Instead of resolving to lose weight or diet in 2020, let’s decide to love ourselves exactly as we are.
2019 has been a year of radical body acceptance for me.
If you’ve been listening to my podcast, you know that throughout the year, I’ve been going through a major shift in the way I think about food and weight. I had no idea how (like so many of us) I had profoundly internalized our culture’s unhealthy ideas about food and size. While I’m still learning, I will say that I’m a lot more comfortable now in my body and the world.
Eating enough, letting go of food restrictions, and valuing health over jean size will do that to a person.
In many of my past books and blog posts (I hope I have deleted or sufficiently revised the latter), I have praised “weight loss” and “eating clean.” I sincerely apologize for this, as I now realize how harmful to our health and happiness these values can actually be.
(In case you’re wondering, while I am still eating a vegetarian diet, I am not currently vegan. Personally, at least for the time being, lifting the restriction on dairy and eggs has been important for my healing process.)
Self-love helps us out in every single area of our lives. The more you love yourself, the more beauty and joy you will experience. So instead of resolving to treat yourself harshly or to “improve” yourself in some external way in 2020, how about learning to love yourself more as you are instead?
As a dear friend of mine pointed out, 20/20 is perfect vision. So in 2020, let’s do our best to look at ourselves and our bodies through eyes of perfect love.
Here are 4 new books that can help you see yourself with love this year.
I mention Caroline Dooner’s The F*ck It Diet first because it was my introduction to a radically different perspective on food and weight. Up until I discovered this book, mainstream diet culture was all I knew. I honestly couldn’t conceive of a world in which everyone didn’t want to lose weight all the time. Growing up in California with two constantly dieting parents and an entire family of constant dieters was just the beginning for me, but it certainly wasn’t the end. You know what was? Reading The F*ck It Diet. Or at least it was the beginning of the end. This life-altering book exposes the the weight loss industry’s relentlessly self-serving methods of mind control.
Come As You Are is a book about loving your sexuality (and by association, your body) exactly as it is. Over the years, I have read many books about sexuality (I sort of love the topic), but the radical self-acceptance recommended by sex educator and psychologist Emily Nagoski, Ph.D was brand new to me. She clearly outlines what a broad spectrum there is when it comes to every single aspect of our sexuality, and illustrates convincingly that when it comes to your preferences and tendencies, there is no wrong way to be. Everyone is normal. If you judge your sexuality in any way (for example if you think you’re too sexual or not sexual enough, or if you think you shouldn’t want something that you want or should want something that you don’t want) this book will definitely change your relationship with your sexuality for the better.
Say what you want about 2019, but it’s undeniably been a great year for books about shifting the narrative about our personal appearance and relationships with our bodies. Beyond Beautiful by Anuschka Rees is a voice of sanity in an insanely appearance-obsessed world. While the author doesn’t dispute that we all naturally want to look attractive, she also reminds us that our appearance is only one small aspect of the whole of who we are. As someone who has been terrified of being judged for my appearance for many years, reading Beyond Beautiful was a healing balm for my heart and my soul.
I purchased Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison for my Kindle the day it came out…which was only 2 days ago. So I haven’t finished it yet. I’m maybe 30% in. And so far, so great. While The F*ck It Diet alerted me to just how brainwashed most of us have been by our culture’s all-pervasive food narrative for so long, Anti-Diet lays out the unhealthy, dangerous, unscientific, and even racist and classist roots of diet culture. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest. Oh, and the author, Christy Harrison, hosts an excellent podcast on the subject as well.
Remember: love is infinite, so we can always go deeper when it comes to expanding our self-approval, self-compassion, and self-love. Here’s to loving ourselves more in 2020!
Have you read any of these books? Or do you plan to read them in 2020? Please share in the comments below.