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Clementine Twin Lakes Registered Dietitian Shelby Santin, RD shares some ideas for making new years resolutions that support eating disorder recovery. Read on to learn more from Shelby…

Our diet-obsessed culture can negatively impact those struggling with an eating disorder. With the holidays winding down, it is the season of New Year’s resolutions. As soon as the ball drops on New Years Eve there is a flood of advertisements for diets that promise happiness and success in the New Year. Challenging the diet mentality is an important component of eating disorder treatment. At Clementine we work with our clients to cultivate self-worth and measures of success separate from food and weight. Making resolutions that are not related to diet or weight can help support you or a loved one in eating disorder recovery. Here are some resolutions for the New Year:

Stop Labeling Food. Food is often assigned words such as “good” “bad” “junk” “good” or “clean.” When value is attached to food these words can be internalized based on what you eat. For example, when you eat a “bad” food then you are “bad.” Using more neutral language around food and thinking of food as fuel and connection can help support eating disorder recovery. Food labeling is ingrained in our culture so challenging these thoughts can take time.

Make Mistakes. Diet culture leads us to believe that we are failures if they are unable to eat a certain way, however in reality diet culture has failed us. Recovery will not be perfect. Any “mistake” is an opportunity to grow. Treating yourself with kindness can give you the space to reflect on mistakes and learn from them. It is important to strive for progress not perfection.

Ask for help. Diet culture is so pervasive in our society that part of eating disorder treatment at Clementine is educating families on how to talk about food and weight to help support recovery. It can be difficult to ask for support when you are struggling. Having a support system to rely on can help relapse prevention.


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