11 Body-Positive Resolutions for the New Year That Have Nothing to do With Changing Your Body
Cheers to another year around the sun! The New Year can bring a lot of excitement for the possibilities and opportunities to come, but it can also stir up some pressure to change. You know the old adage, “New Year, new me.” We can’t even go grocery shopping without being bombarded with diet-y messaging urging us to buy their “detox” powders or weight loss cookbooks.
And while we have nothing against new year’s resolutions, we would like to propose a new frame of reference going into the season. We prefer resolutions that are realistic, attainable (over 80% of traditional resolutions fail), and sustainable, and that don’t focus on changing our body shape or size. Instead of resolutions to change how our body looks, how about thinking about how you want to feel in the coming year, what you want to bring to the world and get out of your life?
Resolutions or intentions that emphasize weight loss or aesthetics only perpetuate fatphobia, weight stigma, poor relationship with food and body and may lead to adverse health outcomes (for instance, weight cycling - the consistent gain and loss of weight - has been shown to lead to poor cardiovascular outcomes ). Not only that, but there has yet to be a single study demonstrating successful weight loss over time as a result of a diet. There’s no need to consider another diet. Hey, if they actually worked we wouldn’t need a new one every year, right? The messages pressuring you to change your food choices or exercise habits for the sake of changing your body are targeting your insecurities. There is an entire industry that literally profits off of people’s body insecurities- nearly $70 billion worth of profit, to be exact.
You can certainly aim to make health a priority! In fact, a health at every size (HAES) approach aims to do just that. By taking the focus off of numbers, tracking and weight, you are more likely to make decisions and behavior changes from a place of body respect rather than viewing your body as a problem.
Let’s brainstorm some body-positive resolutions for the new year that have nothing to do with changing your body.
11 resolutions that will ADD to your life, rather than rob you of it:
1. Appreciate what your body does for you
Make a list of all the ways your body supports you
You don’t necessarily need to start loving your body, but you can actively work on respecting it and appreciating what it can do
Take note of the incredible ways your body supports you- make a list!
If you haven’t already, read Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield
2. Stop waiting to experience what life has to offer when you reach the illusive “x” weight.
You are worthy of those things NOW
Your body is just a vessel for all the good stuff inside.
Go to the beach, swim in the ocean, go skydiving, ask for the promotion, negotiate your pay, flirt with that cute person…time isn’t slowing down!
3. Toss out your scale
Donate it, give it away, throw it out, smash it with a hammer…we don’t care
Your scale offers little valuable information about your health, and is more likely to set a restrict-binge cycle into motion
Focus instead on internal measures of health and wellbeing. How you feel in your body, instead of an arbitrary number
4. Stop body checking & comparing
This is a habit we’re all accustomed to after living in a fat-phobic, thinness-obsessed society
All bodies are good bodies, and body diversity is a real, beautiful thing
Even if we all ate and exercised the same, we would still have different body shapes and sizes
Body comparisons and agonizing over parts of ourselves we wish we could change are only going to make us feel inadequate and uncomfortable in our skin
5. Compliment others on non-appearance related things
We never know what lies beneath the surface- a well-meaning compliment on someone’s weight or size could be feeding into their own disordered eating
Well-intentioned compliments on someone’s weight is likely to leave us feeling self-conscious and “less than”
Compliments that have nothing to do with appearance are likely to be more meaningful and impactful, leaving both you and the recipient of the complement feeling better
Some examples: “You light up a room!”, “Your laugh is so infectious!”, “You are so creative!”, “you inspire me!”, “you look so happy!”
6. Find new hobbies or learn something new!
Without dieting in your life to take up your time, you’ll have so much more brain space to learn something new to or try new things!
Try a new exercise class that sounds joyful, check out a cooking or pottery class, volunteer at the local animal shelter, go for long walks in nature with your favorite podcast…the options are limitless!
7. Set an intention to make self-care a priority
Stress management has a huge effect on our overall health and wellbeing.
Making self care a priority can alleviate some stress and anxiety
Self-care doesn’t need to be glamorous- even the mundane day to day activities like brushing your hair, showering or putting on lotion can become self-care if we make ourselves more present and mindful in the moment. Intention is everything!
8. Power down
We live in a digital age- our phones have basically become another appendage
Set time limits on your phone or designate times during the day will you will
Turn your phone to airplane mode at night- that way to don’t wake up in the morning to an instead stream of notifications and updates and can start your morning a little lighter
9. Get some rest!
More and more, the literature is pointing to sleep as a predictor of overall health. Chronically poor sleep is likely to lead to unfavorable health outcomes.
Develop a nighttime ritual- make some tea, take a warm shower or bath, avoid screen time at least 30 minutes before bed and read a relaxing book before sleep
Try to get to sleep around the same time each night- our bodies function best on a schedule
10. Schedule time with your therapist
Feeling bogged down or anxious? We strongly believe in therapy as a way to sort through the tough stuff and organize our minds
You don’t have to go it alone! Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
11. Start to view your body as the home you live in
We were not put on this Earth to lose weight and pay bills
Your body is your home, one that carries your personality to enable you to live out a fulfilling, meaningful life
At the end of the day, it’s perfectly okay to just BE as you are, with no intention to change or feel inclined to engage in “self improvement” whatsoever! It’s your life, and health is not an obligation! You are worthy, whole and enough as you are, right now.
Is the pressure to change your body, shape or size getting the best of you as we head in to the new year? How are you finding balance with all of the detox-y, diet-y banter out there? Connect with us in the comments below or DM us on our Instagram or Facebook, we want to help!
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We're a group of non-diet, balance seeking, cupcake consuming, quinoa loving, registered dietitians.
By sharing our expertise, favorite tools and services, we want to help you heal your relationship with food and body and find your own balance amidst the diet culture chaos.