Self Acceptance
Gabby

Hi, Naomi. I’ve been feeling really down lately. At our family Thanksgiving dinner my Aunt said I shouldn’t eat too much because it looks like I’m gaining weight. She said this in front of EVERYONE! 😢 I think it was a joke but it really hurt my feelings and made me wonder about the way I look.

Naomi

I’m so sorry to hear that, Gabby. It can be pretty hurtful when someone says something like that to you.

Gabby

What if she was right? What if I really do need to work on my weight and how I look?

Naomi

Weight gain is a completely normal part of your development during puberty! You shouldn’t feel ashamed at all.

Gabby

Does being extremely tall also count as being normal? I am taller than all of the boys in my class and it feels a little weird. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I feel so out of place.

Naomi

Remember that boys are going through puberty as well. Girls get a head start on puberty and are generally taller than boys. Both boys and girls are going through many different changes with their bodies.

Gabby

I’m definitely noticing different changes and I’m a little worried. Everything seems to be changing and it’s freaking me out.

Naomi

Girl, that is totally normal! Did you know that the amount of muscle and fat changes quickly as girls make the transition into becoming a woman? As a girl develops, her body will have more fat to allow for wider hips, fuller thighs, and stomach and breasts.

Gabby

I see..I just feel so self conscious. I always see thin beautiful women in magazines, on TV, and in movies. I can’t help but compare myself to them.

Naomi

Remember Gabby, your body is a work in progress. When you compare yourself to others it’s easy to point out things about your body that you don’t like. Try to focus on what’s best about you and refuse to look at the negatives. Also, try focusing on eating a healthy diet and staying active instead of thinking about what your body looks like.

Gabby

I don’t really know much about diet and exercise..is that bad?

Naomi

Of course not! Your doctor is a great resource and can give you advice. You can talk with him/her and set realistic goals for yourself.

Gabby

Well..also…I’m not really into exercising. I really dread going to gym class.

Naomi

You can turn exercise into something fun! You could try something exciting such as hiking with friends, rock climbing, or even dancing in your room.

Gabby

Wow I didn’t think of it like that!

Naomi

Exercising can be quite fun. 😊

Gabby

Thanks for your advice. I feel better. I’ve just been feeling extremely sad.

Naomi

I’m always here to help! If you still feel down, talking to your friends, parents/guardians, counselors, teachers, or even your doctor will help as well.

Gabby

I’m a little afraid.

Naomi

That’s alright, however, it is extremely important to remember there is a difference between being sad and depressed. If you are feeling extremely sad for a long period of time, make sure to talk to an adult you trust. A doctor or other health professional can help you figure out if you have depression or other problems such as eating disorders and can suggest ways to get treated. You can also find many sources for mental health treatment.

Gabby

Thank you Naomi! I plan to schedule an appointment with my doctor soon 😊

Naomi

You’re welcome! If you have any other questions I am here to help.


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