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New Year’s Resolutions: Be Kind to Yourself First​

When I was fourteen, I remember reading Mindy Kaling’s book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without 

Me?” One thing I vividly remember is how nervous she was to go home for the holidays after gaining 

weight during her first semester. As a self-proclaimed chubby brown girl, my own fears were echoed in 

her musings. She goes on to say that she lost the weight after running regularly with her roommate, 

much to her parents’ relief. Part of me was conflicted; I didn’t think I could lose weight. I understood 

that I would have to face questions about my size as an adult, even as a middle schooler. 

As much as Kaling’s story resonated with me, I knew I wasn’t a runner (where all my DDD cups at?). I 

was never a track girl, and I hadn’t grown up playing a sport. I was used to eating Bengali food at 

home, not salads. I didn’t fit the media’s idea of healthy, and I don’t look like fitness influencers online. 

Equating health with thinness only brought me misery.  

Luckily, I was placed into the care of a campus dietician. She changed the way I approach fitness and 

nutrition—intuitive eating helped me understand how health can fit into my life without making me 

feel terrible. Amid all of the New Year’s resolutions, I want to offer other women an alternative that 

helps them stay healthy, but doesn’t involve self-hatred or unrealistic diet changes.  

 

1. Change your approach. There’s a lot of pressure to create long-lasting changes to your 

lifestyle on a whim. Online, we see celebrities, friends and family all sticking to diets and 

publicly making plans to lose weight, posting about how they’re going vegan or cutting out all 

sugar. This approach sets people up for failure, because we can’t change overnight. It’s not just 

you, either—your body is designed to resist weight loss as a result of evolution. If anything, 

restricting a whole food group is counterproductive and only results in yo-yo dieting. 

2. Surround yourself with supportive individuals. Many women are made to feel like they 

need to be thin. But for whom? A significant other? A future partner you haven’t met yet? Your 

friends? Your family? The people who might want to have sex with you, but only if you’re 

skinny? These are difficult questions, yes, but they’re the ones you need to ask. It’s important for 

women at any age to surround themselves with people who uplift them, so make sure your 

circle of friends and family respect you and your body. Body positivity and trying to be 

thinner can’t really coexist. Ask yourself if you support body positivity—and then ask if that 

includes you. 

3. Exercise is not punishment for having a body with fat on it. Repeat that as many times as 

you need to. Exercise is a tool for yourself. You should be using it to relax, not to punish 

yourself for looking a certain way. It’s there for you whenever you need it.  

4. Change your feed. Ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”? In this day and age, digital 

consumption informs a lot of your opinions. Fill your feed with body-positive, weight-neutral 

Instagrammers. Some of my favorites are @jameelajamilofficial, @iweigh, @dietitiananna, 

and @v_solesmith.  

Iman Emdad

GA Tech '23

Iman is a first-year Public Policy major at Georgia Tech. She enjoys reading and listening to Qveen Herby.
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