Fat Shaming Leads to Weight Gain

Fat Shaming Leads to Weight Gain

Being called fat, or being fat shamed, has an immense and very measurable effect on the person years later.

Someone who is overweight or obese may feel ‘different’ and treated ‘differently’ by others.

Unfortunately, people who carry more weight than what is supposedly healthy is becoming the norm, not the exception.

However, those carry the extra kilos are experiencing more and more discrimination and judgement by society.

They can be treated with less respect, get poorer service from staff and even harassed.

Friends, family and medical professionals may think they have the best intentions of telling someone that they need to lose weight but unfortunately, this can lead to people gaining weight, not losing. 

Overweight people are often stereotyped as being lazy, and body shaming over and over again has found that it results in many negative consequences including:

  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Social isolation;
  • Body dissatisfaction;
  • Obesity
  • Eating disorders, and
  • Disordered eating behaviours such as binge eating, emotional eating and food addiction.

Being Called Fat Causes Obesity

A study by UCLA Psychologists have made a startling discovery, young girls who were called fat, around age ten, are more likely to be obese by age nineteen.

In fact, the likelihood of them becoming obese was 1.66 times greater than their peers.

Also, the more people who told her she was fat, the likelihood of her becoming obese increased.

“Being called fat has an immense and very measureable effect on the person years later,” according to Assist. Prof. Tomiyama.

The study showed that even if girls are not overweight, but labelled so by peers and/or family, the likelihood of being obese years later increased.

Labeling can result in increased stress and worry over body weight, shape and image, leading to disordered eating behaviours.

5 Steps to Create to Lasting Change

Being body-positive is not only about your physical self… it is about who you really are! Beat social pressure and misguided norms with these 5 steps:

Tip #1 – Live in the NOW

Realise that your thoughts and the words of others are not your reality.

Take control of your thought process and stop comparing the now with the past, or scenarios in the future.

Use your breathing to focus on the present and turn your focus towards something in that moment.  

Tip #2 – Celebrate Even the Smallest Change

When we celebrate the small wins for successful change, we are celebrating habit and/or behaviour development.

When you look back at what may have been a small change at the time, it could have made a bigger impact in your life. 

Tip #3 – Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin

There is only one YOU in this world!

Your mind and body are your vehicles through this lifetime.

If something makes you uncomfortable – stop! and find things that make you feel comfortable.

Do things that make YOU happy.

Be who YOU want to be. 

Tip #4 – Build Self-compassion

When people are constantly tearing you down and making mean comments about your body, you can start tearing yourself down.

Ditch the negativity and focus on the positives.

Be kind to yourself!

What really matters is what you think about yourself – not what other people think. 

Tip #5 – Celebrate Yourself for Who You Are Today

To be happy and healthy, realise that you need to celebrate your uniqueness, accept your flaws, and work on goals that matter to you.

No matter where you are in your journey, always celebrate you for who you are today!

If you or your child is suffering from Body Dissatisfaction, or concerns about body shape and size and this has resulted in low Self-Esteem, Disordered Eating Behaviours and/or Eating Disorders, then Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help with personal support.

It is not weak to seek help from a professional.

Fit Minds and Bodies Clinic understand your struggles and provides you with information and support to help you overcome the behaviours maintaining Disordered Eating and/or Eating Disorders.

Overcome Stress Related Weight Gain

Overcome Stress Related Weight Gain

A single woman in her mid-twenties.

She works as an accountant in a well-respected firm and puts in long hours at her job.

Between work and her previous university study, Melissa hasn’t had much time for exercise and healthy eating the last few years.

Her doctor mentioned concerns over her blood pressure and she’s been trying to lose weight as her BMI (body mass index) classes her as obese.

Despite having a diet and exercise plan, she finds it very hard to stick to and is feeling increasingly uncomfortable with her body.

The stress of her work combined with the long hours makes it hard for her to cook and exercise.

Melissa finds herself grabbing takeaway on the way home as it is quicker and easier.

She knows it is not healthy but she just can’t seem to find her way out of it.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Stress can lead to Obesity, and Obesity is caused and influenced by a number of genetic and environmental factors.

When you experience stress your body releases Cortisol which is a steroid hormone to help your body:

  • Respond to danger;
  • Increase your metabolism of glucose;
  • Control blood pressure, and
  • Reduce inflammation.

Ongoing, Chronic or long-term Stress increases the chance of having consistent elevated cortisol levels which lead to:

  • Increased appetite;
  • Fat and Sugar cravings, and
  • Stress snacking.

Chronic stress and long-term stress then lead to weight gain and Disordered Eating Behaviours such as:

  • Overeating;
  • Emotional Eating,
  • Binge Eating, and
  • Comfort Eating.

5 Tips to Finding a Better Balance

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There is no such thing as stress elimination.

However, you can put a couple of things in place that can make all the difference.

Here are five (5) simple life and stress management tips which can help you cope better and improve health, life balance and relationships.

Tip #1 – Get Moving

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It is common for exercise to be one of the first things to be dropped when life gets too busy, fatigue and lack of motivation exist.

By not exercising you are not burning calories and you are allowing the stress hormones to overtake your system and naturally your fat stores are increasing.

When you do not exercise, your muscle mass decreases and your fat increases naturally.

Moving every 20 minutes or 1 hour will help to improve your stress, concentration and health.

  • Fill up your water bottle;
  • Do some stretches, and
  • Get up and go and see a colleague rather than phoning them.

Tip #2 – Downtime

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It is important to have some downtime.

Relaxation, hobbies, having fun, socialising, etc. are really important to finding a good balance.

Some people find that to release their stress they need to journal or write; others find that meditation works, other people need to be social.

Whatever you need to find fun and release the stress busting hormones.

It is recommended that you partake in some activity at least every day or twice a week minimum.

Tip #3 – Boundaries

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Being honest with yourself, and with others can be one of the hardest things to do.

If you want to control your Stress, this is one of the biggest keys.

Know when you cannot give any more and assertively say so.

Try and think of who might be able to help, a better timeframe or deadline by which you could do the task, negotiate the issue/task, find the resources to help someone else do it.

If you don’t give beyond your capacity, you will reduce your Stress and you will be able to give more to the people who you really want to give to.

Tip #4 – Breathe!

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Stress causes us to shallow breath and hold our breath.

We want to deep breath to help us let go of negative stress hormones and allow our brain to replace relax hormones.

To help with relaxation and letting go of stress, take several breaths into lower lungs or belly.

After the breath has filled your lower lungs you can then fill your upper lungs and chest.

Do it slowly to the count of 5, hold for 2 seconds and then release to the count of 5.

On the out breath, tell yourself to relax.

Repeat at least 5 times.

Deep breathing can be done anywhere, anytime.

Tip #5 – Listen to Music

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Music is a powerful stimulant for mood change.

Music changes brain wave frequency and the release of hormones.

Find music that relaxes you, music that you really want to move to and something in between.

By playing music while you work, move or travelling to and from work, you can unconsciously be de-stressing.

Trying to change can be difficult, without the right information and help.

If you are struggling with Stress Management, Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help.

We provide support, guidance and tools to break free from negative cycles and help you build a life filled with:

  • Balance;
  • Happiness, and
  • Purpose.
Work Stress is bad for your health

Work Stress is bad for your health

Is work stressing you towards bad health?

Do you live to work, or work to live?

Either way, work stress of any kind can be detrimental to your health.

Workplace stress can decrease your productivity and also place your physical health at risk.

Research from the Australian Institute reports that 3.8 million Australians often don’t take a lunch break.

One in two people said their lack of a lunch break was due to their busy workload. Of those who usually take a lunch break, 72% eat at their desks, cut short or postpone their break until the afternoon.

  • One in four had anxiety;
  • 3.3 million suffered loss of sleep, and
  • 50% lost time with their family.

However, being out of the workforce can also be very stressful, with one in five Australians reporting anxiety because of being out of the workforce.

1.1 million Australians feeling that involuntary time out of the workforce is also demoralising.

Males and Females Stress Differently

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When Dr John Gray developed ‘Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus’ he was insightful.

He was also highly insightful the way he mapped the male and female brain and how it functions and focuses on things differently.

There is now proof through neurological imagery such as MRI and PET scans.

Let’s firstly look at stress.

The studies have found that blood flow and activation in the brain of males and females are different during acute stress.

Males – Fight/Flight Response

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The left orbitofrontal cortex a region of the prefrontal cortex is activated and blood flow increased – this area is mainly used for decision making.

Other more complex issues include determining conflict, consequences, expectation of outcome and social control.

Females – Emotional Response

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The limbic system was activated with increased blood flow – this area is the ‘heart’ of emotions in the brain.

The limbic system is a very complex part of the brain as it controls many important functions of the body.

The limbic system also controls behaviour, long-term memory, hormone production and release (that influences heart rate, blood pressure hunger, libido, sleep/wake cycles), attention/focus, reward, pleasure and addiction.

Therefore, it influences all the endocrine, autonomic and pleasure centres in the brain.

Because females’ stress is based in the emotional part of the brain, it tends to linger longer than the stress of males.

This is one of the reasons why females suffer from sudden onset heart attacks (with no warning signs or risk indicators).

It is also important to note that due to the fight/flight response in male stress, males will either:

  • Withdraw until he can fix the issue (flight)
  • Increases in conflict, frustration, aggression and anger outbursts (fight)
  • Begin with withdrawal (flight) and when he cannot flee anymore or fix becomes angry (fight).

Females can have some similar responses but it comes from an emotional base.

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The gender differences have significant implications in therapeutic practice when managing long-term issues such as:

  • Grief;
  • Pain;
  • Loss;
  • Anxiety;
  • Depression;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, or
  • Long-term stress issues.

This has implications in:

  • Medication or Pharmacological Therapy;
  • Psychological Therapy;
  • Physical Therapy – exercise, physiotherapy, exercise physiology;
  • General Practice – your local GP, or
  • Workplace practices and Occupational Health & Safety Responses to Stress and Critical Incident Reporting/Debriefing.

Sometimes it takes someone outside of your life to be able to provide simple yet effective solutions to things that you struggle with.

If you are struggling with managing your stress Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help.

Seeking professional help shows your true strength and commitment to your health and happiness.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic provides you with new skills and tools to empower you to create a life that you want to live – happy, purposeful, fulfilled and healthy.