How we are perceived formulates from the day we are born. Due to constantly being evaluated by others, our psyche is influenced by how others perceive us. One of the most common concepts of beauty in modern society is someone’s weight and physical appearance. This concept has a critical effect on our self-worth, to the point where it can become detrimental.
While obesity is an actual medical condition that can lead to many health complications, the social stigma behind it can become psychologically devastating to the person suffering from weight-management issues. An article by Healthy Children.org states “studies show that children as young as 6 years may associate negative stereotypes with excess weight and believe that a heavy child is simply less likable.” These stereotypes, unfortunately, reinforce behavior such as bullying during adolescence, and creation of multiple risk factors for mental illness among those dealing with obesity. There are, however, many ways people with weight-management issues can deal with and eventually overcome the psychological obstacles that they face.
It is hard to find acceptance in a society that constantly observes and judges one another. Negative feedback and self-awareness go hand in hand when dealing with one’s daily interactions. As Dr. Sean G. Connolly writes, “we cannot control the comments of others, often uninvited, but we can control how we deal with them.” It is important he says to, “give yourself the right to feel good about yourself and feel more secure.”
Self-affirmation, whether repeating words to yourself or conditioning positive thoughts in your head, can have a reinforcing effect in your psyche over time. This can be accomplished by selecting some affirmation statements to condition a positive sense of self. Dr. Connolly also elaborates how “counseling and life coaching can help you along in promoting self-perceptions that have an impact on our self-esteem.” With this said, lifestyle changes go hand in hand with self-acceptance and awareness.
By implementing self-awareness into your situation, and implementing mental health exercises such as self-affirmation statements, one’s self-image can positively develop over time. This, combined with proper dieting and moderate exercise 2-3 times a week, can help establish a better sense of self and overall bill of physical health. While it is important to understand that obesity and weight-management issues are a medical dilemma in modern society, it is equally important to understand how psychologically damaging negative stereotypes and behaviors are when directed at those dealing with weight issues.
Written By – Taylor Goyen