Aurora Recovery Centre

We’ve all heard, “you are what you eat”. What about, “you are what you think?” The Buddha is quoted as saying “your thoughts are what you become”. New research from the University of Pennsylvania reveals that people with negative body image, meaning they have negative thoughts regarding their appearance and self-worth, might create physical harm for their bodies- specifically, cardiovascular issues and metabolic diseases. 

body image body health

The participants were evaluated on how deeply they internalize negative body image thinking. According to Marie Claire, who reported on the study, “The participants with high levels of weight bias internalization were three times more likely to have metabolic syndrome and six times more likely to have high triglycerides than those with low internalization.”

What You Think Is What You Become

If you think you are worthless you are more likely to participate in behaviors which enforce those feelings of worthlessness. For example, if your body image narrative is exceptionally low, you are going to be less inspired to eat healthy, go to the gym, or do anything to make yourself feel better- because you don not believe you are worth it. As a result, your health suffers and your overall body image is reinforced if it becomes unhealthy. Additionally, you might be uninspired to try things you think are reserved for people who look better than you. Trying on certain clothes, wearing certain styles, going to certain places and doing certain things- because you are convinced that you are not worthy of these things, you will not try them and you will miss out.

Overcoming Negative Body Image

One of the easiest and best ways to start overcoming negative body image is to cut out fake images from your life. Fashion magazines, #fitspo pictures or tons of fashion and fitness accounts on instagram should be taken out of the equation for a while. Research has shown that the more you view images which you think are “perfect” the less able you are to accept yourself where you are at or even have a realistic perception of yourself.


Aurora Recovery Centre offers residential treatment programs which confront negative body image issues and any co-occurring disorders which might result including eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorders, and substance use disorders, in addition to mental health disorders such as depression. Call us today for more information at 844-515-STOP.