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6 New Year's Resolution Ideas for Eating Disorder Recovery


Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741.

In the past, my New Year’s resolutions had always been subconsciously decided by my eating disorder. They focused on my appearance, my diet or numbers.

Therefore, when you are in recovery from an eating disorder, it can be hard or even triggering to make a New Year’s resolution.

To avoid the stress caused by New Year’s resolutions when in recovery, here are six ideas to use this year:

1. Get rid of all the photos that motivate your eating disorder.

This is a goal recommended to me when I was in treatment for an eating disorder. It’s common for people with an eating disorder to keep photos that promote their disordered eating habits. Whether that be photos of yourself where you look sick, or photos from the internet of thin people your eating disorder idolizes — get rid of them! Burn them, throw them in the trash, delete them from your phone and remove them from your social media accounts.

2. Try an activity you are interested in.

When you’re submerged in your eating disorder, it’s easy to only focus only your eating disorder. In recovery, it’s important to work on shifting your focus from the disorder and onto things that make you happy. So for this year’s resolution, discover what you love. Pick a sport (going to the gym does not count), join a club, do volunteer work, make plans to travel, take music lessons or anything else that catches your eye. Not only will this help separate who you are from your eating disorder, this can be a healthy distraction when you are struggling.

3. Each day, write day a minimum of one thing you’re grateful for and save them in a jar.

I am 100 percent positive that most people read this idea and sighed. I have heard this idea recommended by many counselors and therapists. It wasn’t until I committed to my recovery that I actually tried it…. and I promise it is actually the most uplifting idea ever. Create a cute jar and keep it in a place you will see it; this way, you’ll remember to write what you are happy about or grateful for each day. Not only will you be ending your day on a positive note (pun intended), at the end of the year you will be able to reflect on everything good that happened this year.

4. Reconnect with friends and family.

When you are invested in your eating disorder, people tend to drift away from their friends and loved ones. This happens because isolation gives an eating disorder power. Therefore, though it might be difficult, reconnecting with others can be an important step forward in your recovery. The larger you can make your support system, the better.

5. Donate clothes you used to wear when you were sick.

This idea follows the same principles of idea #1. Keeping clothes around that you wore when you were sick is a consistent way to trigger your eating disorder. In eating disorder recovery, it’s important to learn to stop obsessing over sizes and to instead embrace your body for what it does for you. Donating to your clothes is not only a way to progress in your recovery, but it’s very charitable way to help your community, especially during the winter season.

6. Finally, make a goal to commit to your recovery.

The last idea is going to be plain and simple. This year, instead of creating a whole new goal for your New Year’s resolution, devote yourself to recovering. Commit to your treatment plan, trust your support team, reach out for help when you need it and truly conquer your eating disorder. You can do anything you set your mind to.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Getty Images photo via Cn0ra