Obsession With Weight Loss Is Bad For Mental Health

Ad failed to load

Everywhere you turn there are signs telling you, as a female, to lose weight -- in every advertisement, every store and every form of media, not to mention the countless people you see throughout the day who have a physical appearance that you might like more than your own.

Dieting is entirely part of the norm in our society now. There are a million different fad diets that exist, and a hundred more will be created before we know it.

Ad failed to load

Every person you come across tries to tell you their tricks or strategies, but it's impossible to keep up with them all.

I find myself looking at the food on my plate, simply trying to recall whether I was told it was OK to eat it or not. In the end, I find myself feeling guilty about eating nearly everything except fresh vegetables.

People always feel the need to comment on your weight loss, and that reinforces the idea you constantly need to lose more.

Ad failed to load

I can barely remember a time past the age of 11 or 12 where I wasn't trying to lose weight in some form. It starts with five pounds and then turns to five more. It starts with cutting out this, then changes to something else. Really, it just starts and ends with a lot of confusion and stress.

Losing weight is no longer a battle to be the healthiest version of yourself. It's not about gaining energy or strengthening our heart and lungs. In fact, often it's not about health at all, because we are no longer doing it for ourselves.

Losing weight has become a mental battle -- one that you pursue every day out of fear. It's a fear of dislike -- from others and yourself -- a fear of disgust, a fear of not being good enough.

Ad failed to load

You stare in the mirror and you don't wonder if those extra 10 pounds could affect your risk of heart disease, you wonder if the boy/girl you care about will notice. Maybe even if they will like you a little less. In the end, though, the only person who likes you a little less is yourself.

You start to question what you eat, or even if you should eat. You stress about what ingredients the food contains, and the effects of those items.

Ad failed to load

You feel guilty when you ignore the rules you set for yourself and for sneaking a treat. As a result, your weight decreases and so does your mental health.

Your physical health is extremely important, but your goals should never ever be attained by ignoring and/or destroying your mental health.

We are terrified of so many things in life, but we forget to be afraid of one of the most life-threatening things that exists: the decline of our mental health, and subsequently, suicide.

Ad failed to load

Did you know that more people die from suicide than homicide in the US? Think about that.

It's time to start changing the message. It's time to encourage weight loss (or weight gain!) because physically it's beneficial to the person.

It's time to start eating so that we can avoid disease, create strong immune systems and provide energy for ourselves.

Ad failed to load

It's time to start running because it helps us become stronger and it's an immensely good coping mechanism. It's time to do yoga because it helps you live longer and relaxes your mind.

The only reason worthy of trying to lose weight is because you want to take care of yourself.

Ad failed to load

Our mental and physical health go hand in hand and we have to treat them that way. Don't compromise one for the other.

After all, the battle to become thin is a never-ending cycle that will leave you in a much darker place than where you began, whereas the battle to become healthy can only take you to bigger and brighter places.

This article was originally published on Unwritten.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

I Rejected The Idea Of "The One" & Found A Whole New Method Of Self-Care

After my third date with a guy I met by swiping right, I had one question burned into my brain before I agreed to a fourth. Was he the one? Now, before you call me a total stalker, hear me out. In New York City, third dates were rare. I'm talking blo…
By Brittany Leitner

Finding Adventure In Your 20s May Be More Important Than Searching For A Soulmate

Your wanderlust is calling, so what are you waiting for? Being 20-something is all about finding your passion and purpose in life. Maybe you went to college and figured it all out between the books and long nights spent in the library. Or maybe you'r…
By Marisa Casciano

I Tried A Laughter Yoga Class & I Nearly Peed My Pants From Giggling So Hard

There's nothing funny about yoga, except for the fact that, if you look at yourself in the mirror while your body twists like a giant pretzel you'd nibble on at a baseball game, you do look kind of funny. Well, actually, you look a little like you're…
By Jen Glantz

Experts Say Doing This One Thing In The Morning Will Make You Way More Productive

I don’t know about you, but I don’t initially wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy; that whole “up and at ‘em” mindset takes work on weekdays. I will say, however, that I am a morning person by nature, and fully believe in the benefits of stic…
By Julia Guerra

A Psychic Read My Crystals & Said I'd Die Alone, But Then Everything Changed

I love my girlfriend for many reasons. She's the most amazing person I've ever met. She makes me feel safe. She screams the soundtrack to Dear Evan Hansen with me when we're riding in her car. But TBH, one of the main reasons I love her so much is th…
By Theresa Massony

This Instagram Star's Famous Lip Art Actually Has An Incredible Emotional Backstory

In a post-Kardashian world, every millennial thinks they have what it takes to go viral, but few consider what that online fame actually looks like in a person's daily life. In Elite Daily's new series, Life Behind The Likes, we speak with the people…
By Lilli Petersen

A New 'This Is Us' Theory Claims It's All Happening Inside Jack's Head & OMG

Ever since This is Us revealed how Jack died in their post-Super Bowl episode (damn you, Crock Pot) fans have been desperate to know where the show is headed — and if there are any other major twists they should be prepared for. The Season 2 finale i…
By Claire Spellberg

If You're Broke In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Right

It can be pretty disheartening when you're broke AF in your 20s. The silver lining in that constant struggle with currency is that you are doing what you want during this time of your life. Money isn't everything, and creatively and memorably using w…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

How You'll Be Proposed To, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Forever and always starts with getting down on one knee. Wedding season is right around the corner, and with it comes a lot of love stories. When you're watching the two do their first dance, or looking through old pictures, you remember where it all…
By Marisa Casciano

Gen Z Yellow Is The New Millennial Pink, So I Tried Wearing It All Over My Face

A few months ago, everything from makeup to clothes and even home appliances simply needed to be Millennial Pink. Being a millennial myself, I totally bought into the color craze, but there's a new hue (one that technically doesn't represent me at al…
By Stephanie Montes

These Theories About What Khloé Kardashian Will Name Her Baby Are So, So Good

The Kardashian family's future is most certainly female. The world was overjoyed when Kim K introduced us to her daughter, Chicago. We cried tears of joy when we found out that Kylie was in fact pregnant all along and had a baby girl named Stormi. An…
By Karen Ruffini

This Pup Is Going Viral Because People Think He Looks Like A Human

We all know our pups at home are beyond special. If you post pictures of your pet on social media in hopes that everyone notices just how cute your furry friend is, you're really not alone. You probably receive a bunch of comments with people gushing…
By Rachel Chapman

This Is What Staring At Screens All Day Could Do To Your Eyes In The Long Run

By now, you’ve probably heard all about how bad the glaring blue light from your smartphone and computer screen is for your sleep cycle. These claims are true, BTW, which means if technology has the power to creep inside your brain and mess with your…
By Julia Guerra

Kylie Jenner Finally Answers All Your Questions About Her Pregnancy & Stormi Webster

If someone has a baby, but you never got to see them go through pregnancy, were they really ever pregnant? It's a question I find myself asking over and over again since Kylie Jenner welcomed daughter Stormi Webster to the world. I'm so excited that …
By Hollee Actman Becker

These 3 Zodiac Signs Burn Through Relationships The Fastest

It's hard enough to find love in this dog-eat-dog world. You write the perfect bio for your Tinder profile, dress to impress, go on dates with strangers that your friends set you up with, even fork over thousands of dollars to a professional matchmak…
By Roya Backlund

Find Out Which 'The Office' Character You Are, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Long before mockumentary was NBC's favorite comedy style to produce, The Office introduced its fans to the groundbreaking style in its 2005 debut. Because it is such a realistic-looking show, the characters felt even more lifelike than most comedy ch…
By Kristen Perrone

Khloe Kardashian Shared Tips For Looking "Skinny AF" & People Are Pissed

Anybody interested in looking their best on social media might be curious about Khloe Kardashian's tips to "look skinny" in photos. When somebody takes a picture of me, I tell them to snap away as I strike one pose after another. When it comes to pos…
By Stephanie Montes

6 Things No One Tells You About Moving In With Your Partner That You Need To Know

If you’ve reached the point in your relationship where you find yourselves spending most of your time together — either at their place or yours — there’s a pretty big chance you’ve thought about living together. Taking this next step in your relation…
By Tayi Sanusi

How To Plan A Life-Changing Trip That'll Stick With You Long After You Return

When it comes to traveling, it seems like everyone is doing it for the 'Gram these days. As you scroll through your Instagram feed, it may seem like travel is all about getting that perfect shot or jumping from one bucket list destination to another.…
By Ciara Johnson

These 4 Celebrities Are Actually Twins & You Definitely Had No Idea

Mary-Kate and Ashley. Tia and Tamera. Dylan and Cole. There are some twins in Hollywood that have become super successful thanks to the fact that they are a pair. Two is better than one, right? But some A-listers have a twin who isn't in the public e…
By Karen Ruffini