One-third of people make new year’s resolution to change their body, and approximately 80% of them will fail. Most of these resolution makers claim that what they want to be happy and healthier in the new year.
However, hating on yourself will not make you happier or healthier, and it isn’t going to encourage your resolution to succeed in the long term.
Research shows what makes people happier and healthier is body acceptance, not body hatred. So, instead of centering your resolution around negative thoughts of your body, work on approval.
A better resolution: lose the critical thoughts about your body.
Feeling bad about your body will not encourage you to get healthy/lose those 10 lb./start exercising.
How do you know if your resolution is body negative?
- It makes you feel ashamed of your body or how you look.
- It paints yourself in a negative light.
- If you wouldn’t recommend the resolution to a friend.
- The resolution includes denying yourself of things or punishment.
Where to start with body acceptance: Body neutral statements
For example: If you’ve hated on your thighs for your whole life it is not feasible to all the sudden be able to stand in front of the mirror and exclaim your love for them. Your brain is smarter than that. So, start where you are. If you cannot find something positive to say, say something neutral. Like
“These are my legs.”
“My legs are strong.”
And if you just aren’t there yet with a body part, find a body part you don’t hate.
“My skin is smooth.”
“I like the shape of my shoulders.”
Or even announce what your body has accomplished.
“This belly grew another human being.”
“My legs carry and support me.”
“These arms hold my children and show them love.”
Focus on the positive rather than singling out the negative.
The benefits of this will go far beyond positive body image. Body acceptance can help improved mood, self-esteem, and reduced disorder eating behaviors. When you feel good about yourself, you are happier, and take better care of yourself.
If you want to experience more happiness in the new year, start with ditching the body-hating resolutions. Instead, adopt a more body positive attitude. And if that feels too tricky start with some body-neutral statements.