Today is New Year’s Day and a well-known tradition around the world is to set ‘resolutions’, or goals for the upcoming year. Popular culture influences these goals, and the thin-ideal is ever-present. The two most common New Year’s resolutions are to get in shape, and to eat healthier. They are both goals to essentially lose weight and change the shape of the body.
Typing in ‘New Year’s Resolution ideas’ into Google, the first search page to come up is ‘50 New Year’s Resolutions and How to Achieve Each of Them.’ Number one on their list was ‘Get in Shape’, and two ‘Start eating healthier food, and less food overall.’ The third search result under the ‘New Year’s resolution’ Google search was ‘Top Ten Healthiest New Year’s Resolutions.’ ‘Lose Weight’ was number one.
Weight loss is not the epitome of health. Too often heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and other common diseases are correlated strictly with weight. That is not the reality. These goals are not conducive to overall wellbeing and are more harmful than helpful. These suggestions are a breeding ground for disordered eating and eating disorder behavior.
Setting a goal to become part of the thin-ideal can be unrelenting and dangerous. Ninety percent of people cannot achieve this, because it is unnatural for most bodies. Taking away the focus of the thin-ideal, and instead turning towards health and overall wellbeing is invaluable. Soundness of mind and body can promote positive body image, and let us enjoy food- instead of disliking our bodies, or making food the enemy.