Did you know last week was National Healthy Weight Week? To celebrate here are some tips to support healthy weight and body image in young girls and women!

Today’s culture can be a difficult one for girls and women to be in when it comes to weight. There is so much pressure to be a certain weight; while it used to be skinny, now, there is a big push for “healthy weight,” but what does that even mean? The internet is truly a double edged sword as it provides us with access to lots of credible information, it also has a lot of incorrect information which unfortunately spreads like wildfire. With so many people selling coaching, shakes, or other weight loss products it can be difficult to navigate as an adult, let alone as a teen. Here are some tips to help support your tween/teen daughter, niece, cousin, student, etc.

  • Support and give an example of healthy eating: make sure you demonstrate healthy eating habits to follow. This means eating all meals, not talking badly about yourself when you eat something that’s not super healthy, discussing food as fuel and how important fuel is for our bodies, etc. Kids and teens learn a lot of behaviors and attitudes from the adults around them, so be sure you are setting a healthy example.
  • Encourage regular exercise, but make sure you aren’t equating exercise to value: exercise is a great way to maintain healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle. But it is important to not become hyper focused on it. It can be easy, especially with social media, to think you HAVE to workout and if you don’t you’re a bad person. So encouraging a healthy relationship with working out is crucial.
  • Focus on other amazing attributes as well: making sure to compliment other aspects is so important. Some great examples to focus on: kindness, caring, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, etc. These are traits that are completely in their control and not related to body image. Another way is to kind of spin body image compliments, so instead of saying ‘you look so skinny’ you can say ‘you look so healthy’ or ‘you’re glowing when you’re happy’ to focus less on looks and more on attitude.

At the end of the day being healthy is not the same as being skinny or super muscular or anything related to looks. Reminding and encouraging this mindset is key to help young girls have a sense of healthy weight and body image. In today’s world it can be so hard to have a healthy mindset around these topics with social media, and while you can’t control what the young girls in your life are thinking, you can help set a good example for them daily. 

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