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The New Year is here! If you haven’t already, prepare to be bombarded by diet culture-y #fitspo and all the b.s. that comes with the pressure to make resolutions for a “new you” in the new year. We know from experience that many folks focus on resolutions related to weight, food, and exercise.
“Among Americans who are making New Year’s resolutions, the most common ones are exercising more (50%), saving money (49%), eating more healthily (43%), and losing weight (37%).” (Source: Today.YouGov.com)
It's not surprising as the stats aren’t very different over the years and, regardless of body shape or size, it’s safe to say that we’ve all felt pressured at least once to make an aesthetic, fitness, or food-related resolution. Psychology Today estimates that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually achieved. And research by Strava found that Friday, January 12th is "quitter's day", the day when hopeful resolution-makers start to waiver in their commitment to the resolutions.
This means that the vast majority of resolutions are not sustainable and people are left feeling disappointed or inadequate, when the reality is that only a very select few resolutions and makers are even successful. The norm is to fail at resolutions. So why keep participating in something that has such a high-likelihood of making you feel crappy after a week and a half? Is there a better way?
Research has proven (not that we needed scientists to tell us) that restrictive diets don’t work. Still, the majority of the world, especially the fitness industry, remains steeped in diet culture where calorie restriction is encouraged and exercise is prescribed as a punishment for eating. The mainstream fitness industry continues to gear up year-after-year for New Year’s Resolutions and “New Year, New You” campaigns that they know will result in a huge burst of business for a brief two weeks before returning to normal, while you feel degraded for failing yet another year of resolutions. The status quo is demoralizing, unwelcoming, and unhealthy.
Trainers and coaches like Roz the Diva, Robyn Warren, Sarah Taylor, and Bianca Russo are actively working to make fitness and movement joyful, accessible, and inclusive. Fun and community have replaced shame, punishment, and weight-loss gimmicks. Any and all movement is celebrated for how good it feels and for the physical and mental health benefits. These body positive fitness pros also offer fitness programs that are meant to be an alternative to traditional resolutions.
The biggest body positive fitness challenge in history: Twenty thousand women, 20 goals and actions, 20 minutes per day in 2020! This program is 100% free and you can access it online globally beginning January 1st, 2020. When you join, you’ll also get 21 days FREE access to the Big Fit Girl Fitness App.
Sign up and invite your friends to do the same here.
Brick City Yoga in St. Louis, MO has one of the most fun anti-diet culture New Year’s offers. The Brick City Yoga January Wellness Challenge is a super fun game of BINGO! Grab a card and complete 25 wellness squares. One is a freebie and a few are yoga classes, but the rest are other really simple things you can do in the realm of self-care like: listen to your body, compliment yourself, and drink water. Each person to complete a card gets points on their Brick City Rewards account and are entered into a drawing for a yoga mat, free classes, and other wellness goodies. Brick City Yoga Bingo is all based on the honor system and is really just intended to have fun while doing what’s right for your own body.
Get more info here.
Join Donna Noble on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 in London for their first event of the century! The Body Positive Urban Yoga Day Retreat is open to everyone. It's a wonderful day of healing and rejuvenation for everyone with takeaways that you can keep with you all year long and beyond. A day of yoga, self-care, and connecting with like-minded individuals in a safe, judgement-free space. You’ll have the chance to delve deeper into your yoga practice and techniques for dealing with stress. There will be a talk about self-love and self-acceptance, helping you build body self-confidence.
Registration and more info here.
Personal trainer Jenna J is offering an “After the ‘After’ Fitness Challenge beginning in February (but the waitlist is open now!). This challenge FREE and leads to an invite to join her online group coaching program, Tough Love Strength Club.
“Are you tired of ‘falling off the wagon’ and are you ready to find a fitness routine you can stick with this year? My February Fitness Challenge is all about transforming your relationship with exercise and tapping back into your strength. I’m here to help you figure out what to do after the ‘after’, especially if you’re over setting ‘new year, new me’ goals then ‘falling off the wagon’.”
Want in? This challenge kicks off Monday, February 3rd, 2020, but you can get on the waitlist now by clicking here.
Throw out your New Year’s Resolutions, and focus on moving your body, getting stronger, and feeling confident and inspired all year long. Personal trainer Julie Shiller (based out of Long Beach, CA) is running a special on her sustainable online nutrition coaching program. Julie will help you establish customized nutrition goals to meet your individual lifestyle. You will receive daily check-ins, a thirty minute voice or video call each month, and tangible online resources to best support you in meeting your goals. No rules. No restrictions. Just sustainable habits to feel great and show up as your best.
Get in touch with Julie to learn more here.
Personal trainer and body positive fitness professional Bianca Russo is running a FREE 7-day trial of daily coaching via text messages. You can text “GETFIT” to (917) 905-8801 to sign up. There’s no diet-talk or weight-loss talk. Receive texts at 10AM for seven days encouraging you to move your body in a way that feels good to YOU.
Get in touch with Bianca to learn more here.
Train with world famous Roz “The Diva” Mays in Manhattan, NY! Roz is currently offering RozFIT, small group circuit training classes open to everyone throughout January and February 2020 (and one stop is a pole!). Roz knows that the gym can be an absolutely terrifying place to visit.
“You want to be about that fit life, but you're too embarrassed to even start. Your hesitation has nothing to do with petty excuses, but is deeply rooted in genuine fear of the unknown. Will I be able to keep up with everyone else? Does this teacher really understand my struggle? Will I feel like the fat kid in dodgeball again? Well, damn. I see why anybody would haul ass out of the gym; unfortunately, you're also hauling ass away from your fitness goals. Nah son, we gotta change that.”
A RozFIT class is probably the most fun you’ll ever have with a personal trainer! This is a great place for plus size, LGBTQIA2S+, disabled, and underrepresented athletes to rock out, dance, and workout, while kicking off their new year without the pressure of bullsh*t resolutions.
Sign up for RozFIT here.
Kate Moore, owner of body positive fitness studio getFIT615 in Nashville, TN, offers monthly themes at the gym. This January’s theme is redefining “fit”. Kate is asking for people to share what fitness means for them so that maybe 2020 is the year that “fitness” can become less scary, less awful, and less shameful.
“I think I’ve failed to create a “getFIT615” definition of “fit” because I’ve tried to do it by myself. My story with this word has been told up to this point - you probably already know it - and it’s changing and I’ll keep telling it. My story isn’t unique. The healing part of storytelling is two-fold: reading someone else’s story, seeing yourself, and realizing that you’re not alone. AND telling our OWN stories: putting them out in the world to exist as they do - for ourselves, for other folks to judge in the shadows, for other folks to validate, to validate ourselves, to remind us, for us to get out of our system no matter what happens to it. We share our stories with the world so that we no longer have to hold on to them. Our theme this January 2020 is redefining fitness. And it’s something we’re going to do together.”
Share your story and definition of “fitness” here.
Haven Wellness Studio in Sydney, NSW is proudly turning TWO this month! They’re celebrating with their growing community by offering FREE classes throughout the week. Anyone who is new to Haven will receive a free class in hopes that they can continue growing the body positive fitness community in Sydney in 2020 and beyond. They’re also offering workshops on topics like Intuitive Eating, PCOS and hormones, and how to find more peace with your body, encouraging their members to shed the shame of diet culture and begin anew on a more positive path.
Redeem your first free class at Haven here.
Sarah Taylor is offering her first six-week challenge of 2020 beginning on Monday, January 13th. Build your confidence and strength with Fitness by Sarah Taylor online or in-person in Toronto, Ontario. This challenge also includes an in-studio prep session on Saturday, January 11th covering what to expect and how to prepare, how to develop your new fitness routine and take the fear out of fitness, ow to meal prep and fuel your body, and Form 101. You’ll get access to unlimited classes for all six weeks - plus you get a bonus week to get started early. There’s a variety of class types including cardio, strength, boxing, yoga, and more. No weight talk, no diet talk - just strength and confidence in and out of the gym to get your year started off right!
Each year, personal trainer and health coach Robyn Warren offers the online pay-what-you-want Geek Girl Strong 1UP Challenge. 2020 marks their 5th annual 1UP Challenge. Every February the Geek Girl Strong community gets together all over the world to 1UP our health and wellness goals. This year’s challenge takes place from February 2-8. You get emails straight to your inbox with a new challenge each day, an invitation to the LIVE 1UP Challenge Online Master Class and an invite to become a member of the growing Geek Girl Strong community and private Facebook group, and best of all, you get to do something just for YOU!
Sign up for the Geek Girl Strong newsletter here.
Take on your “Personal Boss Monster” with Tiffany Brain and Nerdstrong Gym in North Hollywood, CA to “beat” today's self in a month! No arbitrary body measurements or weigh-ins. Challenges include exercises like push ups, Turkish get-ups, squats, mile time, agility course, and more. Students test at the beginning of the challenge, get to enjoy classes at Nerdstrong throughout the month, and then retest their abilities at the end of the month! The goal is to try out different classes at the gym and see how these different movements help baseline abilities. Students focus on what they can do and enjoy improving across the board. Demonstrating how sustainable daily or weekly efforts can improve your functional movement and mood! Join the quest on Saturday mornings at 8AM. Your first class is free!
Get in touch with Tiffany to join here.
For those looking for an alternative to restrictive dieting this new year, an introduction to Intuitive Eating might be the answer you’ve been waiting for. Autonomy Movement studio in Austin, TX is offering a workshop hosted by HAES-informed Registered Dietitian and personal trainer, Yasmine Mavrakis. You can attend “A Dietitian without Diets: Navigating Intuitive Eating” on Saturday, January 18th, 2020 from 12:30-2PM. Learn what Health At Every Size (HAES) truly means, what to expect when working with a HAES-informed dietitian, myths and facts on Intuitive Eating, and participate in an Q&A session with Yasmine.
Get in touch with Autonomy Movement to attend here.
If you’re looking for an alternative to most of the fitness junk populating your social media feed, you know, the stuff that's capitalizing on making you feel bad this time of year, then it's time for you to check out Lumos Yoga & Barre in Philadelphia, PA.
“With every New Year, comes a moment of reckoning and self-reflection. We think about every resolution we forged, and maybe the ones that we’ve forgotten. We resolve to do differently. To do better this next year. And well, here’s the thing - quite often those New Year’s Resolutions actually feel like moments made of self-loathing; like deliverables we have to meet, expectations we demand of ourselves that leave us feeling less-than and lacking. Say no more in 2020! This new year, we’re all about the Glow Up - about doing what feels good on our own terms, embracing self-love, twirling on our haters, and avoiding “new year, new you” marketing gimmicks that only serve to dull our sparkle.”
Here’s where Lumos Glow Up Challenge comes in: get in on their unlimited Month-to-Month Membership and complete classes before the end of the month to win swag, discounts, or even a free month of membership! Glow and get it with Lumos in 2020!
Learn more about Lumos membership by getting in touch here.
January 19th is "Quitter’s Day". The day the fitness industry says is the day past which most people will have given up their New Year’s Resolutions, and to that, Coaches Mary-Katherine and Jess say, GOOD. The messaging tells us that we aren’t enough, that we are broken, that we lack discipline and drive, that we need to buy THIS THING in order to be fixed, that our inability to keep New Year’s Resolutions is proof of this, that our bodies themselves are proof of this. MK and Jess beg to differ: The problem was never you, it was these lies that were presented as truths. They're working to spread a different message: that you are, and have always been enough. Join their FREE coaching plan that will teach you that nutrition doesn’t have to suck, fitness doesn’t have to hurt, food is your friend, and that movement celebrates your body.
Learn more about this plan by getting in touch here.
Jessica Rihal is a plus-sized yoga instructor and advocate of fitness and wellness for all bodies. Jessica is a FireFit, size 3XL.