At the beginning of a new year, we find ourselves inundated with ways to become “healthier.” Our culture is obsessed with “health” and weight, and even more so at the start of the new year.
Recovering from an eating disorder is challenging on a good day, but the rush of New Year diet and weight loss plans make it even harder.
This new year, I challenge you to do what’s best for you and your recovery – not what the media tells you to do. Focus on what is healthiest for you. With that, here are ten ideas to help you become healthier from the inside out this year.
10 ways to become healthier this year
1. Ditch the labels
Stop obsessing about food and calories. Stop labeling food as “good” or “bad.” Work on seeing all foods as neutral; neither good or bad.
2. Start a gratitude practice
Start counting blessings and gratitudes. Set a time and place to make this a regular practice every single day. You may want to start a journal just for this purpose.
3. Make peace with your body
Remind yourself that your body is not the problem- society is the problem. Acknowledge that your worth and health are not be defined by your weight or size.
4. Change your mindset about weight
Let go of the false belief that weight predicts health. It simply doesn’t.
5. Set achievable personal goals
Think about what you’d like to accomplish this year. It can be recovery related (e.g. trying fear foods, going out to eat with friends once a week) or something else you’d like to work towards (e.g. learning how to play the piano).
Set small goals and make a plan to work towards them every single day.
6. Learn to love yourself
Practice self-compassion. Practice it when you achieve goal and when you fall short of your goals. Work towards making self compassion becoming your “autopilot.”
7. Surrender control
Let go of trying to control outcomes. Realize that this current moment is all we have and that there is much in this world that we can not control.
8. Be more present
Find ways to build presence and mindfulness into your life every single day. Unplug from your phone, do a meditation, say a prayer, or find what works to help you become grounded and present.
Find a way to incorporate this practice of becoming more present single day.
9. Make self-care a priority
Build self-care into your life on a regular basis. This will look different for everyone, so really explore what self-care looks like for you.
10. Say no more often
Learn to say “NO” to things that don’t bring you joy or take you farther away from your goals. Saying no will free you up to say “yes” to that which brings you true joy and is in alignment with your values.
Happy New Year, warriors!
(Last Updated: September 14, 2022)