"Dear Carol, I need help getting my health back on track"
When I’m bored, I eat, and if someone tells me to stop, I feel fat and start crying. My mom called me chubby the other day, and I broke out in tears. I know I have to stop eating, but I can’t. My family is going through a hard time and it makes me feel better to eat—at least I think it does. I need help to get back on track.
–Can't Stop Eating
Dear Can’t Stop Eating,
Give yourself credit for recognizing that you’re ready to change this pattern. Your mom probably isn’t trying to hurt your feelings; she’s trying to help you be healthy and happy.
You say it makes you feel better to eat—but since you took the time to write me, my hunch is that overeating also makes you feel worse. You’re not alone. Nearly one in five kids age 12 to 19 is over-weight. Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other problems, including social discrimination.
Can you join an after school group to beat boredom? Can you do homework in a public place, like the library? Can you meet a friend for a walk? Forget diets and being mad at your family. Start making more healthful choices, add exercise to your routine, and get involved with some extra activities. If you take better care of yourself now, you’ll look and feel better this very summer.
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