Why experts say you should take food, body resolutions ‘off the table’ this new year

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, eating disorder experts say to shred anything to do with food and body image. (Photo: Getty Images)

As we all know, New Year’s Eve comes with pressure to make decisions. And there is nothing wrong with aiming for a fresh start. But for many who struggle with constant pressure to change who they are, what they look like, and how they eat throughout the year, resolutions can do more harm than good. There is a possibility

“Somehow there’s this message that you’re not good enough or not good enough. This message is shameful,” said a licensed professional counselor and expert at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Paula Edwards Gayfield, who contributes to the home, said. Yahoo Life. “It’s emphasizing that we should be ashamed of ourselves and our bodies in some way,” she said, adding that such messages promote toxic social beliefs that are often associated with diet culture. .

Regarding the specific expectations that people will lose weight at the beginning of the new year, author and activist Virgie Tovar previously told Yahoo Life. is what my culture expects of me,'” she said in late 2021. In other words, I understand that the culture expects me to take full responsibility for my life. And that includes my finances. includes my weight.

Different parts of life can fall under the umbrella of that responsibility, but Edwards-Gayfield explains why body image is at the forefront. “In all other areas of my life, I may not feel good enough, but I can prove that I am this size, shape, and weight and that I can be dedicated, so this You can do very well in the realm,” she says.

That sense of control is a direct link between determination and eating disorders.

“With an eating disorder, the problem isn’t the food,” she says. “Undoubtedly, food-related behavior emerges. But given what sustains that behavior, an eating disorder allows the person to repress or suppress emotional experiences.” It’s not enough.”

It’s just a sense of control that we, as humans, crave, and feel we lose during the holiday season when “indulgence” is temporarily acceptable. “We’re not really letting go of the diet culture,” says Gillian Lampert, Ph.D., as she stresses the need to make room for the slice of pie that is seen as the.Veritas Collaborative in Eating Disorder Treatment and Emily He is also Program’s Chief Strategy Officer.

“We show up at holiday events and say, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t, but that’s what I’m going to do,’ right?” It is difficult for those who suffer from eating disorders to not let the actions of others influence their own behavior. ’ and start thinking.”

Talk of fad diets and weight loss goals is circulating everywhere on January 1st as it presents an appropriate deadline for people to correct behaviors they deem unacceptable. Her Lexie Manion, who is a member of the NEDA Lived Experience Task Force and who has worked on eating disorder recovery herself, told Yahoo Life that as a result, discussions about her solution were not for her. He says it’s “very annoying”.

“The idea of ​​reinvention is very welcome to some, but we have to realize how damaging it can be to try to completely change our bodies. “Attributing true happiness to external assessments is a slippery slope. Eating disorders are associated with a decline in body image and the perception of how we relate to our bodies and lives to others.” Comparison thrives, so we must be realistic in our thirst for change and look inside before changing the outside.”

To do so, Edwards-Gayfield suggests setting boundaries and working toward solutions, whether you’re defining your own or discussing them with others. “We’re not discussing food or body issues,” she suggests saying. “We’re taking this off the table.”

When it comes to her own recovery, Mannion stresses the need for a safe space to talk about triggers and boundaries. He said it was important to tell.

“We certainly try to teach our patients to ask what they need, and also to role models for living differently with the weight of ourselves and our bodies, food, and the world.” I’m trying to be,” she says, like saying, ‘I don’t want to talk about it.'”

Edwards-Gayfield adds that it will likely lead to more valuable conversations and goal setting.

“We don’t frame our bodies by their shape or weight. Moving away from focusing on body size, shape and weight, some of the things we value, namely If we could really explore who we are as people, that would help some counter-arguments: Which messages could make people more vulnerable?” she asks. . “What else would you be talking or thinking about if you weren’t focused on your body?”

More importantly, she suggests moving away from the mindset of having to deal with “something is wrong” so that people can participate in creating solutions for success. .

“I appreciate my practice of setting annual goals and intentions and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable goals throughout the year,” Mannion says of her own annual reflections and resolutions. . “Finding our strengths and honing our passion for life that has nothing to do with looks can help us refocus on what’s important, break free from body image struggles, and embrace a recovered life. You can live a more purposeful life when you are ready.”

“[The new year] “But starting over with our weight, our bodies, doesn’t have to be one of them,” Lampert said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call us. National Eating Disorders Association Hotline 1-800-931-2237.

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