National Eating Disorders Association
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The Year of No Resolutions

Catherine Weingarten

This New Year's Eve I had some flashbacks.

When most people think about New Year's Eve, they think of attractive people laughing in glee, throwing pink streamers in the air and making out. They think of rom com fantasies of meeting the love of your life in Times Square and crying over how, like, cute this moment totally is. But most of my New Year's Eve memories do not fall in this category. Most of my memories connect to my rigorous resolutions and my hope for a more perfect new year of follow-through.

Ever since I was around preteen/tween age I've had the same resolutions: be less fat, go on a diet, change my life--one celeb exercise plan at a time. Each year it was slightly different, and each year I found a new way to fail at this resolution. (The only fun New Year's resolution I ever had was to make out with this guy in college I had an uber crush on. I gave myself a year and I still failed to keep that one.)

So just to set up the backdrop: every New Year's Eve since I was around ten, I would have a new friend to sleep over and do New Years' Eve things with. We would pick out streamers, get lots of "sinful" desserts, and watch chick flicks (of the tragic, untimely death variety). Then I would tell my friend my resolution and she would totally agree and usually tell me she had a similar one. We would become closer and happier and eat tons of Snickers and Swedish Fish and secretly/sadly hope for supermodel/action hero bodies.

For me, there was nothing wrong with this picture. Through the magical power of the New Year's Resolution, I was finally going to have the motivation to become prime-time TV, drop-dead kill-me-now pretty. And of course my friends supported me on this mission.

It seems that in our culture, the weight-loss industry feeds on “New Year's Eve.” Everywhere I go, I see flyers with a celebs reminding us that it’s a new year and therefore time to get hot. In magazines there are always articles about toning up better or eating "healthier" next year. I really don’t think it’s just me who is prone to associating the hope of weight loss with a new year.

For me, New Year's resolutions have always been connected to my body. They are connected to this idea that I can always change my body for the better. There’s always a new start. I am currently a helpline volunteer at NEDA and I am reshaping these ideas. I’m trying to think that I’d rather reshape my outlook than my body! I’d rather feel good about myself than obsess about what I could be. I choose to embrace how I am now, what my body is now.

For the past two years I have not had a resolution!!!!!! My RESOLUTION is to NOT have a RESOLUTION! BOOOM!!!!

Have you ever made a New Year's resolution that sucked? How do you feel when a friend has a weight loss focused New Years resolution? What makes you feel good on New Year's Eve? Is there a way that New Year's Resolutions can get a makeover?

Catherine is an MFA student in playwriting at Ohio University. She was a previous NEDA helpline volunteer and is also the playwright in residence for Realize Your Beauty, an AWESOME org which uses theater arts to promote body positive for kids. Her fave dessert is high class coconut cake. She has written lots of trashy short plays with equally trashy titles like “Hot Santa” or “You Looked Hot when You Stole that Dress from Walmart.”

This content was originally published on Proud2bme.org in 2013.