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  • Dina Cohen

In 2020, I Will...

Are you a "resolutions" kind of person? If so, I'm curious about what your resolutions might have sounded like in the past. Were they born from your own brain or triggered by something you read online? Say them aloud in your mind. Do they sound kind, or are they critical? Did they make you feel empowered...or constricted?

As you head into the new year, consider what you'd like to bring along from 2019. Do you want the same soundrack running through your mind? Or are there things you want to leave behind, or do differently?

If you're looking for a change, mentally try on one of these resolutions and see how it feels.

In 2020, I will:

1. Not compare my body to others.

I will appreciate that there is diversity in body types just like there is diversity in so many things in nature. I will acknowledge that my body type is a part of the package of who I am, along with my other qualities, and that my job is to take good care of myself and not to change my genetics.

2. Make time for meals.

I will recognize that people function best when they are fueled, and that I am a person too. I will arrange my schedule to allow enough time to eat, just like I would for any other person. I will try to make sure that there is satisfying, nutritious food available when I need it. I will plan ahead to make this happen.

3. Regularly give myself a non-food dessert.

I will set aside time each day to relax, unwind, and do something nice for myself. It can be something grand once in a while, but it can also be something as simple as putting my feet up for ten minutes and reading a magazine. I will acknowledge that taking a time-out is not a weakness; it is a basic need. I will recognize that ignoring my needs has negative consequences and so I will be proactive in ensuring that those needs get met.

4. Treat my body like a good friend.

I will appreciate what my body does for me, even if I don't always like it. I will understand that some days I will get along with it better and that other days it might annoy me. But either way, I won't verbally abuse it. I will give it respect and show it my gratitude.

5. Not beat myself up after meals.

I will remember that one meal does not make or break anything. Sometimes my meals will be well-planned, colorful, and balanced. Other times I'll eat random combinations because that's what circumstances allowed for. Sometimes I'll eat until satisfaction. Other times I might eat beyond that. I can try and learn from times when things didn't go very well, but whatever happens, I'll remember that criticism and harsh judgments won't lead to healthy changes.

6. Challenge myself to try new foods.

I will increase my variety by trying foods that scare me. I will keep in mind that increased variety is linked to increased health and that being able to eat different kinds of foods can improve my quality of life.

7. Risk connection.

I will remember that we do better when we help each other. If need be, I will share my struggles with someone supportive. If I need help, I will ask for it. I will remember that everyone struggles at some point. Sometimes I am the one who supports others. Sometimes I am the one who needs support. By being vulnerable with others, I am being human. And allowing myself to be helped makes me stronger.

8. Compliment people on qualities other than looks.

I will aim to help others feel seen and not merely looked at. By giving compliments that aren't appearance-related, I can help people feel appreciated for what they do and who they are rather than what they look like.

9. Journal.

I will spend a few minutes checking in with my thoughts and feelings and putting them down on paper. Doing so shows respect for my inner experiences and can also help prevent using unhealthy behaviors to cope with pent-up emotions.

10. Enjoy food.

Despite living in a culture so obsessed with health and thinness (which, by the way, are not the same thing!) that it injects a sense of fear into eating, I will find joy in nourishing myself. Eating is something I need to do each day, and it is a blessing that it is something enjoyable. I will appreciate the colors, flavors, and textures of the food I eat, and I will aim to do so without guilt, shame, or doubt.

I hope one of these will be helpful to you in the new year - or at least give you something to think about. 😉 Happy 2020!

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