Stop worrying about bikinis if you’re obese and depressed. Instead, boost your spirits by doing just one exercise — one that’s safe for your joints.

Obesity can cause depression and negative body image.

Have you tried to conquer the depression and “shame” over your body by struggling with the idea of wearing a bikini?

If so, good luck. This superficial approach yields only fleeting results, if any at all.

That’s why the very plus-size influencers and wannabe influencers keep posting endless pictures of themselves in a bikini.

The fleeting fix soon wears off, driving them to once again post another image to attract validating comments from strangers who are just as lost and disenchanted. Do NOT go this route.

A study in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice points out that obesity can also cause a perception of poor health, which will worsen your depression.

Furthermore, a depressed individual may gain even more weight due to hormonal and immune-system changes that come with feelings of bleakness and hopelessness.

This in turn will make adherence to exercise difficult and comfort eating more enticing.

Try this One Exercise: Thinness not Required

Imagine an exercise which can very much improve your body, yet you stand in just one spot to do it.

Here is an exercise that will empower you, shatter feelings of hopelessness and take your mind off that damn bikini in the store window or Instagrammer’s page.

The name of this exercise is the deadlift.

Ever hear of that? Perhaps you have, as it’s one of the three moves in the sport of powerlifting.

But this doesn’t mean women who’ve never trained with weights can’t do it. Yes you most certainly can.

The woman shown below appears to be around 100 pounds overweight. She is deadlifting 185 pounds. This was actually her warmup.

What’s so special about the deadlift?

-No jarring or impact moves, thus sparing the joints from excessive forces that come with jogging, jumping, even dancing.

– It works just about every muscle in one exercise, resulting in dramatic strength gains and a stronger back.

-Has major carryover to everyday tasks. Housework, gardening, childcare, etc., will become remarkably easier.

-Because it’s a whole-body exercise, the deadlift tones the entire body.

Though the woman in the above image is quite overweight, she also has a firm appearance.

-Let’s face it: Being able to pick 200 pounds off the floor and hold it in your hands will be tons more empowering than forcing yourself into a bikini.

You may even be able to eventually lift over 300 pounds. How’s that for squashing depression and boosting body image!

And these accomplishments won’t be fleeting, because wherever you go in life, your ever-improving physical strength will always be inside you. Not on you, but INSIDE you.

F— the Bikini

Solution to feeling “afraid” to wear a bikini: Stop trying to work up the nerve to wear one. It’s time you free yourself of this anxiety., nensuria

As far as gaining positive body image, a bikini is just a prop that only reinforces the idea that women are more body than brains — that they can be mindless sex objects at any size.

If you’re depressed and obese, don’t waste time with crunches, confusing dance moves, the inner and outer thigh machines, sit-ups, one-legged balancing acts, knee pushups or other discouraging exercises that only remind you of your body’s limitations.

Now of course, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have any pre-existing spinal or knee pathology before embarking on deadlift training.

Even morbidly obese women can take this game-changing exercise very far.

Best Weight Loss Exercise for Very Heavy People: Deadlift

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 
Top image: Shutterstock/Nomad_Soul