Resolutions & Eating Disorders; New year, no thanks!
Like clockwork, each year the festive period is accompanied by decadence, over-indulgence and more, always more. The ad industry fills us up with FOMO for treats we wouldn’t normally eat but absolutely must have, and calories obviously don’t count because, well, it’s Christmas. Then the second January rolls around, they turn on us. Every calorie we ate over Christmas is a sin we must now pay for, in the gym and in the kitchen. Salads are suitable for every meal it would seem. We should be improving ourselves, we MUST be better. New year, new me and all that jazz…
I’ve never really gone into detail all too much on my relationship with eating, but I really struggled with it as a teen. The pressure we all face in January, especially for women, kinda reflects a small percentage of what it’s like living with an eating disorder. Extra pressure to fit other peoples ideals, to eat less, to work out more, to be ‘perfect’. Except anorexia and the gang aren’t forgotten about and swept under the rug by the time February rolls around. Disordered eating is something you never fully get away from, in my experience anyway. I have a much healthier attitude to food these days, but surrounded by exclamations of how everyone will be up at 6am to visit the gym and eat only lettuce leaves, it gives the niggles in my head a platform. Should I be doing that?
I’m all for self-improvement. If you can do work you love or maintain perfect health or save up as quickly as I spend etc, I’m really proud of you. If you can’t achieve your goals but your trying, I’m proud of you. If you’re happy just the way you are, I’m proud of you. But don’t feel like your goals should be something you’ve been told you want. I always say, I’m happier at a size 14 than I ever was as a size 4. It took a long time for me to realise the quest to be thin enough never ends and that being thin doesn’t magically equal happiness.
So no, my resolutions aren’t to lose weight and work-out more. They’re to give my all where I can afford to and to not feel guilty when I can’t. We aren’t super heroes. We can’t magically cut out sugar or go cold turkey from caffeine. I won’t bully myself into being something I’m not. January is always a difficult month, so here’s a li’l public service announcement to look out for yourself and for others, take things one step at a time and don’t beat yourself up for the set-backs.
New year, new me? No thanks.