Well-meaning parents and family members tend to get critical of us when they spot a quality within us that needs improvement. To them, this is the best approach for getting us to change these habits. They nag at us until we can no longer take it and as a result decide to do something about it. However, criticizing can quickly become unproductive. According to research, people who live in a criticizing and under-appreciative environment find it difficult to lose weight. In fact, not only does it make losing weight difficult but criticism could cause weight gain as well.
It is a common misconception that nagging or criticizing is done for the good of a person. However, no one tries to contemplate the consequences of these actions. These comments actually put a person under a lot of pressure to get rid of the extra weight fast. But fast approaches never yield lasting results. As a result of using fast approaches, a person might lose weight, but the deprivation will cause him or her to gain it all back again. Once again the criticism will return, stronger than ever, increasing the pressure on the person—and this criticism could cause weight gain instead of promoting a healthier weight.
These criticisms create a feeling of self-loathing or self-consciousness that will eventually result in poor body image as well as low self-esteem. Even when people have lost all the extra weight, they will continue seeing themselves in their previous bodies, unhappy with their body image. These comments and their consequences can create a lifelong problem with their perception of themselves, no matter how much weight thye manage to lose. They might also develop eating disorders due to losing and gaining weight repeatedly.
When we feel self-conscious, we naturally turn toward our support system for consolation and advice. These people usually include our family and friends. The kind of response we receive can have a tremendous effect on how we perceive ourselves. We might feel comforted that we look good no matter how much we weigh. This feeling of comfort makes us reach for higher standards, eating clean and working out more.
On the other hand, if our family and friends retort, “No wonder you feel ugly—have you looked at how fat you are?” we are more likely to hate ourselves and never want to get out of the bed, being unable to face the world and uncomfortable in our own skin. These feelings of self-loathing also cause people to binge and lose any hope of ever looking good. If it continues, criticism could cause weight gain that will get out of hand because people keep on eating and getting heavier in the belief that they are ugly and unworthy, regardless.
Unconditional love and acceptance from family can do wonders for someone trying to lose weight. Comfort and appreciation of one’s efforts can make any challenge feel worthy of the efforts required. This makes us feel better and determined to make changes. If you have a similar problem, you should sit down with your family and make them understand how their words make you feel. Then, eventually, they may change their ways.