How to Set a New Year’s Resolution with an Eating Disorder

December 28, 2016 Z Zoccolante

Each year, as the New Year rolls around, millions of us with eating disorders set our resolutions. One of the number one American resolutions is to exercise more, with gym memberships spiking in January and then waning soon after. Despite good intentions, many people’s motivation falls to the wayside with nothing more than a shrug. However, for those with eating disorders, resolutions involving our weight or bodies can make for a dangerous year (Are Your New Year’s Resolutions Aiding Your Eating Disorder Recovery?). Here’s how not to set a New Year’s resolutions with an eating disorder.

Setting New Year's Resolutions with an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders aren’t about food but, instead, are about what we’re trying to control in our internal world, the emotions we’re trying to stuff down or violently get rid of, and the uncomfortable things we don’t want to face. This being said, eating disordered persons are some of the most motivated people I’ve ever seen. Sure, the motivation becomes an unhealthy obsession, but the sheer terror and willpower with which people fight to keep their disorder is noteworthy.

I remember year after year of wishing and striving to have the disorder disappear. I remember years of setting resolutions to fit into the tiny pair of jeans I used to keep in the back of my closet, to have them hang delicately on my hipbones like they used to. I remember resolutions of going to the gym, daily running, taboo foods, or losing weight till I was X pounds, or losing weight until my cellulite was gone or I couldn’t pinch my belly fat.

Resolutions about your body makes for a dangerous year if you have an eating disorder. Here’s how to set healthy New Year’s resolutions with an eating disorder.The problem with resolutions that involve diet, exercise, or body image is that we’re going to fail. And when we do fail the eating disorder will make sure that we feel like the worthless human it tells us we are.

It will press on our self-esteem until it’s an inch tall. It will whisper that we are unloved, worthless, failures, etc.

Read below to learn how not to make your New Year's resolutions with an eating disorder and what to do instead.

Resolutions Not to Make with an Eating Disorder

  • Resolutions around weight loss; for example, I want to lose weight, be skinny, see my hipbones, (fill in the blank)
  • Resolutions to exercise more because we all know that it’s not about feeling our best, it’s about being skinny.
  • Resolutions to fit into certain clothes; please throw the small clothes away. It’s better to be healthy than a size X and dead (Binge Eating Disorder New Year’s Resolutions).
  • Resolutions to drastically change your diet; for example, cutting out foods, making foods taboo, only eating at certain times or meals

Healthy Resolutions for People with an Eating Disorder

  • Resolutions to feel at peace in your skin
  • Resolutions to move your body in ways that bring you joy
  • Resolutions to throw out the old; for example, throw out old, tiny clothing or other things that may trigger you and hinder your recovery.
  • Resolutions to nourish your body with healthy foods
  • Resolutions to get support; for example, see a therapist, connect with friends, or enlist a support team
  • Resolutions towards your recovery

You don’t have to do it all at once, but like the tortoise and the hare story, it’s step by step that we win our recovery.

Here’s to eating disorders resolutions this year that bring more joy and health into all our lives.

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APA Reference
Zoccolante, Z. (2016, December 28). How to Set a New Year’s Resolution with an Eating Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Z Zoccolante

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