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BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WLUK) — Some consider New Year’s resolutions to be an outlet to make improvements in their life.
For those that struggle with eating disorders, that might not be the case.
Eating healthy, exercise and weight loss consistently rank at the top of people’s lists for resolutions. For those that struggle with an eating disorder, experts say the conversations surrounding these resolutions can make matters worse.
“It’s very triggering because the main focus for some reason is to resolve the new year is to focus on your weight, your body, your shape, and your size. There tends to be more relapses and triggers with the eating disorder population at this time of year,” Evolve Healing founder and executive director Brenda Velissaris said.
“People with an eating disorder are always very well aware of what they’re taking in, what they’re putting out and often undereating or over-exercising is a problem. Seeing ads about food, families together, eating around a table and then also ads about working out at a gym can be a trigger for people,” Prevea Health licensed marriage and family therapist Lisa Tutskey said.
The coronavirus pandemic can also negatively impact those who are struggling.
Velissaris has seen more people reaching out for help.
“The high anxiety, the loneliness, missed opportunities, grief, anger, all of that emotional stuff that has negatively impacted their mental well-being and then has exacerbated maybe some disordered eating to a full blown eating disorder or something that was maybe in remission or recovery and then brought in a relapse,” Velissaris said.
Tutskey has seen similar situations. She encourages those struggling to reconnect with their support system.
“Encouraging people to follow on social media only body positive type social media posts. There’s a lot out there that could be very triggering. We want people to surround themselves with positive people, with people who can encourage them and support them,” Tutskey said.
Velissaris also encourages setting healthy boundaries so they’re not negatively impacted by resolutions.