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New Year’s Eve is in a few days, and with it come resolutions. 

The practice of creating resolutions for the new year is ancient, perhaps dating back to the Babylonians some 4,000 years ago. While they promised to return borrowed goods and crowned a new king, our top resolutions today center around bettering ourselves.

Be it pursuing new career goals, drinking less or saving money, many resolutions can make our lives better, but when it comes to the top three most popular resolutions the question is – will this really make you happier in the long run? Exercising more, losing weight and eating healthier are commonly the three most cited New Year’s resolutions.

There’s a reason people wait until the new year to try and implement these life changes, it’s hard. Losing weight is not something that can be done fast, at least not if you’re doing it the right way. Diet fads like special foods, pills, teas and other unbacked supplements are just money ploys by corporations that are only going to increase as people try to change their habits in 2022.

Gyms do something similar. New member fees often increase in January to make money off everyone who listed “exercise more” on their list of resolutions. While working out does actually help if you want to lose weight or gain muscle, something to remember is that it won’t be immediate. 

Negative effects

Attempting to lose weight can start out innocent, but dieting can actually lead to disordered eating.

Pushing yourself too hard at the gym, skipping meals and obsessively watching the scale all to meet that resolution can exacerbate eating disorders that may already be there, or contribute to the formation of one. 

Instead, we need to look within ourselves and ask why we care so much about how much we weigh. Wanting to physically feel better is one thing, but that doesn’t mean we have to be skinnier. Learning to love our bodies as they are, and coming to terms with the fact that many of society’s beauty standards are unrealistic can lead to a happier you in 2022.

Not only should you not feel pressured to attempt to lose weight in 2022, but don’t feel pressured to make any resolutions at all, especially considering that 16 percent of people who make resolutions don’t stick to any of them.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder contact the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders for help.

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