Now Or Never·Point of View

Why this 'fat babe' is rejecting New Year's resolutions

Margaret Bryans has a suggestion if you're looking to make a New Year's resolution: don't. Instead, embrace yourself as you are, she says, because you are enough.

'No one has the right to tell you to change, to suggest you improve,' says Margaret Bryans

Margaret Bryans, left, and Nicole Caron, right, shop together at a Winnipeg mall. (CBC / Bridget Forbes)
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Contributed by Margaret Bryans

January comes at us with so much promise: a closing out of the old year, a clean slate, and, in my opinion, the only time my over-accessorizing doesn't seem weird. Who doesn't love a sequined dress and a rhinestone dangly earring with teal tassels on New Year's Eve, am I right?

And sure, I am as fond of "reflection" and "setting intentions" as the next babe.

What I'm not fond of is being forced into doing it just because it is January. This season is a fireworks display of resolutions, and not in a good way. Getting through this month without feeling pressured into making a resolution is a tough job. As a boss fat babe in the world I'm here to tell you to put down that 2019 to-do list. 

January is like the mean girl who tells you how you should look and dress and then taunts you when you don't meet her impossible expectations.

While we are ringing in the new year, January is gearing up to sucker punch us all month long. None of us should be surprised, and yet here we are, trapped in a body-hating version of Groundhog Day.

Put aside the guilt

Margaret Bryans suggests ditching the diet talk this January. (Bridget Forbes / CBC)

Babes, we need each other to make it out the other side.

This is the month where the solution to December's all-out overspending is (surprise!) more spending, fuelled by shame and body loathing, naturally. For the low cost of a $49.99 monthly gym membership, you can buy the promise of a new you and then feel like crap for bailing out come February. Hard eye roll.

Look, if we are stuck living in this capitalist world, I prefer mine without the fat-phobic body shaming. This year, let's put aside the guilt, the negative self-talk, and the lunchroom shame spirals and resolve to make January our docile little puppy. Flat-out ignore the onslaught of exercise excesses. Say enough to "you're not good enough" advertising. Ditch the diet talk, because for real, no one really cares if you ate too much shortbread.

Make resolutions that make you feel better, not worse

'Make a resolution when it feels good, when the time is right,' says Margaret Bryans. (Margaret Bryans / Instagram)
Instead, let's make some resolutions that can make us feel better, not worse. A bold strategy, I know, but stay with me. Here are some gems to get us all rolling.

I resolve to create a diet-talk free zone

Find some space where you just don't let talk of diets into earshot. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Then hold people to it. Diet talk does nothing to improve our wellness, it just creates a comfy space for guilt and shame to chill. Diet talk is akin to breathing for many of us: we don't even notice we are doing it. But you will notice how much you once did it when you stop.

I resolve to move my body because it feels good, not because I feel bad 

Hating ourselves is not a road to finding peace with our bodies, no matter how much cardio you do. The truth is that gyms are not the safest place for fat babes. But it doesn't mean we don't deserve to take up space there or anywhere else we choose. All bodies deserve to move to feel good, however that looks.

I resolve to be enough 

You. Are. Enough. Truly, I promise. You don't need to be body positive 24/7, you don't need the confidence of a little girl holding a massive owl, you don't need to love your arms or your thighs or your belly. You are still enough. No one has the right to tell you to change, to suggest you improve, to tell you what would make you better. You are the only one who can do that for yourself. And only if you want to.

I resolve to resolve when I'm ready 

Make a resolution when it feels good, when the time is right. And if that time is July not January then woo-hoo for you. If you have survived in a world that refuses to make room for fat babes, then you win and owe exactly no one a resolution at all.

So, fill yourselves with the fiery resistance of a thousand burning suns this January and let's resolve to change how we see ourselves. Make your body a safe and cherished place to come home to. Because babes, it's a riots-not-diets kind of year. Welcome to 2019.