These are things you absolutely can’t do:

  • Fly to the moon next Tuesday.
  • Run a marathon in 2 hours.
  • Go on a scuba tour of the Mariana Trench.
  • And unfortunately, you cannot teleport into work.

Everything else? Pretty much fair game.

Go on a flight? You can do that.

Eat healthy meals regularly? You can do that.

Move your body in ways that make you feel good? You can do that.

And yet… as people in larger bodies, we’re often told that we need to become best friends with no.

Whether it’s you saying no to that cupcake or accepting a no from a brand saying that, actually, you can’t wear their clothes because your body’s just too inconvenient, we’re surrounded by “no”s. In fact, we’re told that “no”s will save us, make us healthier, allow us to atone for the bodies we’re in. That if we say no enough, we can cancel out our bodies, our needs… ourselves.

And let’s be honest: no does work sometimes, short term. Say no to enough cheesy pasta dishes enough times and you might lose some weight. (Although chances are you’ll gain it back.) Saying no to a second helping might make Aunt Betty leave you alone at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Denying that you actually need a shoulder to cry on might make you feel like you’re more palatable to the people around you –– because if you don’t have needs, you can’t be inconvenient.

But no only works for so long –– you have to say yes if you’re going to matter.

Because the truth is, you do have needs. And those needs have to be met before you can ever start making real strides towards happy and healthy. That craving for a cupcake? It could be a signal that you’re in need of some pleasure or comfort. Or it could just mean that you want a damn cupcake. And that’s OK too. You have just as much right to fulfill your needs as someone in a smaller body. Or a taller body. Or a shorter body. Or any damn body at all.

Let me say that again, because it’s just that important: YOU HAVE JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO FULFILL YOUR NEEDS AS SOMEONE IN A SMALLER BODY.

(Yes, I’m shouting. That’s how much this matters.)

Because it’s only when you get this that you can start to really say yes. Yes to enjoying the body that you’re in, and taking care of it in ways that make you feel good. Yes to letting your butt fill the space that it fills instead of trying to keep it confined to one arbitrarily-sized seat. Yes to expanding, not trying to cram yourself into the corners of the life someone else wants you to have.

You get to say yes to the life you want, you desire, you deserve.

It only takes one.

This whole process starts with just one tiny, beautiful yes. So here’s me, standing here, holding out my hand, inviting you into the life you actually can have. Are you going to say yes?