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⚠️Trigger Warning: eating disorders, weight loss
New years can bring out a lot of emotions, from excitement to exhaustion, from joy to fear. For every wish for a fantastic new year, there is a reminder of why you need to lose weight, how to do it, and other people jumping on the bandwagon.
If you’re recovering from an eating disorder, the new year can feel terribly triggering, unsafe and uncomfortable.
I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, primarily because I disagree with the idea that we can only better ourselves in January –and that bettering ourselves automatically means weight loss. How have the myriad ways of self-improvement been reduced to only weight loss?
First, remember that you have no obligation to make a new year’s resolution.
The new year will start. You will accomplish things, learn new things, and overcome challenges and difficult times. This will all happen naturally, without making a resolution.
Of course, having goals is a great way to target your physical and mental energy towards a specific end-point, but this is not a requirement of you.
So know that you have an out!
If you are someone who does like new year’s resolutions and would like to experiment with doing so in a more supportive way this year, keep reading.
Be open to adopting a new perspective on New Year’s resolutions.
This new year, I encourage you to expand your view, take the blinders off, and open yourself up to the many possible goals and hopes we can have for the upcoming year.
My only rule is this: take weight, body shape, or size out of the equation.
Instead, think about how your resolution for the new year can help you continue to engage with recovery.
Related: Reevaluating New Year’s Resolutions
Take a moment to brainstorm some resolutions.
Perhaps you want to take more time this year for self-care practices like meditation, breathing or physical activity. Maybe you want to devote more time to strengthening your relationships with friends or family.
A resolution for the year could be as simple as wanting to start flossing or more complicated like learning a new language.
Don’t forget to make a plan to stick with your resolutions.
Now that you have a resolution in place, how do you stick to it when you’re surrounded by constant messages about weight loss, diet plans, new year resets, and workout regimens?
Staying strong when it seems you’re the only one on this path can be challenging.
Here are some tips to help you stick to your non-weight-centric new year’s resolutions:
Write them down and keep them clearly visible:
Put up sticky notes on your wall or mirror, or write them in your phone. Keep your goals somewhere you can see them as quick reminders every day.
Remember your why:
Remind yourself why your resolution this year looks different than your past resolutions. What has changed? What have you learned this year about yourself, your body and your recovery that’s brought you here?
If you were doing the same as everyone else, or as you have done in the past, would you be treating yourself with the utmost support, love, and care? While being different is hard, it might be exactly what you need. Has staying the same truly benefited you?
Do you like to keep new year’s resolutions? If so, what are yours for the year? Let us know in the comments!
This year at Libero, we’re staying committed to supporting you through recovery by sharing stories of those who have been there. Our hope for the year is that we continue to grow as a strong community of individuals free of stigma and full of hope.
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Olivia Cupido is a registered dietitian and founder of OG Nutrition in Toronto. She is passionate about helping others foster healthy relationships with food and their bodies. Olivia helps her clients return to the importance of connection, culture, enjoyment and self-care in food and eating.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.