New Year’s resolutions and AGING in America

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.*

This annoys me so much.

I hate the way these people fall prey to diet culture and think that they should fit societal standards of movement, shape, body, etc.Image result for new years resolutions quote

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…more on that here.)

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 shit. 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 try to accept that my body will change and my weight will fluctuate.

I think for most women, aging causes a lot of stress because just like diet culture exists, *age culture* is also very real. What I mean by *age culture* 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 agism, 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 I’ll be focusing on in 2018.

  1. Wear clothes that are comfortable.
  2. Continue not weighing myself.
  3. Continue not body checking.
  4. Continue seeing my therapist and dietitian cause they are both AH-mazing.
  5. Practice self-care at LEAST once a week, maybe more. This semester of grad school I’ve been really good about doing this, and this is *the first semester of my life*  (took me all of undergrad to figure it out, haha) that I haven’t been overwhelmed with stress at the end of the semester. YAY me!
  6. Focus on the new friendships I’ve made in grad school. My fiance got a new job and works some late nights, so spending time with my friends is great!
  7. Work on not holding grudges. I think this can be tough for everyone, and I’ve definitely made some progress with the whole idea of forgiveness, and while it’s hard, it feels good.
  8. When I have a photo taken of myself, I will try to pause before looking at it, just to remind myself that I can look at the photo and NOT be judgmental. I am not analyzing the photo, I am going to just observe.
  9. Keep working on not comparing my body to other bodies. This is literally pointless because there are a million and a half factors that contribute to why everyone has a different body.
  10. Continue working on my anxiety, understanding my anxiety, and working on the coping skills that help me calm down.

My mom came into the room while I was writing this and I gave her the gist of the post, and something she said seems like a great quote to end this with:Image result for new years resolutions quote

“People are so focused on keeping their bodies from aging but they should focus on keeping their mind from aging.” 

Happy holidays, happy New Year. Thanks for all of the reading, commenting, liking, and feedback this year!

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