7 Things I'd Tell My Teenage Self, If I Could
Ever wish you could go back and talk with your younger self about the whole dieting thing?
I do. If I could teleport myself back to the early 70’s, the conversation might go something like this:
“Darlin Girl, can we talk?
I see you anxiously obsessing about your weight, your body, your current diet – and I remember how awful that felt. I understand. I really do.
And, I know this whole diet thing sounds like a great idea. It looks like the logical solution. Everybody’s doing it. But.
Sometimes things are not what they seem.
Contrary to TEEN Magazine, dieting will not make you thin. Or happy.
Those rigid food-rules you’re trying so hard to obey will end up back-firing instead of delivering what they promise. Dieting will consume too much of your precious life. It will upset your metabolism, override your intuition, and eat away your natural confidence – all the while masquerading as a noble quest.
I know it’s hard to see the futility in it when each new diet promises a miracle, but please understand…
SPOILER ALERT: Forty years from now research will show that restrictive dieting does not work.
In fact, it does great harm.
Thankfully, what does work is already in your DNA. A reasonably balanced lifestyle that fits you will give you what you so desperately want. With a little exploration you’ll figure it out. And there’s always help if you need it.
Dare to trust yourself.
You don’t have to spend the next thirty years being side-tracked by planning the next diet, starving till you can’t do it anymore, then bingeing and feeling ashamed – over and over and over again.
Here’s what I wish I’d understood earlier…
Life is too valuable to spend it feeling ashamed of your body, anxious over every bite you take, and living under the illusion that you’re not acceptable until you’re skinny.
Sweet Girl. You are more than acceptable. Right. Now. You are more brave and capable and funny and creative than you realize. But those good things are getting buried under the demands of deprivation and dissatisfaction.
You don’t have to waste another second counting calories. Or measuring your waist. Or drinking TAB. Or choking down another boiled egg.
May I offer a suggestion – something kind of crazy and different?
Begin to forge a close friendship with your body – like the playful, easy relationship you had when you were seven. Remember that freedom?
So. Would you be up for an experiment?
For one month, dare to:
Put the scales away. Tune in to your body again.
Tell your body three things you’re grateful it enables you to do, each day.
Smile when you look in the mirror. Give yourself a confident wink.
Eat when your body (not your mind) tells you she needs fuel.
Choose food that will satisfy you. Don’t eat a salad just because you think you should.
Truly enjoy the food you’ve chosen. Slow down. Chew well. Savor.
Stop eating when your hunger is satisfied. Leave the rest behind. Just hop up and go seize the day!
This will take some practice, but it’ll come. You were born eating this way.
And please. Get outside and play again. Don’t hide while waiting for some skinny future. Enjoy being active in that amazing body of yours right now. She’s your constant companion.
You are created to thrive, Darlin Girl. We all are.
And we can.
Please don’t settle for less.”