Bashing your body is a surefire way to get fatter

Nov 9, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Image: Daniel Grilll/Tech Images/Getty Images

If you get the urge to bash your body (and most of us do), you might want to think again. A new study has found that the more people bash their bodies, the more likely they are to be overweight.

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health found that the link between depression and obesity is actually not as strong as the link between negative body image and obesity. That means that all those thin women who complain that they are fat are actually making themselves fatter.

The study specifically looked at teens and was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. They were asked to describe themselves as skinny, somewhat skinny, average weight, somewhat overweight or overweight and then measured in terms of reality.

The findings?

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"People who perceived themselves to be overweight, regardless of how much they weighed, were twice as likely to be obese a year after they were surveyed. Young women in the group were three times more likely to be obese at the one-year mark."

Wow. That brings all those "I am so fat" comments into perspective, doesn't it?

The truth is, most of us come by our negative body image naturally. When I see photos and images of myself, I always tend toward the negative. Others say I look great, but I rarely see it. And when I bash myself, I think of it as helping motivate and push me. But I can also see how it wouldn't. I can see how this study could make a lot of sense.

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The truth is, when we bash out own bodies, we are creating a negative situation and a truth. Haven't you ever heard of a self fulfilling prophecy? Bam. That's what this is. If you want to be thin, first you must accept your body and give it love. You must meet your body where it is and love it for all the incredible things it can do for you.

It's easier said than done. Believe me, I know. But once you get there, body acceptance is a beautiful place to live. Yes, it's ironic that to get the body you love, you must first love yourself. But it also makes perfect sense, doesn't it? How can you possibly "fix" something you don't care for and cherish, after all?

Maybe soon enough you will discover there is nothing you have to "fix" at all.