Before we get to the growth part of this post, I want to take a minute, here at the start of a new year and a new decade (get out of here with your “the new decade starts in 2021” nonsense, because I’ll hear none of it!), to offer a few gentle reminders.
- Your weight does not define you.
- Your pant size does not determine your worth.
- It’s not your body that doesn’t fit, it’s the clothes/chair/airplane seat/seatbelt.
- You know your body better than anyone—including your doctor.
- Diet companies don’t care about your health—they want your money.
- Anyone who promises that you can lose the weight “for good” is lying (see the previous reminder for more details).
- Fat is not a bad word.
- Your body size is a not a medical diagnosis.
- There is no default/normal/right body type.
- There is a very, very small chance that you will keep intentional weight loss off in the long term.
- Weight regain is not a sign that you are a failure or you did something wrong—it’s normal.
- Food does not have morality, and you are not good or bad depending on what you eat.
- You deserve to be seen and heard.
- You are good enough, right now, at this very minute.
I know it’s hard to tune out the incessant chatter of weight-loss companies at this time of year. I know your television and phone and computer are flooded with pictures of slim bodies—and the promise of eternal happiness that magically comes with them. I know your friends (virtual and in real life) are going keto, talking about the evils of sugar, and committing to a strenuous workout regime in order to shed their old selves and transform into something new and better.
You don’t have to listen to those people. You don’t have to comment or respond. You can change the channel, turn the station, close the tab, click unfollow or unfriend or mute.
Even if it seems like everyone in your life is trying to shrink, I’m here to remind you that you can grow.
You can expand your mind by learning something new. You can challenge your body in ways that feel fun and freeing. You can meet new people and open yourself to new experiences. You can take up the space you need as you grow—physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. You can reach out for help. You can expand your life in so many ways. You don’t have to shrink. You can be brave and bold and daring—apply for that job, ask out that person you’ve had your eye on, sign up for that race, submit that poem, swipe right, renew your passport, say goodbye to whatever (or whoever) has been holding you back—or you can wrap up in your favorite cozy blanket and watch all fourteen seasons of Supernatural to prepare for the finale in May. Do both! Do it all! Don’t shrink. Grow. Become more you—authentically, exponentially, magnificently you.
Come, grow with me. We can do this together.