How I’m Going To Start 2015 With A Positive Body Image

The past few years, I started noticing an unfortunate trend in my new year’s resolutions: They were all steeped in negativity. “I’m going to lose weight” (because I’m too big). “I’m going to stop eating after 7 p.m.” (because I need to lose weight). “I’m going to hit the gym more” (same-old, same-old). What I’ve basically been saying is: “My body sucks.”

So, although focusing on my health is undoubtedly a huge priority for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I’m going to reach my goals is if I possess a positive body image. For 2015, that means out with the negative resolutions and in with the encouraging and uplifting ones.

cece olisa how to have positive body image in the new yearOutfit Details Here

I’m going to hit the gym because I love my body — not because I hate it.
Okay, so my thighs touch, and the backs of my arms jiggle — but my body is still an amazing instrument that I literally couldn’t live without. So, instead of spending 20 minutes on the inner-thigh machine trying to shrink myself, I’m going to spend that time making my thick thighs stronger, so they can hold me up well into my old age. And, the next time I lose grip on my cell phone and it falls into my lap, I’ll be thankful for the non-existent thigh gap that did not let that phone crash to the ground.

Related: Our January Plus Size Fitness Challenge!

If I like it, I’m going to wear it.
I spent all of high school following fashion rules that I didn’t believe in. Spoiler alert: Our bodies don’t change when we wear all black. In my opinion, plus-size girls are subject to random fashion “rules” because people want us to hide our bodies. If you’re not a perfect size 4 or 6, you’re not supposed to wear this or that.

Yeah, no. I’m not going to conform to someone else’s subjective opinion on what I should and should not wear. I’ve learned to bare my arms and show off my legs, and I think this year I want to try crop tops and horizontal stripes. Each time I’ve let a part of my body show, I’ve felt empowered, liberated, and beautiful — so why stop now?

I’m going to move it, move it.
There is something amazing that happens when I move my body. Long walks on the weekend, an evening swim, or even my one-song workout videos have the power to change  my mood. I need to not forget how much I love that, because the more I keep myself in a positive head space, the more I look at everything (including my body) with positivity.

I’m going to buy cute pajamas.
I wear cute pajamas to bed, even when I’m sleeping alone. This is because my relationship status doesn’t change my value — so the way I treat myself when I’m alone should be no different than how I treat myself when I’m in a relationship. If putting on nice pajamas before bed makes me feel good and happy about my body, it’s worth doing.

It’s easy to work out because people say you should, wear the clothes that people say you should, and judge your body the way people say you should. It’s less easy to embrace a positive body image — but I’m going to make it happen. This year, I propose that you do the same. Instead of saying you’re “not going to buy that dress until you lose 10 pounds” or that you’re “going to do as many sit-ups as it takes to get a flat stomach,” take some fashion risks, find a class at the gym that you love, practice moderation in your food choices, and be happy with how you look right now. It doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement — I’ll never stop challenging myself — but it means finding peace and contentment with who we are and who we’re becoming.

Read more of my Refinery29 Articles Here

53 thoughts on “How I’m Going To Start 2015 With A Positive Body Image”

  1. nicolessavage@gmail.com

    Thank you for this! I needed a reminder to move forward with a positive outlook on my new years intentions.

  2. Hi Cece
    I do not usually write comments or anything online, but I really have to take this out of my chest.
    I could not sleep last night and I went to the bathroom and looked at myself and as soon as I saw me in the mirror I hated everything and I asked myself that’s why I’m not happy inside? I read your blogs trying to find ways to look good since I don’t know what to wear or what to do since I am so uncomfortable with myself. I always brush it off and tried not to think about it because I don’t want to be sad but the reality is that I am sad and I hate how I look. I have never used the word hate when it comes to describe something about me.
    Anyway I didn’t want to be so negative in a public forum but I needed to take it out of my chest.
    Thanks for reading….

    1. You’re on the right track by asking yourself why – but keep asking why. WHY are you not happy with what you look like? WHY does that lead to you not feeling valuable? WHERE did that come from? Once you can identify the source, you can begin to heal. And “I just do” or “just because” are not answers. There is a source. It may take a lot of searching and tough conversations with yourself, but there is always a reason and once you have that reason you can overcome it. Good luck.

        1. Happy to help! Glad I didn’t overstep my bounds. Dyady’s comment reminded me of myself long ago (I think a lot of us can relate, or could at one point in our lives) and truly what helped me was finding out where the hurt was coming from.

          Your response was beautiful – and touched on something SO incredibly important. Fixing the outside will never fix the inside. We so often forget that.

    2. Hi Dyady, thanks for trusting me enough to share your thoughts. In my experience, even though my looks play a role in my self confidence, how I look has NEVER solved my body image problems… those things run much deeper and aren’t always black and white. Sometimes I have AMAZING confidence, sometimes not so much, but I’ve done some hard work to make sure that I always like/love the PERSON I am no matter how other things change.

      So many people talk about how they change the way they look and still felt awful about themselves, so dont fall into the trap of believing your looks control your inner emotions, okay?

      Also, if you feel really low or in a dark place there is no shame in talking to someone who is a professinal therapist and can listen and help you unravel the layers of how you feel. People like that are a blessing!

      Hope what I’ve said makes sense and is helpful, much love to you… xx

    3. Hey Dyady, without knowing or seeing you, I can shout to you that you’re GORGEOUS! Any fashionable clothing we wear or other outer changes we make are only icing on an already fabulous cake. CeCe and Crystal made great points about discovering the root cause of your feelings. This can be scary but is so necessary. Don’t hesitate to see a professional counselor/therapist for help. They can provide strategies that make a huge difference. For me, I realized that I grew up in a family that shamed themselves regularly, so negative self-talk was ingrained in our culture. Through positive friends, inspirational notes to myself, and sticking with it, I’ve been able to grow out of the worst of that pain and self-destruction. It’s still a battle though. When the negative thoughts come back, I attack them IMMEDIATELY with loving statements about my beauty and worth.

      If you’re struggling with how to dress your shape or find your personal style, don’t be down about it. Start slow. Research online about dressing your shape to find cuts that could work. Check out a color wheel to discover the colors that speak to you, then wear those colors. It’s definitely a process to consistently love yourself but just commit to taking steps forward every day. You can do it!

  3. alsahern@hotmail.com

    Hi CeceI do not usually write comments or anything online, but I really have to take this out of my chest.
    I could not sleep last night and I went to the bathroom and looked at myself and as soon as I saw me in the mirror I hated everything and I asked myself that’s why I’m not happy inside? I read your blogs trying to find ways to look good since I don’t know what to wear or what to do since I am so uncomfortable with myself. I always brush it off and tried not to think about it because I don’t want to be sad but the reality is that I am sad and I hate how I look. I have never used the word hate when it comes to describe something about me.
    Anyway I didn’t want to be so negative in a public forum but I needed to take it out of my chest.
    Thanks for reading….

    1. You’re on the right track by asking yourself why – but keep asking why. WHY are you not happy with what you look like? WHY does that lead to you not feeling valuable? WHERE did that come from? Once you can identify the source, you can begin to heal. And “I just do” or “just because” are not answers. There is a source. It may take a lot of searching and tough conversations with yourself, but there is always a reason and once you have that reason you can overcome it. Good luck.

        1. Happy to help! Glad I didn’t overstep my bounds. Dyady’s comment reminded me of myself long ago (I think a lot of us can relate, or could at one point in our lives) and truly what helped me was finding out where the hurt was coming from.
          Your response was beautiful – and touched on something SO incredibly important. Fixing the outside will never fix the inside. We so often forget that.

    2. Hi Dyady, thanks for trusting me enough to share your thoughts. In my experience, even though my looks play a role in my self confidence, how I look has NEVER solved my body image problems… those things run much deeper and aren’t always black and white. Sometimes I have AMAZING confidence, sometimes not so much, but I’ve done some hard work to make sure that I always like/love the PERSON I am no matter how other things change.
      So many people talk about how they change the way they look and still felt awful about themselves, so dont fall into the trap of believing your looks control your inner emotions, okay?

      Also, if you feel really low or in a dark place there is no shame in talking to someone who is a professinal therapist and can listen and help you unravel the layers of how you feel. People like that are a blessing!

      Hope what I’ve said makes sense and is helpful, much love to you… xx

    3. queen.krw@gmail.com

      Hey Dyady, without knowing or seeing you, I can shout to you that you’re GORGEOUS! Any fashionable clothing we wear or other outer changes we make are only icing on an already fabulous cake. CeCe and Crystal made great points about discovering the root cause of your feelings. This can be scary but is so necessary. Don’t hesitate to see a professional counselor/therapist for help. They can provide strategies that make a huge difference. For me, I realized that I grew up in a family that shamed themselves regularly, so negative self-talk was ingrained in our culture. Through positive friends, inspirational notes to myself, and sticking with it, I’ve been able to grow out of the worst of that pain and self-destruction. It’s still a battle though. When the negative thoughts come back, I attack them IMMEDIATELY with loving statements about my beauty and worth.

      If you’re struggling with how to dress your shape or find your personal style, don’t be down about it. Start slow. Research online about dressing your shape to find cuts that could work. Check out a color wheel to discover the colors that speak to you, then wear those colors. It’s definitely a process to consistently love yourself but just commit to taking steps forward every day. You can do it!

  4. I really enjoy your blog. It’s different and helps me broaden my perspective. I also write on body image but from a totally different perspective that also (in my opinion) seeks to help us question what we’ve been taught to believe about our bodies. Thanks for doing this.

  5. ypifany13@yahoo.com

    I really enjoy your blog. It’s different and helps me broaden my perspective. I also write on body image but from a totally different perspective that also (in my opinion) seeks to help us question what we’ve been taught to believe about our bodies. Thanks for doing this.

  6. We focus on the negative aspects of our lives all too often. Yeah, life can be hard, disappointing and complicated but that is not the whole story. Thank you for this reminder!

  7. blanca.andino@gmail.com

    We focus on the negative aspects of our lives all too often. Yeah, life can be hard, disappointing and complicated but that is not the whole story. Thank you for this reminder!

  8. lindabickley314@aol.com

    Amen!!!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself…here is to a positive attitude and outlook on life in 2015…

  9. Happy New & Fabulous New Year to you! I’m hitting the gym because I want a healthy body, it’s not happy where it is at the moment but I do appreciate that it keeps on going. 🙂 I’m also very happy I don’t have a thigh gap, I’m not built that way and I like it. For all those ladies out there worrying about this, my very fit, constantly active, cycling slim sister does not have a thigh gap. We didn’t come built this way and it’s a waste of time to beat yourself up over something some random person decided was important. Who made them boss, right?!

    Happy & Healthy New Year to all!

  10. Happy New & Fabulous New Year to you! I’m hitting the gym because I want a healthy body, it’s not happy where it is at the moment but I do appreciate that it keeps on going. 🙂 I’m also very happy I don’t have a thigh gap, I’m not built that way and I like it. For all those ladies out there worrying about this, my very fit, constantly active, cycling slim sister does not have a thigh gap. We didn’t come built this way and it’s a waste of time to beat yourself up over something some random person decided was important. Who made them boss, right?!

    Happy & Healthy New Year to all!

  11. Love this! I was just saying the same thing. I work out because I want to stay healthy not to be skinny. I just want to be me and alive for my son. I’ve bought so many cute and beautiful outfits this year as a result of your suggestions and I’m loving it. I feel sexier. Your website really reminds me that I can be beautiful and sexy at any size.

  12. Love this! I was just saying the same thing. I work out because I want to stay healthy not to be skinny. I just want to be me and alive for my son. I’ve bought so many cute and beautiful outfits this year as a result of your suggestions and I’m loving it. I feel sexier. Your website really reminds me that I can be beautiful and sexy at any size.

  13. Your comment about being thankful for your no thigh gap protecting your phone had me in giggles. Happy new year to you! And thank you for your thoughtful, yet snarky, and genuine blog! ❤️

  14. Your comment about being thankful for your no thigh gap protecting your phone had me in giggles. Happy new year to you! And thank you for your thoughtful, yet snarky, and genuine blog! ❤️

  15. I’ve realized the same things about myself. I want to revamp my entire wardrobe next year to be more daring and sassy and start wearing lingerie. I didn’t realize until about a month ago how I limited my fashion choices throughout my life. I see now that I did this to make other people feel comfortable with me for religious or fat-shaming reasons. I’m taking this area of my life back! I’ve always had such a great fashion sense. In 2015, I’m going to start living that out daily.

    Also, happy new year!

  16. queen.krw@gmail.com

    I’ve realized the same things about myself. I want to revamp my entire wardrobe next year to be more daring and sassy and start wearing lingerie. I didn’t realize until about a month ago how I limited my fashion choices throughout my life. I see now that I did this to make other people feel comfortable with me for religious or fat-shaming reasons. I’m taking this area of my life back! I’ve always had such a great fashion sense. In 2015, I’m going to start living that out daily.
    Also, happy new year!

  17. Cheryl Marie Petratos

    Happy New Year! I joined that PSPFIT Challenge today! Reading materials now and have posted a healthy meal! @cpetratos

  18. cpetratos@aol.com

    Happy New Year! I joined that PSPFIT Challenge today! Reading materials now and have posted a healthy meal! @cpetratos

  19. Ever since I really embraced being single again, I have found myself again. I am learning to love me again, the way I am. I appreciate your article, it really gives me confirmation with everything I’m dealing with in my life.

  20. jessicawoods09@yahoo.com

    Ever since I really embraced being single again, I have found myself again. I am learning to love me again, the way I am. I appreciate your article, it really gives me confirmation with everything I’m dealing with in my life.

  21. Thanks for every other magnificent article. Where else may just anybody get that type of information in such a perfect approach of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such information.

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