Most of us know someone who obsesses about weight, how they look or what they eat.
As a society, we've gotten great at laughing when someone speaks badly about themselves. If someone called you fat it would be outrageous, but if they say it about themselves, it's often considered funny.
Psychologist Catherine Ruscitti from the Eating Recovery Center in Houston said women joke about being fat or hating their bodies, but the reality is it's bullying and it's time we stop each other from doing it.
"Almost kind of joke back and say ‘don't talk about my friend like that,’” Ruscitti said. “It kind of points out the harshness."
Ruscitti said it's important to stop because normalizing this self-deprecation, because it teaches kids not to be satisfied with appearances.
"’Oh mom thinks that she's fat, that's how I should talk about myself,’ or they'll start thinking that that's how they're supposed to respond when they look in the mirror, they try on clothes,” Ruscitti said.
The reason we do it can be masking a different issue.
Ruscitti said people are often seeking reassurance or validation that they don't look whatever way they’re verbalizing.
“It's seem to become a way for women to kind of bond and what I see is that there's such a detriment to the relationship because we focus so much of our conversations on the topics where we’re talking about things like weight and shape and size and if we actually took that out of what we were talking about ... imagine all the things that we could actually spend time talking about,” Ruscitti said.
Instead, she recommends talking with loved ones and friends about being healthy. Talk about nutritious foods and exercising to be healthy and not as a punishment. She said not to focus on size, because the scale doesn't always reflect when you're in good health.
If you want to stop speaking negatively about yourself but you don't feel like you can, that may be obsessive. Ruscitti said it is not healthy and you should consult with a professional if you’re trying to eliminate negative thoughts but cannot.