Thursday, September 3, 2009

Food, Food, and More Food

I am your typical teenager. I can't go an hour, or even fifteen minutes without wanting more food. Of course, I have a high metabolism and if I don't, I'm gonna be losing weight rather rapidly. And, like most teenagers, if I'm hungry, I really don't care what I eat. I just wanna eat it whatever 'it' happens to be. Not all teenagers are like this, however. Some teenagers want to lose a few pounds to fit into that size 8 dress of their sister's. Or some have to make weight for a sport. Some just want to be able to run an extra mile or two and shape up a little. But some... Some take it way too far.

Counting calories is a common form of dieting. You must burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose one pound. But many teens take this way too far. Eating nothing but celery or crackers as a single meal a day to get skinnier and, in their minds, prettier. And why shouldn't they think it's prettier? We see so many models, actresses in magazines, on tv, in books, on buses, posters. They're everywhere! These supermodels are staring down at us no matter where we go, telling us, that we're not skinny enough. We're not pretty enough. So we resort to drastic measures to try and feel pretty.

It's not safe. Anorexia and Bulimia are serious conditions. And after a while, it's not a choice to not eat. Teens with the condition see themselves as fat all the time and want to fix it. They become obsessed with losing that extra pound, that inch around the waist. Talk to your teen if you suspect she's becoming unhealthy.

Losing weight is no big deal. Losing more than a pound a week, starving, binging, or eating extremely unhealthy unbalanced diets, is not. These issues can easily turn into an obsession. This isn't reason to accuse your teen when he or she skips on the healthy snack or is too lazy to make lunch. These are entirely different issues.

So, in short, if your teen is being responsible about his or her diet and isn't becoming unhealthy in any of their habits, losing a few pounds isn't a big deal. If your teen is losing many pounds a week or refuses to eat you may need to confront her on these issues.

Remember the mantra. Calm, collected, reasonable, and loving.


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