We’re now in 2022 and the saying “New Year, New Me” continues to be used by so many around the world. Our resolutions might have gotten modern with the times and a bit more vain with the evolution of beauty standards, but New Year’s Resolutions go as far back as the 1600s. According to a 2021 survey, these are the most common resolutions made in the past few years:
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Live more economically
- Spend less time on social media
- Improve job performance
- Reduce job-related stress
- Quit smoking
- Cut down on alcohol
And the most infamous New Year’s resolutions… Exercise more, Eat Healthier and Lose Weight.
Comadres, have you ever made one of these resolutions? I know I have. Many of us make resolutions like these to create opportunities of growth for ourselves- which is a beautiful sentiment in itself. However, we should be careful about the way we talk to children and young people about our resolutions to exercise more, eat healthier, and lose weight.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have resolutions around feeling healthier, but with the new year comes heightened conversations around diets and weight loss. And research shows that when we talk to children about losing weight, limiting our food intake, or being dissatisfied with our physical qualities, they’re more likely to develop unhealthy relationships with their bodies and food. This ultimately can affect their mental and physical health, interpersonal relationships, and performance in school.
Trust me- if you’ve ever talked about weight loss or body image around school-age children during the New Year, you are not alone. I know I’m guilty of doing it, but I also recognize how much I heard about weight loss growing up. And while I’m all about #SelfLove as an adult, I struggled a lot with my physical self-esteem growing up. I feel fortunate to have never experienced an eating disorder as a young person, as a result of my hyper-awareness of my body, but many young people do struggle with this.
New Year’s resolutions aren’t entirely to blame for toxic weight-loss culture, but they are one part of the problem. So, in the spirit of 2022 and creating New Year’s resolutions, let’s make one to create healthier relationships with New Year’s resolutions! Let’s break unhealthy cycles by being careful with how we talk to children about our goals to become physically healthier. Let’s explain to them that we want to feel stronger by moving our bodies more, drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, and getting more sleep.
I know we are halfway through January, but let’s take some time to reevaluate our resolutions and change them to feel more reachable. We deserve to be kinder to ourselves by creating opportunities for growth that inspire us, instead of bringing us down. Our young people also deserve to see us reach our goals, instead of seeing us beat ourselves up over not being able to reach a goal.
Comadres, what goals did you make for yourself in 2022? How will you be accomplishing these goals and how will they be changing to accommodate your needs?
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