Author: Alison Ross, LMFT, CEDS
It's a new year and the diet industry is flooding your feed with messages about why you should jump on the weight loss bandwagon. Influencers and the media are so effective at promoting the idea that weight loss is going to make you healthier, happier, and more worthwhile. But if you're struggling with disordered eating, or would like to avoid struggling with it, these messages are not for you. Not only do they represent magical thinking, but they're also downright dangerous.
Research suggests the pursuit of the thin ideal and unhealthy weight control behaviors increases your risk for disordered eating and binge/purge spectrum disorders. Dieting stresses your brain out, making you hungrier, and setting up unhealthy eating patterns and more profound feelings of failure and body image distortion.
So as we step into 2023, I want to encourage you not to take the bait from the influencers and marketers who profit when you obsess about your weight and get stuck in disordered eating cycles. This year, reject those harmful messages and set an intention to focus on what empowers you. Instead of making a weight loss resolution, I suggest that you make a weightless resolution for 2023. Leave weight loss out of it and instead set an intention that will truly empower you and make you healthier.
For example, you could resolve to practice gratitude for all the ways your body carries you through life. If you're a dieter, you could set an intention to expand your food repertoire and focus on developing the more soulful, creative, or intellectual aspects of yourself. If you feel like food controls you, you could resolve to slow down and listen to your body's wisdom about what you need at any given moment. You could set an intention to cultivate a social media feed full of body-positive voices and inspiring people that make you feel supported and empowered. The bottom line is that a weightless resolution really puts your health first, encourages you to stop abusing yourself with unrealistic body goals, and encourages self-awareness and self-care. In other words, it supports your recovery.
I hope this give you ideas about how you can welcome the new year by focusing on the things that build you up instead of tear you down. And if you want more support, join our email list to be informed of online classes, services, and other resources that support your recovery.
Happy new year from all of us. Stay strong and be brave. It's good to be you.