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When Resolutions Turn Into Relapse

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Over the Christmas period, people tend to indulge in desserts and nice food because it’s a festive time of the year. This leads to strings of healthy eating, diets, weight loss fads and gym memberships during the New Year.

There are weight loss programs starting on TV. People are talking about the new theme of 2017 and how their diet is going. People are sharing photos of themselves at the gym. I really like that people become motivated in the new year to do something for themselves, but New Year’s resolutions can be extremely trying for someone who has an eating disorder or for somebody who is in recovery for one.

New Year’s resolutions can be really helpful in putting people on track and motivating them to do more for their bodies and for themselves. However, people don’t tend to think about how negative New Year’s resolutions may possibly be. As someone who has battled with food and anorexia nervosa since the age of 15, the new year is a treacherous time. Each year it rolls around, I feel the same sinking dread and triggers.

I feel the urge to submerge into eating disorder behaviors. I become victim to the new weight loss fads circulating in the media. I sit and listen to friends and loved ones talk about their diets and can’t help but want to do the same. I become engrossed with exercises and gym memberships just like everyone else.

It’s so much easier to mask an eating disorder in the new year. When everyone is practicing healthy eating and exercising, no one really sees eating disorder signs as abnormal.

That’s why New Year’s resolutions set me back rather than forward. Resolutions turn into relapse. People’s talk about diets and exercise become extremely triggering with no fault of their own. The eating disorder becomes easier to hide and much more tempting to keep.

Resolutions can be completely rewarding, positive and healthy, but please, be considerate and spare a thought for those who may be struggling during the new year. Please, be aware that talks about diets and exercise can be harmful in the wrong hands. If you know someone who is recovering, then offer some support.

Here’s to a healthy, recovered 2017.

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.

You can continue to follow Savannah’s story at Saving Savannah.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 20, 2017
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