After having struggled with my body image and weight anxiety for so many years, I think we need to be cautious about a few things.
When I was 15, I noticed I had gained just a little weight (just the normal teenage weight you get with puberty – this is healthy, by the way). I decided to see a dietician and was promptly placed on a diet.
I lost weight.
Everyone started complementing me, and it became fun to get such attention. I started restricting and depriving my food more and more. Before long, I lost too much weight. I became terribly underweight and developed a very complex relationship with food – something that I have only really started to heal now (more than 10 years later).
I went to various dieticians, and the number on the scale each week ending up determining my mood for the day – and, truthfully, my value of myself. I had weekly weigh-ins, and if I hadn’t lost weight I would berate myself. I would actually hate on myself.
If I did lose weight, I felt I fulfilled. I felt in control. I felt worthy.
And there was the beginning of a long battle with myself – with my self-esteem – with my weight and with food. And it has been SO hard. I want to save anyone else from going through the same. This has been the purpose of my blog from the get go.
So I write this with serious love and a sense of protection for all my teenage gals and boys out there.
I think it is SO important to learn about food, what to eat and what is good for you – this is why dieticians are so amazing.
But I worry about the emphasis they may put on weight and weigh-ins – especially for someone so young. Now if you are diabetic, obese or really struggling with your weight, a dietician will be helpful. And I highly recommend this.
But I just want you all to know that it is normal to gain some weight during your teenage years. Your hormones are changing and adjusting to your new body.
If you eat a wholesome diet, like what I show you in my book The Healthy Life, and focus on getting in the nutrients, your natural weight will follow. Trust in this. I just don’t feel we need to be so focused on numbers to achieve balance and health.
Teenage years are vulnerable years – and your weight can make you even more vulnerable. I would rather help you build a healthy long-term relationship with food and your body – with balance and focus on nutrients rather than calories and kilos.
Let’s together shift our focus from calories and kilos to nutrients and balance when it comes to food. I am here supporting you.