New Year's Resolutions for Eating Disorder Recovery
New Year's resolutions for eating disorder recovery can often feel like undue pressure to reach arbitrary benchmarks or perform to certain standards and expectations. But in some cases, New Year's resolutions can actually help with eating disorder recovery—if you are intentional and realistic about them.
In order to maintain a healthy, positive, and successful mindset around New Year's resolutions and eating disorder recovery, you need to approach them as goals that empower you to make sustainable changes, instead of demands that enforce rigidity, induce shame, and leave no room for error. When your New Year's resolutions are too inflexible, this could position you for failure because no human being can resolve to dodge mistakes entirely. In fact, relapses and backslides are important lessons in the ED recovery process. So creating and actualizing New Year's resolutions that can help with eating disorder recovery, remember to extend grace and leniency, without requiring perfection, in 2019.
5 New Year's Resolutions for ED Recovery
- Resolve to surround yourself with a trusted network of support. This might include a professional therapist and dietician or intimate friends and relatives, but find a team of individuals who prioritize your healing and keep them in your corner. These people can remind you of the truth when the eating disorder spews deceit. They can hold you accountable when you exhibit unhealthy behaviors. And they can encourage you to pursue health and wholeness, even when it's difficult.
- Resolve to make time for self-care practices on a daily basis. No matter how packed your schedule might be, there is never a reason to neglect your own self-care, so create space in your routine for hobbies or rituals that enhance your wellbeing in mind, body, and spirit. Whether your chosen method of self-care is journaling, meditation, yoga, breathwork, photography or bathing with essential oils, when you are intentional about nurturing yourself, this can reduce emotional strain.
- Resolve to introduce a certain "fear food" back into your diet. You don't need to impose a specific time-frame on this, but make a commitment at some point during the year to eat food that your eating disorder has labeled forbidden. Be gentle with yourself when initiating this experiment—ask a person you trust to support you through the meal, take note of the sensations in your mind and body, and process whatever feelings come to the surface. You might just find that you enjoy this food.
- Resolve to be mindful of how much time you spend exercising. It's beneficial to maintain an active lifestyle, but overexertion can be dangerous and addicting, so monitor how long your workouts are and be prepared to make adjustments if they become excessive. 30 minutes of cardio fitness alternated with 60 minutes of resistance training five days per week is ideal. This allows for adequate rest periods and ensures that your body is not burning more calories than what it can actually sustain.
- Resolve to choose honesty instead of secrecy and duplicity. An eating disorder can't survive in the light—it can only thrive in the shadows—so make an effort to be honest anytime you are suffering. Admit to yourself when you feel tempted to engage in unhealthy behavior, then reach out to someone and confess that you need help. If you are truthful and transparent in these moments of turmoil, the instinct to hide behind secrets or false pretenses won't be able to keep you silent and stuck.
Schurrer, M. (2018, December 23). New Year's Resolutions for Eating Disorder Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, November 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2018/12/new-years-resolutions-for-eating-disorder-recovery