‘No thanks, aunty. I’m on a diet,’ said a sixteen-year-old family friend of mine, who seemed to be perfectly fit and healthy. ‘How do I calculate my body-mass index and at the age of fourteen, how much should I be ideally eating?’ a girl asks a dietician. Honestly, I have nothing against kids, teenagers wanting to know about their bodies but this obsession with dieting (crash dieting) and, frankly, being skinny, that’s gets to me. So today, it’s time for an honest – once-a-teen (that’s me) and a teenager (you) – chat.
Fit or Fat
Being overweight is not ideal. That’s the simple straight truth. But why? Appearances aside, you miss out on the pleasures of being fit. If your body is fit, there is so much you can do. Running up a flight of stairs won’t tire you, walking your dog will be a treat and not a punishment and most of all, your mind will be fit too –alert and attentive. The golden rule: eat what you want as long as you exercise. Be healthy, be fit for your own benefit, not for how you will look (though that is a strong and imperative incentive).
You Are Beautiful
One of my favourite songs is ‘The Sunscreen’. It has a line which goes like this: ‘Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.’
You know, you don’t have to be a size zero just because that’s what they show you on TV and because everyone says you should be and all the girls in your class seem to be. Don’t fall for this trap. These days, every girl seems to look the same, wears the same kind of clothes, carries the same cell phone and it goes on and on. Be yourself, be beautiful.
Food Is Good
It’s so good! I know someone who has been on a diet for so long, that she is perpetually irritable and not very pleasant to be around. For god’s sake, eat if you want to. If you think you don’t need to eat something, don’t, but be wise about it. Crash diets don’t work … hello, they’re called ‘crash’ diets. You can’t be hostile towards food, instead, be friendly with exercising.
LOVE FOOD + LOVE EXERCISE = FIT BODY and ALERT MIND
You Are Not Your Body
Our self-image is so closely linked to our bodies. This is true in our teenage more than any other time of our lives. ‘You look great today,’ someone says to us and we are happy the rest of the day. And the day you over eat – god, how terrible you feel about yourself. It’s natural to feel these things but so very important to know that you are so much more than what you see in the mirror. Or what others see when they see you.
Your Body is Your Best Instrument
Ah, another great line from my favourite song: ‘Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.’
There is a reason why you are in this body of yours. Use it well. Give it a purpose, a direction. Your body is your instrument to help you realize your true potential, your greatness (and this is why you should be fit). You have a dream of, say, starting your own line of clothes and accessories. If you are unfit, you really can’t work beyond a few hours a day because your body gets tired and so does your mind. With an unhealthy body comes a lethargic mind.
Let me leave you with a promise that you must make to yourself:
I will be healthy, happy and wise.
I will not let anyone or anything make me believe I am ugly.
I will be the best version of myself.
I will use my body well, but not confuse myself with my body.
On that note, let’s eat!
Try this fantastic recipe for a scrumptious pineapple upside-down cake that's eggless. Yes, EGGLESS! I've tried it and it turned out fab. My mom's been asking me to bake this ever since. The delish caramel topping really lifts the cake and takes it to a whole knew level. I added some pineapple essence to give it more of an edge even though the recipe doesn't say so. Even added chunks of pineapple in the batter. I never thought I'd like a pineapple cake but ... Doesn't it look great?