Q: How do I talk to my mom about the uncomfortable
feelings I have about my body or my weight?
We asked Robyn Cruze, MA and Espra Andrus, LCSW, co-authors ofMaking Peace With Your Plate: Eating Disorders Recovery, to offer their advice on tackling this sensitive topic with your mom.
A: Uncomfortable feelings about your weight, especially at a time when your body is maturing into an adult, can feel overwhelming. Rest assured that your mom was a teen once, and chances are, she either felt as you do, or still holds some of the same feelings now. Either way, relating to her may not feel so unnerving if you can remember that as individuals of the world, we are all in it together.
You are not alone. Fifty-three percent of 13-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies. The number increases to 78% by the time they reach age 17. Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting and taking laxatives. Finding someone to talk to about this is the best thing you can do. Life is too short to live with such a burden on your shoulders.
It is important to discuss your concerns with an adult who can help you. The most natural place to start is to talk with a parent. The goal of talking with someone is to help you understand what is going on and how to make it better. Here are some of our individual tips and personal experiences.