8 new year's resolutions to make if you're in eating disorder recovery
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve which means cue all the glittery dresses, bottles of champagne...and diet talk.
Ugh. We're surrounded by diet culture all the time but it's even worse this time of year as everyone starts making their new year's resolutions, which inevitably sound something like "lose those last 10 pounds!" or "join weight watchers!" Eye roll.
And it's especially tough to hear if you're in recovery from an eating disorder. Because suddenly everyone is feeding into that ED chatter and making you second guess your own recovery. Not to mention, there are triggers everywhere.
So this year, I challenge you to, well, challenge those thoughts.
What if instead of trying to shrink our bodies, we tried to grow our self esteem? What if we focused less on losing pounds and more on gaining positive body image?
The new year shouldn't be about conforming to society's ideals or trying to starve yourself into some narrow vision of beauty. It should be about finding compassion for yourself and learning to accept (and even love!) who you are as you are right now in this moment.
Here are my suggestions for resolutions that'll help you love your body next year:
1. Keep your eyes on your own plate.
Paying attention to what everyone else is eating doesn't do you any good. Seriously...why does it matter if your friend is eating a salad and you're eating a cheeseburger? Not only do everyone's bodies have different needs, you don't know what your friend ate earlier or later (she may have had a salad but then gone home and eaten a bag of Doritos). Even if someone *is* eating less than you or eating "healthier," who. the. heck. cares?!
2. Stop asking for reassurance.
The phrase "is it okay if I eat XYZ?" (and any variation) is so 2017. You don't need others' permission to eat what you want and it's too easy to rely on their reassurance to justify your recovery. Take back that power this year and make your own decisions without constantly asking for approval.
3. Find your version of self care.
There's a reason self care is so #trending right now: it's totally necessary to keep your bod *and* mind healthy and happy. But everyone's self care is different. Yours might be something as fancy as organic rose bath bombs followed by jade rolling or as low-key as 15 minutes of reading a book before bed. Whatever yours is, find it and make time for it.
4. Listen to your body.
Only *you* know what's right for you. And in recovery especially, paying attention to what your body wants and needs is incredibly important. It might be taking a year off of any exercise (I did it!), eating ice cream three times a day just because you're craving it (yep, did that too) or sleeping 10 hours a night (recovery is exhausting!). Regardless, stop resisting what your body is trying to tell you and start tuning in, no matter how "wrong" it might feel.
5. Take a break from Instagram.
I love being a part of the recovery community on Instagram. But TBH, sometimes it can be a bit much. Sometimes, even though I'm mostly recovered, posts or pictures still trigger me. Sometimes, I get sucked into the comparison trap, wondering why I don't look like her or why she ate a smoothie while I'm shoveling in pancakes and syrup. If you find that your time online is more negative than positive, take a step back and get off social media for awhile. It'll always be there when you're ready and in a better place. (Or, you can just unfollow all those people who are doing you more harm than good!)
6. Overcome fear foods.
No explanation necessary. Make a list of those foods you're still afraid of eating and challenge yourself. The more you eat them, the less anxiety you'll have around them and the closer you'll be to "normal" eating.
7. Spend more time with the right people.
Your "friend" who constantly talks about her latest weight loss and diet tricks? Or the one who seems to only care about how you all look when you go to parties? Yeah, you don't need that negativity in your life anymore. You don't need to completely cut people out of your life if they're true friends but give yourself some space and surround yourself with people who share your values and body positive mindset.
8. Stop saying "I feel fat."
Because ain't no one's got time for that crap. You'll be surprised at how much better you feel once you stop talking badly about yourself (trust me!).