Forget weight loss resolutions this new year. Try more body-positive compassion, and feel the difference you’ll make in your health and happiness.
Are New Year’s resolutions your thing? Considering the fact that only 8% of people succeed with their New Year’s resolutions, they’re probably not anyone’s thing.
However, there is definitely something to the idea of starting the new year with refreshed purpose. There’s this general feeling of renewal around January 1st that can lead to a boost in motivation.
So why not harness that extra drive towards being more body-positive?
Of course, the something positive we’re talking about isn’t losing “X” pounds or perfecting a clean eating lifestyle. It’s about developing a deeper sense of appreciation for the fact that you already are a pretty awesome person, and maybe starting a few habits that make you even ‘awesomer’. That’s a word, I promise.
When it comes to fostering permanent behavior change, a slow and steady approach is always recommended. But during this time of year, a pull to go-big-or-go-home is strong. It’s a big reason, if not the biggest reason, why so many resolutions fail.
If you really must go the cold turkey route, there are a few bad habits you’d be smart to ax in this new year. Here are a few body-positive resolutions for the new year:
1. STOP BODY CHECKING OTHER PEOPLE.
Let’s be honest here – we’ve all done it. We’ve stared in envy at a random stranger’s “flawless” appearance, jumping to conclusions about their life or personality. In sticking with the theme of honesty, I’m sure we’ve all looked at someone in a bigger body with a twinge of disgust, judging not only their appearance but assuming personal attributes that supposedly led to their size.
This is a very bad habit.
That does not mean you are bad for body checking, but rather that it’s a nasty habit all of us have developed from this insane diet culture we all live in. It’s a habit we need to stop, not only because it’s wrong to judge someone on their appearance, but because it’s impossible for it to not lead to self judgement and feeling crappy about ourselves.
In general, we’re a lot kinder and more compassionate to other people. By steering away from body checking others, it will help you build compassion and critical-thinking skills that will help dismantle your own negative beliefs about your body. Practice being less judgmental of other people, and you’ll be less judgmental of yourself.
2. STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF.
Just stop. The scale tells you nothing about yourself other than your relationship with gravity at a specific moment in time. For those who say the scale helps maintain weight loss, that may be true, but only a low percentage of people are able to maintain weight loss, so we’re talking about a very small minority.
More often, the scale triggers overeating or over-restriction.
How many times have you eaten more of something after losing weight because you felt like you deserved it? Or conversely, did you restrict yourself when the number was higher than you wanted, which then triggered a binge or overeating episode? Big picture – the scale isn’t very accurate, can’t determine your health, and rarely does anything other than make you feel bad, so why not leave it behind?
3. STOP SAYING NO TO THINGS BECAUSE OF YOUR WEIGHT.
How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something because you weren’t at your “perfect” weight yet? Do you hold back from wearing a type of clothing you love, putting yourself out there for dating, not going on a beach vacation – all because you’re unhappy with your size? It’s like waiting for a number on the scale to signify that real life can begin.
Stop saying no, and start saying yes.
You deserve all the things you want in life right now, as you are. Go after your dreams and do the things that make you happy, rather than hoping that things will fall into place after losing weight.
That’s a surefire way to make this upcoming year your best one yet.
For more tips on keeping your positive New Year’s resolutions, head to the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: BROOKE LARK
Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE is a private practice dietitian, food enthusiast, and nutrition expert based in Columbia, SC. By guiding others to rediscover the joy of nourishment rather than deprivation, Rachael helps men and women alike improve their health and well-being through delicious whole food recipes and practical advice through intuitive eating.