Body-related New Years resolutions that don’t have to do with weight loss

Happy 2018! I’m pumped for this year and hope you are too.

As you well know, when the new year rolls around, talk of weight loss and “getting healthier” (which, in our fatphobic society, often refers to weight loss) skyrockets. For us body positive rebels, it can be hard to tune out all of that overt (and covert) weight loss New Years resolution talk and keep our focus on responding to our bodies’ own unique needs.

To complicate things, it’s also totally okay and great to have a New Years resolution that involves our physical body, while rejecting fatphobia and embracing body acceptance. What’s the secret behind having a body-related New Years resolution without getting enmeshed in diet culture?

Do not make weight loss/changing your body shape/getting thinner the goal you want to achieve.

Here are some sample New Years resolutions that involve your physical body WITHOUT making weight loss the goal:

  • Drink more water to increase hydration, improve skin, calm anxiety
  • Jog a few days a week to improve lung capacity, sweat, release stress, prepare for a race
  • Lift weights to improve strength, make it easier to lift things in daily life, increase bone density
  • Add more vegetables to your diet (ex. carrot sticks and dip as part of your lunch) to give your body more vitamins/minerals, try new foods
  • Increase the frequency of your workouts to boost confidence, release stress, strengthen muscles, sweat, etc.
  • Replace your daily coffee with a smoothie once or twice a week to increase your fruit/veggie intake, increase hydration, increase energy.
  • Stretch in the morning to wake up body and mind, increase flexibility, improve circulation, reduce aches and pains.

None of these resolutions make weight loss an outcome. Weight loss can be a byproduct of these goals, that is, if you start increasing your workouts, for example, you may or may not lose weight. But your goal for increasing your workouts is not to lose weight; your goal is to feel more confident, increase your well-being, increase your cardiovascular capacity, release stress, etc.

If you make weight loss your goal, you will get sucked quickly into diet mentality, thus feeling disconnected from your body, experiencing chaos around food, and perhaps gaining some weight…because studies have shown that’s often what weight-loss goals lead to.

If you want to create a body-related New Years resolution for yourself, I am 100% behind you (and I’ve created them for myself too!). Just don’t make weight loss your goal, and you’ll be feelin and lookin amazing!