What is it about being a woman that makes most of us predisposed to focus on the negative -- especially when it comes to our bodies?
That body that just birthed a baby? Yeah, we see flabbier arms and a softer belly. That body that just bent in 80 different directions in yoga? All we can think about is how those love handles are getting in the way of a perfect seated twist.
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Most of us do this. And here's a good reason to stop: New research shows that focusing on your flabbier bits can actually make you gain weight.
Norwegian researchers polled 1,200 healthy people in their teens and followed up with them 11 years later. They found a whopping 60 percent of normal-sized girls who classified themselves as "chubby" or "very fat" went on to become overweight women in their 20s.
The researchers say the weight gain is likely due to the bad decisions we make when we feel fat -- you know, things like skipping meals or doing that 2-week juice cleanse (and then binging when it's over). When habits like these start early in life, they not only can be harder to break later on, but they can also dramatically slow down metabolism, making it much harder to maintain a healthy weight.
So, what's an average-weight woman to do? Here's an idea: Let's start seeing our bodies as they truly are -- beautiful, healthy, and capable of all kinds of amazing feats. Love handles and all.