A recent study shows that “fat shaming” (mocking someone for their weight problems) seriously and negatively affects the people it is inflicted upon. It’s been shown that obese or overweight people who go through “fat shaming” usually internalize the experience. This leads to the development of metabolic syndrome, exercise avoidance (for fear of new episodes of shaming) and nervous eating (dealing with stress by eating calorie-rich foods, especially sugary ones). This behavior, in turn, can lead to weight gain, various metabolic problems and, eventually, heart attacks.

Doctors are encouraged to help their patients reduce this internalization by treating them with respect, without judgement and with sensibility, because they are already very stressed by society at large, and are in need of real help.

Generally, no matter if you have weight problems or not, if you listen to the negative things other people say about you, or if you get to think negatively about yourself, your health will suffer the consequences. To internalize a positive self-image, you can use some of the following ideas.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#1. Remember the good things

At the end of the day, sit down and write three things you’ve done during the day that you appreciate yourself for. It could be stuff like “I was able to say something encouraging to someone having a hard time” or “I was able to keep my smile for most of the day”. Aside from filling your mind with positive thoughts, this will help you realize that you are more than just your body.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#2. Tell you inner critic to shut it

Bad thoughts have a way of cascading and multiplying in one’s mind. If you don’t consciously stop yourself from thinking negative thoughts, they will overwhelm you. When you realize you’ve started thinking dark thoughts again, stop and remember the good things about you. Carry around a notebook with a list of things you appreciate about yourself, and re-read them when needed. You will start feeling healthier and happier again.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#3. Achievable goals are the way to go

Each of us has a long list of things we would like to change about how we are and what we do or don’t do. If you try to tackle yours all at the same time, you are setting yourself up for failure. Try and tackle one item from the list at a time. If you need help, you can ask someone to help you keep motivated. Make sure not to completely disrupt your normal routine.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#4. A positive attitude is contagious

Instead of wallowing in negative energies, surround yourself with positive ones. Choose to socialize with people who see the good things about you, or get your media fix from sources that offer you positive ideas and thoughts. Keep the darkness at bay, and let the light shine.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#5. Perfection is not your goal

No human is perfect and no human can achieve perfection. Perfectionism is not a habit you should be entertaining right now. You need to accept the fact that you are who you are, flaws and all, and are never going to be perfect. That way, you get rid of the stress of wanting to become perfect, and gain, instead, the ability to stay positive and focus on your actual, achievable goals.

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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