nice. Big, lumpy, stripey, hairy—it’s all nice.

So move away from weight-spe­cific New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, be­cause there’s so many other ways to suc­ceed. Your body de­serves love at ev­ery size and you don’t have to change it to learn to love it. So in 2018 eat the pizza, be nice to your squishy parts, get off the scale and stop think­ing of your­self as a be­fore pic­ture. Your body is great, it’s just time to teach your­self to be­lieve it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.