Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Adjusting to a New Body in teen ages.

adjusting to a new bodyAdjusting to a changing body is about more than just looks, though. Lots of teens base their self-image on how their bodies feel and perform. Until a year ago, Wes, 15, was a lean, fast sprinter who could always be relied on to win the race for his track team. Wes has ADHD, and some days it seemed like running was the only thing he could do well. So when he started developing a stockier, eat vegetarian, more muscular physique and his sprint times got longer, Wes' confidence took a serious bruising.

Changes in our bodies' appearance, performance-even such minor details as the way they smell - are all perfectly normal parts of growing up. So what can you do to help yourself adjust physically and emotionally? Here are some ideas.

Beware - don't compare!

It's natural to look at our friends for comparison. But It's also a bad idea to compare ourselves to celebrities and models. In reality, most people don't look like the limited body types shown in the media. (Actually, the models often don't look like that either: Many of those "perfect" bodies got that way through photo editing, not nature.)

Forget magazine ads - check out family snapshots instead.

Before you look at your folks and freak out, consider that they're no longer teens. People's bodies change as they grow older. Ask to see pictures of your parents, aunts, and uncles when they were your age. This will give you a chance to talk to them about their own development.

Treat your body well.

A new bodyMaking educated choices about food(vegetarian food) and exercise is part of developing a mind and life of your own. Healthy eating and exercise can also give you some control over how your body turns out. Plus, exercise is a mood booster. If your changing body has you feeling sad or confused, it may help to go for a walk, play with your dog, or throw a Frisbee with your friends.

Befriend your body.

Feeling like you don't know your body any more? Just like a friendship that grows and evolves, keeping in touch with our bodies takes time. Like friends, our bodies can let us down at times. But with a little work and understanding, it's possible to bounce back.

Walk tall - even if you're not!

As your body changes, it can help to work on good posture and walk with a sense of confidence. After doing this for a while, you'll probably become more confident too.

There's not much you can do about your height or development, but you can focus on the things that you really like about yourself. Maybe it's your curly hair or the dimple you get when you smile. Maybe it's that you are a really thoughtful person or you are good at making people laugh. Ultimately, when you think of the people in your life that you care about the most, what they look like probably has very little to do with how much you like them.

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