New Year’s resolutions are a funny thing. Some people decide that they want to build better relationships, some decide they want to reach their career goals.
Some people decide that they are going to finally *lose that weight* or really start *being active.*
I hate the way these people fall prey to diet culture and think that they should fit societal standards of movement, shape, body, etc. But hey, we’ve all been there.
A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions that focus on their body or their food or their exercise, and this is just another way for diet culture to seep into our lives. I think a lot of people choose these types of resolutions because they’re easier than looking at the *other changes* that need to be made in their lives.
Changing your body might sound easier than really working on your relationship with your mom. Going to the gym x times a week might sound easier than going to therapy or AA/NA.
And if you think about, this is the exact reason that people really get caught up in diet culture or in EDs all together: they’re a great distraction from real life.
Most eating disorders (or disordered eating) develop to protect people from dealing with their real emotions. For example: maybe your ED developed after your parents got divorced, or after you broke up with your significant other. Maybe when you’re really stressed at the job you don’t like, you turn to dieting/disordered eating to “control something you *can* control.”
(Newsflash: we can’t actually control our bodies.)
I think it’s clear that when people become body/food/weight/exercise obsessed, it’s purely a distraction from the real emotional work that needs to be done, but that doesn’t make it any easier to listen to.
The holidays, obviously, are a time when people LOVE to talk about this. Dinner table conversation can almost entirely revolve around this, and it can be torture. But here’s the thing: the holidays are very stressful as is, so it makes sense that people would rather talk about the surface aspects of life (diet culture topics) than talk about other, more reflective topics.
I also think that a lot of people who choose these resolutions seem to be middle-aged women. I know at some of my family parties, it’s the older women who seem to talk about their weight/body shape.
I think part of this comes with the stress that people face when their body starts to age, which is a totally normal process.
And I get it, I’m young and still am in a privileged, “I’m in my twenties” body, so I don’t know what this whole idea of *aging* really is. I hope, however, that when it comes time for me to start the aging journey, I can accept it as another part of life, just how I accept that my body will change and my weight will fluctuate.
I think for most people, aging causes a lot of stress because just like sizeism exists, ageism is also very real. What I mean by ageism is the inherent belief that younger people are more able, better looking, more desirable.
I mean, don’t you always hear people talk about how your 20s are the best time of your life? Our society truly believes that being younger is better and the older you get, the less valuable you are to the population.
I could write a whole other BLOG on this, let along another post. But for now, I hope what I’m saying makes sense.
I think adults who are aging feel stressed because they are starting to experience more ageism, and they believe that if they keep their body resembling that of a twenty-year-old, they’ll stop the affects of aging.
Again, I could write a whole blog on aging and how I hope to do it gracefully, but maybe I’ll write about that when I get there.
As for now, I can think of 10 better resolutions that you can focus on in 2018.
- Wear clothes that are comfortable.
- Move away from a weight-centric mindset.
- Avoid body checking.
- Continue (or start) seeking mental health care.
- Practice self-care at LEAST once a week, maybe more.
- Focus on healthy relationships.
- Be kind.
- Offer yourself compassion.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Respect yourself.
Happy holidays, happy New Year. Thanks for all of the reading, commenting, liking, and feedback this year!