Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Della in Memphis, Tennessee. How should I stop caring about what other people think about me and my boyfriend? It gives me anxiety thinking that people think I am too fat and my boyfriend is average and why is he with me?
Well, how much power do you want to give others? It’s your life and your decisions, not anyone else’s. Who you see is your business. Your boyfriend is average; by definition, so are most people. That’s what average means. We are not all supermodels or elite athletes. Are you happy with your boyfriend? You’re the one dating him, not the other people. It’s not anyone else’s concern who you see nor do you have to justify anyone else. This assumes, of course, that the two of you adults are of legal age and consent.
This is another way to look at it. If you don’t like your body shape, are you doing something about it? Our physical appearance is only one facet of who we are, but appearance does matter. Our outward appearance does reflect who we are inside. A certain amount of internal and external adjustment can lead to personal growth and satisfaction.
The internal adjustment is a certain degree of not caring what others think of you. An external adjustment is taking good care of your body for your own benefit. Being overweight is not healthy. Being obese leads to a wide range of serious health problems. Being lean and able to meet minimum standards of physical fitness for your age and being free from obesity related disorders which can affect even young people such as diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and joint problems.
Added benefits of being fit include improved appearance, your clothes fit better, your posture can improve, you feel better about yourself and other people will respond to you differently with more respect and admiration.
Fitness can also be an activity that you and your boyfriend can even enjoy together. It’s a great way to bond and connect with each other and to compete in a healthy, supportive way. A problem is that too many people take this to extremes. Being fit and healthy does not ever mean depriving your body of the food it needs or exercising frantically and compulsively to the point of injury in order to lose fat. It also does not mean letting yourself go to the point of obesity. There’s a huge amount of middle ground between these two places where good health lies.
The media gets blamed for presenting us with perfect people which many people aspire to emulate at the risk of their health. Not just young girls, men are also subject to the abuse of anabolic steroids, overeating, and compulsive bodybuilding to get the perfect body. This isn’t healthy. Find the balance between the ideal image of female and male beauty; the realities of who you are and your boyfriend are and what can be changed. This should be a process that you choose for your own health and wellbeing, not because of what other people have to say.
This can get complicated and it may be something that you may want to discuss with a professional, a counselor or a registered dietician, and also a personal trainer can help with this process as well.