Each year, millions of people declare New Year's resolutions with new hope and promise that this year will be better than the last. It may not surprise you that among North Americans, the resolutions that top the list are weight loss and exercising more. Western norms glorify the thin body, leading us to believe that if we only shed those extra pounds, we'd be happier, more attractive and well-liked people. The imagery is so mainstream that is has become our programmed default desire.
To add to that, January advertising seduces millions of people, beckoning them to buy into it all with headlines that vow: "New Year, New You." There's no escape.