Scarleteen's goal is and always has been focus on sexual health and all related areas, including physical and mental health, body image, and abuse. It can be difficult to find reliable, non-judgmental information on these subjects, and the staff and mods spend the majority of their time here ensuring that users get necessary information in-line with the site's purpose.
However, in order to truly focus on providing vital information and support, Scarleteen is not in the habit of providing or entertaining non-essential or cosmetic discussions, such as with hair removal, stretch marks, hair and makeup, etc; there are already numerous reliable sources on the web for such information. It's become obvious that, though considered a health problem throughout the nation, weight loss is becoming one of these discussions.
First and foremost, we always encourage that anybody who suspects they have a weight problem consult a healthcare provider of some kind. Through the web, you can get input from others based on BMI calculators/charts and common recommendations for a healthy lifestyle for healthy individuals, but someone who can talk to you in person, and get the big picture of your health and health history is a better choice to determine if you are healthy enough to follow any diet or exercise plan, as well as if your weight is an issue.
To boot, the BMI system has its flaws, mostly in its negligence of overall muscle mass, frame size, and bone mass that varies between individuals. A healthcare professional also has the tools at their disposal to evaluate you for any related health causes/effects that diet and exercise on your own WON'T address, as well as referrals for such resources as nutrition counseling or treatment for an eating disorder.
(This goes without saying that being under, over, or at a normal weight can often be no indication in of itself as to how healthy you are on the inside, so seeing a doctor about healthy ways to eat and exercise is always your best bet at your next checkup, no matter your weight.)
We are certainly for supporting folks in making healthy choices for themselves and providing encouragement for everybody to improve their health, but Scarleteen simply isn't the most appropriate place for questions about your weight, especially when it is apparent that the desire for weight loss is purely cosmetic. Those issues are also outside the mission of the site, which it's important we focus on.
We can to talk to you about your body image issues, maintaining health (rather than appearance) or offer tips to help you achieve your goals under your doctor's advice.
What we can also tell you:
Healthy eating habits are important, this includes (but is not limited to) the following:
-Drink plenty of water remember, we lose water daily through urination, bowel movements, sweating and breathing. Typically, we need roughly two liters of water a day to replenish those fluids we lose, but it's especially important to hydrate and rehydrate yourself before, during and after exercise, and if you consume anything that may deplete fluids such as sodas and coffee. So, instead of reaching for that can of cola, why not reach for a bottle of water, instead?
-Cut out the sugary stuff I'm not about to tell anyone to never eat a cookie or a candy bar again, but moderation is key. Sugary snacks and especially carbonated drinks like cola are really not doing much for you, in the long or short run! So the more you can cut down on those, the healthier you're going to be overall.
-Know what you're eating and what you need to eat (and again, you can find this out through your doctor) I'm talking protein, calcium, vitamins, and other awesome-for-you nutrients. Did you know that many young adults don't get near the amount of calcium and Vitamin D they need for good bone strength? Did you also know that drinks such as cola and coffee and sugary teas and "fruit" drinks can make it harder for you to get the good nutrients you need from not drinking things like 100% juice or milk? Consider as well asking your doctor if a multivitamin would benefit you and what type in particular they would recommend multivitamins are not a replacement for the nutrients you can find in food, but they can help you out day to day to boost your intake!
Daily activity is also important. Getting a good 20-30 minutes of activity a day can greatly help increase cardiovascular, respiratory, muscle and bone strength, as well as helping your metabolism. Staying active can also help you get to sleep and stay asleep better! So take your dog for a walk, hop on your bike to get to the store instead of driving the car, go on a jog, go to the park with your friends, play a sport, go swimming stay active!
And we can never recommend this enough a good, in-person healthcare provider, is going to be your number 1, ultimate source for helping you establish the best, healthiest routine you can to live your life as healthy and happily as possible.
Cosmetic weight loss queries will likely be closed from now on and referred to this thread. If you would like to repost your question as something we can help you with (discussing WHY you feel pressured to lose weight, addressing self-esteem/body image issues, etc) we'd be more than happy to help you out. Thanks so much!
-------------------- Jean aka dailicious Scarleteen Volunteer Love us? Want to keep us in your lives and hearts? Give what you can! Posts: 3382 | From: Denver, Colorado | Registered: Mar 2005
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Well, I live in Iowa and when I ask a doctor about my weigh issue, they say I am fine and a perfect weight. All the doctors here are overweight and obese!!! Doctors of all people should be examples of good health. I am overweight, borderline obese according to my BMI and these doctors are saying I am just fine!
So if doctors in the Midwest are crazy fat freaks, who can I trust to get more well-meaning health advice?
Missiowa, it is not okay to be disrespectful of anyone here; calling any group of people "crazy" or "freaks" will not be tolerated.
Doctors are people too with real lives outside of their work, and their weight has no bearing on their ability to do their jobs. When you are concerned a doctor is not doing his/her job, you ask for more information or for a referral to a more knowledgeable physician or dietican.
Additionally, know that, as this message noted, the BMI system has its flaws, mostly in not taking into account bone and muscle density and total body fat. Someone can have their BMI calculated as overweight/obese and have perfectly normal amounts of body fat; they might simply have a heavier frame and more muscle. Likewise, an "underweight" BMI may include unhealthy amounts of body fat. Only a doctor can tell you for sure by checking these factors.
I really dislike the BMI calculator, I seriously think they need to reinvent it for teenagers. With my height and weight, the BMI reckons that I am "slightly overweight". Pfft, I think for teenagers, they shouldn't really worry too much about their weight as they're still growing. Yeah, you should be worried if you suddenly piled on 10 kilos but otherwise, just be happy with your body
Posts: 8 | From: Australiaaaaa | Registered: Sep 2008
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im at the borderline of my BMI too :(i really worried :(cant think of anyting but of losing weight,i dont have low self esteem as otherwise i look decent enough.but the flab on my arms and stomach is in the pits..im so busy i dont even have time for exercising
-------------------- he made me fall in love and i couldnt help it:) Posts: 6 | From: japan | Registered: Sep 2008
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princes, did you read the original post, here? I think it might help.
BMI is a less accurate indicator of weight than many believe. There are many more factors that go into a healthy weight that just height and what you weigh.
One thing that bothers me is that you said you are unhappy with your body, but you also say you don't have time for exercise. If you want to make changes to yourself for the good, exercise has to be a part of that. There's no getting away from it.
I do not suggest you start just trying to lose weight. Eating health, drinking lots of water and plenty of exercise are all part of a healthy lifestyle and can help you lose weight, but you should see a doctor before you start any weightloss program.
I know that this is probably closed, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciated this article. Like, really really really appreciate it.
I have a very dense, compact frame from my father- very large bones and prone to building muscle mass easily. (Since I'm a girl, it makes body image very embarrassing.) I am also VERY short. With all of the sports I've done, my frame and height, reading a BMI chart was always terribly depressing. It took me a long time to reconcile my body type with my health.
My doctor and I have always watched my weight carefully- I have a metabolic disorder so gaining weight is easier than breathing. I try to eat healthy and work out at least 4 to 5 times a week to stay fit.
Not everyone is going to look like a model- in fact, MOST of us won't! I'm not saying that you won't have your bad days- I will never fit into "skinny jeans"- but staying active and working with my doctor have saved me from making some very bad decisions based on "the perfect body". So listen to this article- you'll never change how your body was built- it's genetics; trying to become and then maintain a healthy body and lifestyle will be better for you than any fashion fad.
Thanks again for such a WONDERFUL article.
-------------------- --- Found my Romeo~ Posts: 15 | From: Texas | Registered: Apr 2005
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it is written by a Psychiatrist who specialises in helping people who struggle with weight and overeating for emotional reasons and is not just another fad diet approachh.
Posts: 6 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Mar 2011
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i dont know if this topic is closed or not. at the beginning of my school year i was what you could say thick wearing a size 7-9 jean. Now wen i 1st started school i couldnt eat any thing without feelin like i was gonna be sick and over the christmas break i had gotten really sick and dropped to a size 3 now i am wearing a size 1 and it seems like my body can only take certain amounts of food. Could this be a eating disorder?
Eating disorders are characterized by someone's behavior: in other words, by what their relationship to food is and how they're eating, not by things like what size they are or how their body reacts when they do eat.
But it's clear something is wrong if you find you can't eat normal amounts of food, so it would be smart to see a doctor about that.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 66622 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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People have really grown to think that you have to go so thin in order to look good and be appreciated by other people and that has really accounted for a lot of things in life. It has been a common thing to hear that someone wants to lose weight because they think that is something that has to be done. Though it really accounts for being healthy and living a better lifestyle but you can still make sure of that without having to go thin like the others are striving for.
Posts: 5 | From: Maidenhead | Registered: Jan 2012
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Haleigh, this is a great question - it's something I've wrestled with for a long time. I read a lot of body-positivity blogs and just added more to my list this week; that's definitely one way I combat a lot of the negative messages about bodies that are floating around. But I get really stuck applying all of the things I wholeheartedly believe about other people and their bodies to my body. Also, there seem to be very few body-positive resources for people who aren't women; I can get a lot out of most of the sources (and when this issue started for me I was a young girl and identified as such) but I do wish I had more applicable resources right now.
I've found a few things that help for me:
finding items of clothing or other accessories that I think I look 100% fabulous in and wearing those a lot; I have a great hat, some big earrings (I have fairly stretched lobes), and a few comfy sweaters that I always feel great in.
Looking at other people who I find attractive or stylish and noting when aspects of their body overlap with mine; it's hard to say "I don't like this part of my body" when someone I think looks great shares the same attribute.
Finding physical things that make me feel good in my body. I take a lot of walks and enjoy feeling strong as I'm climbing all the hills aorund my house.
But honestly - this is something I still struggle with. I'm hella triggered by many many things and sometimes doubt that this will be an issue I can ever resolve in a healthy way. I'm trying, though.
Posts: 1075 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013
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I would also like to add a quick blip to Lauren's initial post by saying that when you eat is also super important, not only just to help maintain a healthy weight, but also to keep pathological conditions and diseases at bay. We all know that many a Freshman 15 is gained from all those late night pizzas and junk food munchie fests when we're up studying and cramming for classes.
As such, getting a good night's sleep consistently also does wonders for the body and overall health & well-being; not only does it leave one clear-headed and well rested, but also provides much-needed energy to get one through the day, with a bunch to spare for those necessary daily 20 - 30 minutes of cardio.
-------------------- Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale Posts: 213 | From: Hawaii | Registered: Feb 2013
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