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'help, I'm Trapped In The Body Of A Fat Teen'

Mar 15, 2008
When you are in middle school or high school, being different may not seem like a good thing. Especially if what makes you different is that you can't wear cute short skirts or skinny jeans because you are overweight. And, if that weren't bad enough, you may feel terrible inside when you eat lunch in the cafeteria and watch girls who must be a size 0 or size 2 eating french fries, pizza, brownies and whatever they want without gaining an ounce.

If you are tempted to dwell on how unfair it all is I can help. Like you, I was an overweight teen and my weight bothered me so much that I was willing to do anything and everything to be thin. For example, I once spent an afternoon wrapped in a tight-fitting silver outfit trying to sweat off four pounds of belly fat. Guess what? At the end of the day, I weighed exactly the same. Meanwhile, I felt humiliated, disappointed and taken-in.

That was then, of course, and now I'm grown up and thin and ready to share with you what I have learned from studying people who are naturally thin - like the kids in your school who can eat absolutely anything without gaining weight. Instead of envying them I can teach you how to be exactly like them.

The first thing you need to do is to lose the mindset that there are bad foods and good foods. It's simply not true. Foods don't fall into neat, black and white categories - even my favorite obsession, barbecued potato chips, aren't truly bad. By obsessing over foods that we think are bad for us, we actually tend to eat more of them. So if you are like I was and have a food that you love to eat to excess, stop beating yourself up for eating it. You don't see the thin girls in your school doing that, do you?

Another thing you can do is to go on a hunt and throw away everything diet related in your life. Food scales, calorie counters, food monitoring diaries and every diet book in your house should all be thrown away, because diets don't work for most of us and very few people get thin and stay thin by dieting. In fact, research actually shows that teens on diets gain more weight than teens who don't diet. So if your mom or a friend advises you to go on a diet, please give it a second thought. They have your best interests at heart, of course, but, like most people, don't have the best information on what really works in the long-term.

When you are on a diet, you stop listening to what your body is trying to tell you, and that causes problems. Your body knows when it is hungry and when you need to eat - even how much to eat. The secret to letting the thin person within you out is to listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied. Become self-aware of other reasons that may cause you to overeat and you can deal with those issues in a more appropriate way that doesn't involve food.

Dr. Kim Hiatt regularly speaks about issues relating to childhood and adolescent obesity and secrets thin families know about weight control. She has been successful at overcoming her own weight loss difficulties. Along with Marna Goldstein, Hiatt is co-owner of ThinfromWithinTeens.com. Hiatt is an adjunct professor of psychology at Southwestern College. She completed her doctorate dissertation on childhood and adolescent obesity.
About the Author
Visit http://www.ThinfromWithinteens.com (or itunes) for free five-minute podcasts released each week. Among the titles are Motivation 911; How to Stop Before You Get to the Tablecloth; Reducing Emotional Eating; and Feeling Fabulous Today and As You Are Losing.
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