We've all heard the phrase 'don't judge a book by it's cover', but when it comes to meeting other people, appearances DO matter and first impressions can be very hard to shake.
There is no denying that physical appearance provides clues to a person's personality, if you are overweight you could be perceived as lazy, if you work out you might be vain, if you are wearing a gold Rolex you must be ambitious...
Now these things may not be be true, you might be overweight because ALL you do is work, you might work out to help manage anxiety and that Rolex might be a gift from your dying father.
Regardless of the truth, you are going to be judged based on how you look and new acquaintances can struggle to look past physical appearance even when they know information contrary to their initial judgement.
That can be bad news if you are a man, particularly if you are a little out of shape, because women tend to use appearance as a rating tool more than men and they will quickly determine your level of extroversion, emotional stability, openness and self esteem.
So suddenly your protruding stomach will not only affect your health, it will actually affect how people treat you and it can take more time and effort to change their mind than it can to just lose the weight and eliminate the problem.
While none of this seems very fair, it is just an unavoidable fact of life. When you look at how reliant we are becoming on social media and pictures, judging a book by it's cover is only going to get worse.
And in truth, carrying excess weight does say 'I make bad food choices', 'I lack discipline when it comes to diet' and 'I am not taking care of myself'.
So within seconds of meeting someone they already know all that about you. By the time you show them how funny, kind and intelligent you are, there is already a degree of doubt about your self-esteem, self-control and self-image.
The good news is, just by losing weight you WILL be judged differently, treated differently and start all new relationships off in a more positive light.
Now while it is tempting to turn up your nose and scoff at how superficial this all seems, humans have been given a number of senses to help us make 'sense' of the world around us. The use of these senses is hard wired into our brains and they are essential for our survival. We really have little choice in the matter.
In other words, when it comes to being judged by others based on appearance, it is instinct and you should not be judging that particular human trait by it's cover. The best you can do is ensure your physical appearance is a true representation of who you are.