The new year is a time to think about desired future goals and accomplishments.  Unfortunately, it is also a time of year that society tends to focus on diet and exercise, rather than the other things they are capable of achieving.  This can present a challenge for those currently facing the demon of an eating disorder.  In order to shift the spirit, the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Programs and Partial Hospitalization Programs in Braintree & Peabody created “Recovery Resolutions.”  These resolutions focus on healing and prosperity, and bring hope to those struggling with eating disorders and their families.

Adolescent Resolutions:

“In 2015, I’d like to see myself be fully weight-recovered.  I’d like to build confidence and a liking for my body.  I want to be stronger; body and mind.  I want to laugh until I cry.  I want to devote myself to something I’m passionate about.  I want to see colleges and know that I can actually go because I’m recovered.  I want to see a brighter future for myself, one with happiness, laughter, friends, and family.  I expect it to be difficult but I also expect to persevere.”

“Loving and accepting myself again.  Remembering that no one is perfect. Regaining confidence.  Support and love from family.  Motivation.  HOPE: Hold On, Pain Ends.  Smile, life is beautiful.”

“In 2015, I want to become more comfortable around food and be able to participate in social events that involve food.  I want to begin accepting my body and try to be happier and less stressed.  I want to go back to school and progress in my treatment.”

“My goals for recovery: To try to believe more in myself, to tell myself that this is a new year and tell myself that I need to start somewhere, do NOT give up, try my best every day, support myself with positive stuff, make my family get more information about it so they can understand me better, use more coping skills when I’m out of control of my emotions, to remember all my motivation and reasons I need to recover, to be myself even though it’s gonna be hard, to stop hating myself when I make progress, to make up goals every morning when I wake up, to be thankful because I’m getting help, to do this for myself, to believe in recovery, to put the negative feelings in the trash, to not hate or hurt myself, to take one more step to recovery and success, to go back to school, to love food again, to keep just the positive memories, to no push myself so hard, and to become me again.”

“My recovery resolution is to overcome this eating disorder.  To be able to say I’m happy with myself.  When that happens, I’ll know I’m okay.”

“To stop restricting food and eat healthier.  I’ll think of what my future could be like if I had healthier habits.”

“To do some challenges and recover.”

“To remember being able to do activities and use this as motivation!”

“In the end, it’s not about the years in a life, but the life in the years.  You are the only you there will ever be.

Parent Resolutions:

“The new year brings hope and resolutions that I would like to apply for my daughter and I. I will keep working hard at supporting my daughter as she fights this evil eating disorder. I will stand up and challenge her as best I can.  I will never give up on her and I am proud to say she is making progress, but at the same time, we still have a lot of work to do.  I hope that the new year will bring her to a happier place with herself.  I hope she can face going back to school with her head held high.  I’m hoping she will start to believe in herself and see how beautiful and smart she really is.  I hope that she will heal completely inside and out.  I know deep down that we will get there.  She will recover!!”

I want my daughter to see a future full of hope and adventure.  As her parent, I want to be available in any way needed to make today better and tomorrow looked forward to.  Kids need to feel optimistic about their futures.”

“I wish that my son can keep growing and achieving as a young man in life and school.  He has so much to learn and offer the world.  He has already improved in a very short time.  He is much happier and alert.”

“I’d like to see her less stressed and anxious, increased confidence, for her to return to physical activity to help elevate her mood … I just want her to be happy.”

“In 2015, I would like to see her eating more independently.  I would like for her to understand that skipping meals is unhealthy.  We should strive to be healthy.  For myself, I would like to educate myself more on eating disorders and find new ways to motivate her.  We’ll achieve these goals by working together to defeat this disease.”

“I would love to see my daughter’s body image in a healthier place.  Even when she is compliant with the program, her body “ideal” (looking too thin) hasn’t yet changed.  I wish she could see herself as she truly is – not through the eyes of the eating disorder – with healthy body image/weight/health goals.”

“I want my child to enjoy food again, to become happier and healthier, to have skills to deal with triggers.”

“In terms of her recovery and treatment, I would hope to see her be comfortable with herself and her relationship with food and her body.  She is learning so much and I feel like she is going in the right direction to keep her weight stable and stay healthy.  In 2015, I hope that I can continue to help her with her recovery by being supportive, and also looking for the whole family to be encouraging and supportive as well.”

Happy New Year, and keep fighting!

About the Author:

Erika Vargas, LMHC, is the lead clinician in the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient & Partial  Hospitalization Programs at Walden’s Braintree clinic.  She is trained in the Maudsley Method/Family Based-Treatment and works with adolescents to decrease eating disorder behaviors with the support of their families.  Erika is passionate about promoting healthy body image, understanding the impact of social media on self-esteem, and encouraging parent education in the treatment of eating disorders.  In her non-clinical life, Erika enjoys traveling and spending time with her corgi. Erika welcomes comments at