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New Year’s Triggers for Disordered Eating

The time of New Year’s resolutions rolls around with great trepidation for those who struggle with patterns of disordered eating. The coming of the new calendar year can be an excellent opportunity to review the year that just passed and make resolutions for the coming year. However, for many people, January 1 is not a time of opportunity; rather, it represents a missed opportunity, a reminder of what hasn’t changed, and a signal that something will always be wrong. 


Eating disorders can be grueling. People with eating disorders might spend an entire year trying to either gain weight or lose weight, or develop healthier eating habits. At the end of the year, the scale might read the same, or a doctor might provide words that have you feeling even more discouraged. How do you work through the season’s potential triggers about patterns of disordered eating, especially around the New Year?

Set Realistic Resolutions

Around the New Year, there is a lot of pressure to take a look at ourselves and decide we will make a complete change starting in January. However, if your goals are too ambitious, they can leave you feeling worse in the long run because they won’t lead to any actual changes. If you make your goals more realistic, it’s much more likely that you will attempt them and succeed. Instead of setting a goal weight this year, think about setting a resolution to love and respect your body. This change will inevitably help you find a better rhythm in your recovery. 


Remember, it’s ok to make mistakes. You will make mistakes, and you will slip up. We all do. The goal is to make sure not to let those mistakes ruin your day, your week or worse, your resolution to make meaningful change. Now, this is not an excuse to keep going with the disordered eating behavior; it is simply a reminder that perfection is not something worth holding on to. You can make mistakes and still be worthy of love and  value. You can make mistakes and still have caring and loving relationships with those around you. 

Find Ways to Be Thankful and Proud

Focusing on the negative aspects of our lives is easy but taxing. To become better at noticing the good things, spend the last few minutes of each night writing a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. It could be a friend, a pet or maybe that you had all green lights on the way home from the store. Anything that makes you happy, write it down. When you feel overwhelmed by negative feelings, take a look at your lists and remind yourself of all the good you have experienced. 

Stick With What Works

For some people, developing new habits is key. For others, fancy new routines might be too much work. If you have practices that have slowly increased your health, it’s just a matter of continuing those habits with patience and consistency. The answer is not always in a different place; sometimes, it just takes time. 


If you are feeling overwhelmed this holiday season, don’t be afraid to reach out. At The Ranch, we can help create a personalized treatment plan that will start you off on the road to recovery. Connect with us today; call us at 1.844.876.7680


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