Embracing Body Respect: 5 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Shouldn’t Focus on Weight Loss 

Embracing Body Respect: 5 Reasons Why New Year's Resolutions Shouldn't Focus on Weight Loss photo

Written By:


Cilla Moore

As we step into a new year, the air is often thick with resolutions, and among the most common is the desire to lose weight – I know, I know, it’s a broken record year after year. The pressure to conform to societal standards of beauty and fitness makes sense considering the culture that we live in. However, what would happen if you shifted the focus of weight loss to body respect? 

The cultural narrative surrounding New Year’s resolutions has long been fixated on achieving a certain body shape or size. Magazines tout headlines promising “new year, new body” or “shedding pounds for a fresh start.” The relentless emphasis on weight loss perpetuates the idea that our worth is tied to the number on the scale, fostering harmful relationships with food, exercise, and body image. Let’s change this narrative together! 

Choosing not to make weight loss the centerpiece of your New Year’s resolution isn’t about dismissing health or self-improvement. Instead, it’s about reframing the conversation to prioritize holistic well-being and body respect. Here’s why it’s crucial to shift away from weight-centric resolutions:

1. Focus on Health, Not Weight: Health is multidimensional and goes beyond a number on a scale. Instead of fixating on weight loss, concentrate on cultivating healthy habits. This includes nourishing your body with balanced nutrition, engaging in joyful movement that actually energizes you, and prioritizing mental health through mindfulness or therapy, and ensuring adequate rest.

2. Embrace Body Diversity: Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and they are all worthy of respect and appreciation. Celebrate the diversity of bodies rather than subscribing to a narrow definition of beauty dictated by societal standards (which are constantly changing!!)

3. Rejecting Diet Culture: The pursuit of weight loss often leads to fad diets and restrictive eating habits, which can be detrimental to both physical and mental health. Rejecting the diet mentality allows you to foster a positive relationship with food and your body, focusing on nourishment and internal cues rather than deprivation and external cues. 

4. Prioritize Self-Compassion: Striving for constant weight loss can lead to self-criticism and negative self-talk. Instead, practice self-compassion and acceptance. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, acknowledging that your worth is not determined by your body size. Change the narrative here to: 

  • “What is my body going to allow me to do this year?” 
  • “How can I protect my body image this month when I am surrounded by family and friends focusing on weight loss goals?” 
  • “What does my body need right now to feel comfortable?” 

5. Holistic Well-being: True well-being encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health. Redirect your resolutions towards holistic well-being by setting goals that prioritize self-care, personal growth, and fulfillment in all areas of your life. 

Respecting your body means honoring its uniqueness, capabilities, and needs without succumbing to societal pressures or unrealistic standards. It’s about fostering a positive relationship with your body, embracing self-love, and prioritizing overall well-being.

So, this new year, consider making resolutions that uplift and nourish your mind, body, and soul. Focus on setting goals that enhance your overall health and happiness, rather than fixating on a number on the scale. By doing so, you’re not only respecting your body but also cultivating a more positive and fulfilling life.

Follow along with Cilla on Instagram and join her recovery community that fully embraces food freedom, body neutrality, and challenging weight stigma. 

Must Read Books To Improve Body Image

Just so you know, I do review everything I recommend. When you buy through links on this page, we may earn a commission.

The Body Is Not An Apology By Sonya Renee Taylor 

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world–for us all.

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon

Advancing fat justice and changing prejudicial structures and attitudes will require work from all people. What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat is a crucial tool to create a tectonic shift in the way we see, talk about, and treat our bodies, fat and thin alike.

Body Talk by Katie Sturino

With Body Talk, an illustrated guide-meets-workbook, Sturino is here to help you stop obsessing about your body issues, focus on self-love, and free up space in your brain for creative and productive energy. Complete with empowering affirmations, relatable anecdotes, and actionable takeaways, as well as space to answer prompts and jot down feelings and inspirations, Body Talk encourages you to spend less time thinking about how you look and what you eat and more time discovering your inner fierceness.

More Than A Body by Lindsay and Lexie Kite

From media consumption to health and fitness to self-reflection and self-compassion, Lindsay and Lexie share powerful and practical advice that goes beyond “body positivity” to help readers develop body image resilience—all while cutting through the empty promises sold by media, advertisers, and the beauty and weight-loss industries. In the process, they show how facing your feelings of body shame or embarrassment can become a catalyst for personal growth.

The Body Of Truth by Harriet Brown 

The quest for health and wellness has never been more urgent, yet most of us continue to buy into fad diets and unattainable body ideals, unaware of the damage we’re doing to ourselves. Through interviews, research, and her own experience, Brown not only gives us the real story on weight, health, and beauty, but also offers concrete suggestions for how each of us can sort through the lies and misconceptions and make peace with and for ourselves.

Landwhale by Jes Baker

A deeply personal take, Landwhale is a glimpse at life as a fat woman today, but it’s also a reflection of the unforgiving ways our culture still treats fatness, all with Jes’s biting voice as the guide.

Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

Are You Ready to Heal Your Relationship With Food? 

I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:

Why Am I Overeating?

First Steps To Stop Binge Eating 

The Food Freedom Lab Podcast




the food freedom lab podcast

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.