10 Tips for Overweight Teens
If we are in emotional pain, lonely or needing comfort, food often becomes our quick fix. When we eat to excess over a long period of time or when we cannot stop eating, just like with any addiction, we need and deserve help.
Anger and other strong feelings are just energy that is trapped in the body. Because we are often afraid to feel our feelings, we keep them bottled up inside and don't intentionally release them in healthy ways. We will often eat food to attempt to numb them out. Eventually, they will leak out in destructive ways, often on the people we love. Emptying our emotions helps relieve our emotions and stress and helps to relieve the hunger that lives inside of us.
Create emotional release times. In order to release pent-up feelings, schedule regular sessions with a friend, parent, mentor, counselor, life coach or spiritual teacher—someone who is not afraid of feelings, who you can talk to, cry with, yell in front of and hit pillows with.
Join a support group. A variety of groups are led by professional counselors, as well as self-help groups such as at Overeaters Anonymous and Weight Watchers. Some support groups are specifically for men, women, teens and so on.
Keeping a journal can be very therapeutic. Consider starting your journal entries with "If you really knew me…" to increase the likelihood of being more real and vulnerable with yourself.
"If you really knew me…" is a simple, powerful way to connect below the surface on e-mail as well as in person.
Every day—morning and night, while brushing your teeth—look into your eyes and talk to yourself as if you are a loving parent. Compliment yourself. Say out loud things like: "I am proud of you." "You are beautiful." "I love you." "You are so strong." "You are doing your best."
Even if it feels silly or like a lie…say it. Keep doing it until you believe it. Nothing about you or your weight has to change to love yourself. That is the place to start.
Replace the time when you eat in unhealthy ways with something that feeds your heart. Take a class or find a hobby that is fun. If you can, join a gym. It is always nice to do this with a friend or someone you love. These habitual eating times might be the perfect times for support meetings or counseling sessions.
It is hard for service, depression and destructive behavior to live in the same body. Focus your attention on being in service or helping others.