Tag Archives: self care

New Beginnings Now vs. New Years Resolutions

Recently I saw a reporter request asking fitness and medical professionals why they shouldn’t wait until New Years to get fit.  And I imagine they were expecting a lot of talk about not gaining weight through the holidays, and getting  a jump on your all new body and blah, blah, blah dee blah.

I do think there is no reason to wait until New Years to begin a fitness routine.  If you want to start now, by all means do so.  If you think now is the last time you want to begin a fitness program, then don’t.  But there are some advantages to beginning a program now:

1.  The gyms and parks and fitness facilities are quiet.  Everybody knows that the first 3 weeks  in January are the worst times all year to go to the gym.  The place is PACKED!  It would be a lot easier to find your way around and get attention from the staff in November or December than in January.

2.  For many, the holidays are stressful.  As long as you are beginning a program as a kind and loving thing you are doing for your body, and not so you can tell your aunt to shut up about your weight and pass the stuffing already, exercise can be a great tool to help deal with holiday stress.

3.  It forces you to carve out time for you.  During the holidays so much of our lives can be focused on the needs of others.  Sometimes exercise can allow us to find a little bit of time for some loving self-care in the midst of all the holiday giving.

4.  It can be a new holiday tradition.  The holidays are a great time to begin new family or personal traditions around fitness.  Maybe you and the kids can walk around the neighborhood and  look at the holiday lights?  Maybe you could spend Saturdays sledding or ice skating.  Remember, fitness means moving your body in a joyful way.  This doesn’t have to happen on the trail or at the gym.

And perhaps the best reason to begin a fitness program now is:

5.  It divorces exercise from the panic of New Years.  Oh my goodness.  How many of us have fallen under the tyranny of the New Year’s Resolution?  How many of us have started January 1 watching diet commercials on TV and promising that this is the year we change EVERYTHING?  Then we go out too hard and too fast and are injured and despondent by Valentine’s Day.  Wouldn’t it be nice to begin a fitness program without that kind of pressure and panic?  For the record, you can begin a fitness program in January without buying into pressure and panic.  But it might be easier and less stressful to begin before the entire world goes into its annual body bashing frenzy.

Except it might not be a good time after all.  I can hear some of you out there saying that if you have to add just one more thing to your holiday schedule, somebody is gonna be ho-ho-hoping they never mentioned it.  And believe me, I get it.  So here’s a tip.  Take a second to consider starting a fitness program before January.  If now doesn’t feel like a good time to start a fitness program, then now isn’t a good time to start a fitness program.  There are at least 365 days in a year, all equally good for joyfully moving your body.  Pick the day that feels right for you.

As we embark (already) on the holiday season, I wish you peace, love, light and joyfully loving the skin you’re in.  Fa la la la la!

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want to book me to speak about when is the best time to begin a fitness program?  Learn more RIGHT HERE.

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“Fall Back” in Love with You

I’m not going to lie.  I love fall.  It’s my favorite time of year.  And one of my favorite things about fall is that in the U.S. we get to “fall back”.  We set our clocks back one hour.  As I mentioned last year, this can be a terrific time to start a morning practice that you’ve always wanted to start.  In particular, I mentioned that falling back allows you to get up at the “same time” (sort of) as you did before, while starting your day an “hour earlier” (sort of).  Naturally it’s harder to get to bed on time as well.  But spring forward is a topic for another day–several months from now.  And last year I suggested the week that we “fall back” is the best week all year to start an exercise program.

This year, I’ve learned that isn’t necessarily true.  Since I’m still recovering from illness and injury, this week would be a terrible time for me to start a new exercise program.  And thus, I have to admit, my statement last year was naive and not all that inclusive.  It’s sad that life had to literally kick me in the pants to learn that, but so be it.  I’m sorry that I made such a sweeping, ablest statement.

But I still would like to mark this special time of year, when basking in the glow of whatever Halloween candy is still left, we get to turn back time.

So this year, in honor of the RASCAL challenge, I’d like to invite you to “fall back” in love with yourself.  Maybe it would be fun for you to take a little time this Sunday to remember just what is so incredibly awesome about you.  And maybe you could reward that awesomeness with some little act of self care of kindness or love.  Maybe it could even be a RADICAL Act of Self Care And Love.  It’s too late to join the RASCAL challenge for this year, but I’d like to invite you to take a look at the list just to get inspired.  There’s a list of over 100 things on there that you can do to take care of you.  Or you could come up with something of your very own.  Or not.  Every BODY and every life is different.

This year, I’ve made a new and different commitment.  As I fall back, I will make a special effort to fall back in love with me, take me out on a date, and cherish and care for me in some special way.  I’m not entirely sure what it will be yet.  But I have a feeling, it’s gonna be awesome.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Marrying Me: A Day Full of Love

WeddingDance

I hope you’ll forgive me for being a bit tardy.  You see, yesterday, October 14 was National Love Your Body day.  It was also the 19th anniversary of my marriage to the absolute best guy on the planet.  So it was a day with a whole lot of love in it.  And as I contemplated my lucky, love-filled life, I had some thoughts about marriage and loving and loving your body.

I think my husband would be one of the first to say, that learning to love my body proved to be a very important turning point in our marriage.   While I hated my body, I was unable to believe that anybody else could love me or my body.  Before I learned to love my body, I felt lucky that anybody would even profess to love me.  And when my husband told me he loved me and thought I was beautiful, I thought he was lying–either to me or to himself.  But as I learned to love my body, I came to accept that my husband was telling the truth–both to himself and to me.  And I still count myself lucky.  But now I feel that I’m lucky to love and be loved by somebody wonderful and kind and special.  I no longer feel like he is with me out of pity or sympathy.  I no longer believe he is with me despite my body.  I now accept that he loves ALL of me.  So of course, I feel very, very blessed.

And as I thought over our years together before we were married as well as the nearly two decades we’ve been married, I thought about the things that make a marriage work.  And I thought about how we are in many ways married to our bodies as well.  We can’t really leave our bodies (more than temporarily) while we are alive on this earth.  And while many of us live in a state of being disconnected from or even divorced from our bodies, we really only get one.  So it’s a good idea to learn how to reconnect with and even love the skin we’re in.

So with that in mind, I thought I would have a little marriage ceremony for me and my body.  Since I’ve already learned to love my body (most of the time) it’s more of a restatement of my vows, but here goes.

I Jeanette DePatie do take my body

From this day forward.

To have and to hold,

To love and to cherish,

For better or for worse,

For richer for poorer,

In sickness and in health,

Until death us do part,

Amen.

So please accept my somewhat belated wish that you had a happy Love Your Body Day.  And let me humbly suggest that you do a little restatement of vows of commitment to loving your own body–to love and cherish all the days of your life.  And let me also suggest that one of the best ways to love and cherish your body is to commit acts of radical self acceptance and love like the over 100 acts of love outlined in the new RASCAL program created by Ragen Chastain and I.  It’s a great way to spend the rest of the year loving and being kind to yourself.  We’re only accepting sign ups through THIS SUNDAY so, REGISTER HERE RIGHT NOW!

Love,

Jeanette DePatie AKA The Fat Chick

P.S.  Want me to speak to your group on Love Your Body Day or Any Day?  Click HERE to book me!

P.S.S. Want to get free stuff?  Join my mailing list RIGHT HERE!

Radical Self Care

RASCAL

I am so excited to announce our new challenge on the Fit Fatties Forum called the RASCAL challenge.  This stands for Radical Activist for Self Care and Love.  In this challenge, we encourage you to think outside the box about what self-care means and we challenge you to prioritize self care in your life.  Given my current focus on healing, this challenge just could not have come at a better time.

One of the reasons I’m so excited about this challenge is that it helps us broaden our definition of what is included in the definition for “health”.  Some of us believe that being healthy means being thin.  If we are thin, we are healthy.  If we are not thin, we can’t be healthy.  I’ve talked quite a bit about this in the past.  There are lots of studies that indicate that simply isn’t true.  In particular, this study shows that healthy behavior is a better predictor of future health than BMI.  But this begs the question, what is healthy behavior?

Of course joyfully moving your body is a wonderful healthy behavior.  Of course eating in a way that is in tune with your body’s needs as well as your spiritual and emotional needs is a healthy behavior.  But is that all there is to wellness?  Eat an apple and go for a walk and you’ve got it covered?  I don’t think so.  To me health is nuanced and multidimensional.  And health involves self-care.  (Insert deep sigh here…) Why is it that so many of us are so good at taking care of other people and so lousy at taking care of ourselves?  Are we conditioned that way from birth?  I don’t know.  But I DO know that self care gives us the strength to help others.  Think about what the flight attendant says before you take off.  “First secure your own oxygen mask, then you can help small children and those around you.”  In other words, breathe.  Take a moment to care for yourself.

And that moment may involve eating something wonderful or going for a walk.  Or it may involve simply breathing.  Maybe your self-care moment is spending just a few seconds of your day simply being.  Maybe it means getting a little extra sleep.  Maybe it involves asking for help.  Maybe it involves doing a booty-shaking victory dance.  Maybe it means calling a friend and reconnecting.  Maybe it means writing a letter to someone who wronged you.  Maybe it just requires 5 minutes of quiet and a cup of tea.

Self-care is different for each of us.  But it is absolutely critical to our well being.  That’s why I’m so excited about the RASCAL challenge.  We’ve come up with over 100 official Radical Acts of Self Care and Love, and we’re challenging folks to do one of those acts every single day.  Aside from the intrinsic rewards that come from self love, we are ACTUALLY rewarding you with badges and encouragement and prizes for taking care of yourself.  Seriously.  How cool is that?

I hope you’ll join me in spending some time to take care of yourself this month, either by taking the challenge or simply choosing to do it on your own.  Because the world needs you to take care of you.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Want to book me to speak to your group about radical self care?  Click here!

Want to join my mailing list and get free stuff?  Click here!

Time for a Little Self Care

Coming off a very busy week after an incredibly busy weekend hosting the first annual Fat Activism Conference.  Over 30 hours of content with over 40 speakers in 3 days!  Followed by two days this week of meetings and proposals and general running around regarding the next projects to come down the pike.  I’m so excited!  But…

But I’m continually surprised by how long I really need to recover from some of these things.  Sure, I took a day off after a very intense weekend like I had.  I knew I’d be tired for at least a day.  But after age 40 after going like crazy for a week and not really getting any good sleep, I kinda have to remember that one day of resting up just might not do the trick.

At the end of yesterday’s meetings and running around, I found myself spent.  Like eat a PB&J for supper and sleep in my clothes spent.  And I’ve decided that today, I would finally listen to the messages my body is screaming at me and take a little break.

Maybe I will get a massage.  Maybe I’ll fit in some time for meditation or maybe just a nap.  For sure I’m going to take time to find myself something wonderful to eat–something that nourishes my body and my soul.  Because helping to change the world, even a little tiny bit, is a whole lot of work.  And we have to remember that caring for others requires that we have energy.  And having energy means that we have to have time and space for self care.

It’s like the old adage about the airplane oxygen mask.  Make sure your mask is secure before you start helping other people with them.  It’s not about being selfish.  It’s about understanding that your effectiveness to help may be severely diminished if you are flopped over on the seat, gasping for air like a fish.

I am incredibly inspired by the speakers I heard this past weekend.  I feel more motivated than ever to do the work that needs to be done to make the world a safer and better place for people of all races, ages, shapes, sizes, types and abilities.  But this work will not be done in a day or a week.  It won’t even be done in a year or a decade.  So I’m going to stare at puppies and take a long nap.  I’m going to eat something fabulous and listen to awesome music and dance in my undies.  I am going to do what I need to do to rebuild my energy and gird my loins.  So I am once again ready to fight the good fight.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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P.S.S.  I speak all over the world on the topics of HAES, body acceptance, health, fitness, fit and fat, producing your best life and exercise for kids.  Click here to BOOK ME!

BACK (sorta)


 

Hello my dear readers.  As you may have noticed, I’ve been gone for a while.  Fortunately I had the opportunity to meet and speak with over 400 schoolteachers this past week and share the word about shame-free fitness and Health At Every Size for children.  It was wonderful, engaging and fun.  It was also a set of 7 grueling days with a very intense schedule.  Nevertheless I planned to continue blogging while away.

Alas, the universe had a different plan.  Shortly after I started at the conference, I reached for a piece of paper in my bag and something in the region of my lower back and right hip went completely out of whack.  My friends at the conference insist that it makes a better story that I hurt myself busting a move, that the limbo initiated my lumbago or SOMETHING.  But the truth is, I was sitting in a chair reaching for something in my bag, and I had that MOMENT.  There’s a moment when time stops and that surprising pain comes and all you can think is “WHOOOOOOAAAAA, that can’t be good!”.

I managed to fulfill all my obligations at the conference and even have some fun.  But sitting aggravated my pain the most and I simply couldn’t bring myself to blog last week.  Sorry about that.  But I thought I would take this moment to share a few thoughts with you about my back experience.

1.  Sometimes poop occurs.  It just does.  I could make myself crazy wondering if it was tension or a posture problem or lack of sleep or the size of my hips or the tilt of the universe that caused that pain.  But at the moment that the pain occurs I need not to focus on that.  I just need to deal with it.

2.  Dealing with it means that sometimes your plans have to change.  When pain or a serious setback happens, it’s time to reorganize priorities.  Some stuff will not get done.  You can either triage and choose which things you can do, or you can try to do everything and end up able to do nothing.  You wanna know how I know?  Experience.  So many times, I’ve been in denial about the fact that I can’t do everything.  So many times I’ve ended up at that point, in pain, completely spent, where I can’t do anything.  I really don’t want to do that any more.

3.  Pain is a sign that something is out of whack.  It could be posture.  It could be schedule.  It could simply mean something in my body isn’t working properly.  As I am healing this week, I will start, very gently to figure out what is out of whack.  I’ll see my doctor and start reviewing things in my life to see if I can figure it out.  But I may have to accept that the discovery process may be long and challenging.  And I may have to accept that I can never figure out exactly what caused this episode.

The good news is that hundreds of school teachers, councilors, administrators, and other employees were exposed to the notion of shame-free exercise and the Health At Every Size(TM) approach to wellness–many for the first time.  So I’m going to take an aspirin and take my leave glad for a job well (if shakily) done.

Love, Jeanette DePatie, AKA The Fat Chick

P.S.  Don’t forget about the Fat Activism Conference coming up soon. Click here to register for the Fat Activism Conference!

P.P.S.  Get access to free stuff!  Join my mailing list HERE.

Why I Love “Love Your Body Week”

joyful_elephant

I’m having such a great time presenting at Love Your Body week at Dickinson college this week!  I feel just like that joyful little baby elephant up there.  The students are enthusiastic and I too am learning a lot!

I was invited to speak for the college’s “Love Your Body Week” and I’m just one part of an amazing number of fun and meaningful activities.  I”ve been impressed with the “Love Your Body Week” theme and it’s a great tool for the college campus for a number of reasons.  Here are a few:

1.  I think it’s inclusive.  It’s not love fat people week or love think people week.  It’s not just for boys or girls.  It’s not just for athletes or artists.  It’s love your body week.  Everybody with a body is included.

2.  It’s positive.  Rather than telling us what not to do, it’s telling us what TO do.   This is the Health At Every Size (R) way, which tends to focus on positive, definitive, loving and nurturing things that you can do for yourself.  It’s hard to think of something more positive and nurturing than loving your body.

3.  It brings attention to eating disorders on college campuses.  There is a LOT of disordered eating on college campuses.  This is a serious and dangerous problem for both men and women.  Love Your Body Week brings attention to eating disorders in a very gentle way, which does not call people out or shame them for disordered eating, but rather allows everybody access to this important information.

4.  It’s joyful.  See?  Look at the baby elephant.  That’s how I feel!  We’ve talked about some very serious subjects this week.  But we also chatted, laughed, sang, played and danced together this week at Dickinson College.  An awful lot of this was fun.  And I’m hoping that fun will bring young men and women back for more year after year.

5.  It’s planting an important seed.  I am not naive or egotistical enough to believe that I can change anybody’s mind about body love, self acceptance, size acceptance or Health At Every Size with one speech.  But I can say I wish somebody told me about it back when I was a college kid.  I had to wait until age 30 to even be exposed to this idea.  Love Your Body Week allows us to plant the seed of why it’s so important to love your body at every size among young people.  Nobody knows when or if that seed will bloom.  But at least the seed has been planted.

That, my dears, is why I love “Love Your Body Week”.  Are you having a “Love Your Body Week” at your college campus or workplace?  If not, why not institute one of your own.  Let’s work together to make every week “Love Your Body Week!”

Love,

The Fat Chick