Nav­i­gat­ing the Trig­ger Mine­field of The Sea­son

Stay­ing con­fi­dent in your body

Raise Vegan - - Contents -

The hol­i­days can sure put a lot of pres­sure on us to be cheer­ful. For those of us who may be strug­gling to find our hap­pi­ness or to re­claim our sense of self- worth, the hol­i­days can also feel like a mine­field of trig­gers just dar­ing us to take the wrong step.

This hol­i­day sea­son, we can all do bet­ter. This year, you have per­mis­sion to en­joy the pump­kin pie or that sec­ond help­ing of your pre­ferred plant- based hol­i­day roast. You have per­mis­sion to put a lit­tle sugar in your cof­fee and but­ter on your bread. Just in case you needed some­one to tell you, here it is in print. You are al­lowed to take part in the plen­ti­ful hol­i­day feasts ahead of you. And it’s even okay to en­joy them, too.

No mat­ter how many mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles might try to con­vince us oth­er­wise, a sin­gle meal’s worth of food will not make a last­ing dif­fer­ence on our bod­ies. The idea that your hol­i­day feasts will fol­low you to what­ever New Year’s res­o­lu­tions the diet in­dus­try would like us to have, is ridicu­lous. It’s no mys­tery why we fall vic­tim to this cy­cle again and again - at the hol­i­days, we feast. Come Jan­uary, we diet. It’s a vi­cious cy­cle of ex­pec­ta­tion.

In spite of our cul­ture’s fo­cus on food this time of year, the hol­i­days are not meant to be about what sits on our ta­ble. Rather, it’s about those who sit around it. Let’s take the em­pha­sis off of what’s for din­ner. Let’s take the power away from food. Let’s re­claim the mean­ing of cel­e­bra­tion and find­ing some­thing bet­ter to be thank­ful for than the food on our plates.

With so much go­ing on this time of year, it is of ut­most im­por­tance to re­mem­ber to treat our bod­ies with kind­ness.

Lit­tle eyes look to us in ad­mi­ra­tion and mimic what they see. If we can re­mem­ber to love our bod­ies - even if we’re only pre­tend­ing to - with all their lumps and bumps and lines and curves and ap­pre­ci­ate the ways in which our bod­ies house us and pro­tect us, not only will we have a bet­ter hol­i­day but we will be able to teach those around us that the amount of space our bod­ies take up isn’t the most im­por­tant thing about us. We can pro­tect our young ones from Diet Cul­ture for an­other year’s worth of cel­e­bra­tions. We can im­part a healthy as­so­ci­a­tion with what nour­ishes our bod­ies and honors our well- be­ing.

This sea­son, be com­pas­sion­ate and for­giv­ing with your­self. Re­mem­ber that a slice of pump­kin pie is not a bar­gain­ing chip. The only per­son’s per­mis­sion you truly need in or­der to en­joy your­self is your own.

Heather Stadler is a writer and an ed­u­ca­tor who is pas­sion­ate about an­i­mals, hu­mans and rights for all be­ings. When she’s not ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren or prob­lem- solv­ing at the cowork­ing space where she works, she ad­vo­cates on be­half of an­i­mals by lead­ing tours at Catskill An­i­mal Sanc­tu­ary and writ­ing for her blog, Of­fi­cial Fat Ve­gan. Heather be­lieves in in­clu­sion­ary ve­g­an­ism, mean­ing folks of all sizes, col­ors, gen­ders and back­ground are equal parts in this move­ment. Ba­si­cally, there› s no wrong way to have a body and there is no wrong way to be ve­gan. Her blog fo­cuses on body pos­i­tiv­ity and pro­motes ve­g­an­ism as a cel­e­bra­tion of life.

Join the party at of­fi­cial­fatve­gan.com and fol­low on Face­book, Twit­ter, and In­sta­gram!

Be Merry. Be Thank­ful. Be Joy­ful.

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