Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years


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GeneralHealth

If You Think You're Too Big

When I ask young women what they'd most like to change about their body, the most common response is ''I'm too big." They say, "My thighs are too big. My stomach's too big."

What can I do when I think I'm too big?

  1. First, check it out.
    Your doctor or nurse practitioner has your growth chart that plots out your normal pattern. Changes to be concerned about (significant gain or loss) can also be evaluated with your practitioner's help.

  2. Review your eating patterns.
    You will be at your best when you eat a healthy diet. That means including each of the food groups in three meals, as well as snacks throughout the day. The key word is VARIETY, and a key point is serving size.

    Doing an Eating Diary and sharing it with your health care practitioner is a good way to get support with reviewing your eating patterns. Write down each food item and amount that you eat and drink for five days. Bring this to your next visit with your health care practitioner, or make a special appointment to share your concerns and to review the diary that you've made. The more information that your practitioner has, the better they can help evaluate your healthy eating habits.

  3. Be critical of the media's attempt to define what is "beautiful". Magazines, TV and movies often portray women who are very thin, (and at times, women who have had cosmetic surgery) to be ideal and beautiful women. It is not beneficial for us to aspire to be like that. Many of those models are at a very unhealthy weight. What's a better focus is to eat and exercise in a healthy way, and to get support to remind ourselves that we're at our best.

  4. Find an exercise or form of movement that you enjoy. Not everyone enjoys the gym or going for a run, but there are many other ways to exercise. Hiking, walking, learning how to be creative in a garden, dance and Yoga are forms of exercise and movement that can help you establish health habits for a lifetime.

  5. Lastly, support others to do the same. Women and girls of all ages can use support to not only eat and exercise in a healthy way, but to then like ourselves the way we are!

    Revised 4/25/01

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