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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)
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