Today’s Wednesday Wisdom Tip comes from an email I received:
Hi Lynn, I am hoping you can help to approach a sensitive topic in the life of a teenage girl. She is very overweight and has low self esteem due to the fact of her weight. I love her dearly and I have tried encouraging her to exercise and diet without trying to make her feel uncomfortable but it doesn’t seems to be working. I do care about her health and am very concerned for her but I am afraid I don’t know how to help her or even reach the part of her that wants to change her situation and get more health conscious. Please help me her.
Have you ever been where this precious girl is at? Your unhealthy weight makes you feel bad, so you eat. The more you eat, the heavier you get. The heavier you get, the more you eat!
I sure have; just felt that way yesterday in fact! It is a constant battle of discipline and filling the gap in my heart with the unfailing love of Jesus instead of the quick fix of pumpkin roll (I mean, food)!
The real question is:
Why are we, or they, overeating?
Are they eating for comfort? Why are they sad?
Are they eating out of stress? What do they need to process or trim back on?
Do they feel unwanted or “out” with friends? Are they looking to food to fill their love gap?
In most cases, it is about a lot more than food.
When life is hard and stressful, we can show our girls how to run to Jesus instead of the pantry to settle our hearts. They watch; they hear. What are we doing?
I haven’t always model that perfectly, but as I grow, they see.
We also can model the importance of taking care of our bodies. Just as I speak to them often the effects of s*xual issues and their bodies, I try to share with them the effects of exercise and eating right. They need to understand the correlation between how they take care of themselves and how they feel.
As we have communicate this, we also trust and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to them that they are His temple.
Even more than teaching them how to take care of their bodies, I make it a priority to take care of mine. As I learn about healthy food choices, exercise regularly and make treats treats and not a staple, I am showing them how to take care of my body. When we hike together, swim together, work out together, they see the benefits of having energy.
While I am no expert on this issue, I do know that eating disorders can be triggered very easily in our body crazed culture so we do need to be careful that our “sharing” doesn’t cross the line to preaching.
Have my girls ever felt like I was “preaching at them” as I have tried to teach good eating and exercising habits?
Yes; they have.
But just because we share truth and it doesn’t go over well, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t share it. We continue to ask the Holy Spirit to give us His words and His love to communicate His truth.
To be entered to win, simply share one way we can help our children overcome the battle of healthy living. If you’re too busy, just say, “I’m in!”
To entered, go to www.LynnCowell.com and click on comments or click on “comments” below.
I’ll announce the winner on Friday’s post. Be sure to stop back!