Posts Categorized: psychology

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There have been times in my life when I’ve postponed change or celebration or reward because of my body. I’ve said to myself, “I’ll do that once I’m happier with myself. Once I’ve lost weight/toned up/changed my shape, I’ll allow myself this activity or thing. I’ll should wait until then and reward myself.”

I know I am not alone. So many of us buy into the idea that we should motivate ourselves by depriving ourselves. If we don’t book that vacation or buy that new wardrobe until after we’ve changed our bodies, the pent-up excitement created by anticipation will fuel our body-changing efforts. Which may be true to some small extent, maybe, probably at the very beginning of a body-change journey. But there’s a darker side to this internal bargain: The belief that we don’t actually deserve change or celebration or reward until we look “different” or “better,” which usually means “smaller” or “thinner.”

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Observe and Reserve Judgment

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There are magazine columns, websites, and television shows built around the practice of examining fashion choices and making fun of them. They focus mainly on celebrities, but regular people get caught in the crossfire, too, occasionally. And while constructive criticism is an important tool for learning, most of these people and outlets aren’t interested in teaching style lessons.* They’re interested in generating clicks and gaining viewership by tearing down people who aren’t present to explain their choices or join the discussion. And at this point, judging others for their clothing choices has become such a commonplace activity that it seldom registers as anything other than normal. If it is normal, it shouldn’t be.

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