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Resolution revision: Appreciate your body.

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Resolution revision: Appreciate your body.

Whether you’re already ticking off your New Year’s resolutions or still gearing up to embark on them, we have one to add to your list: appreciate your body. Not the body you aspire to, but the one you have right now. Goals motivated by self-criticism that focus on changing perceived “flaws” or reaching a certain number on the scale can backfire in a big way and even undermine your health. Instead, revise your resolutions to include kindness and appreciation for your body, just as it is. Accepting your body and focusing on the positive aspects of it may help to improve your body image, your mental health, and potentially your habits, according to research being done at Florida State University. But college students aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from this approach. One study found that only 12 percent of middle-aged American women are satisfied with their body size — and among that small group, many weren’t satisfied with certain parts of their bodies, like their stomach or face. Another study found that many men, too, are dissatisfied with their bodies. Spend some time writing in a journal about what your body can do. Breathe! Walk to the store! Fight viruses! And spend some time in front of a mirror focusing on your favorite body parts — your smile? shoulders? legs? eyes? Then brainstorm ways that your wonderful, capable body would like to be cared for. Nourishing food, regular movement, and sound sleep are a great start!