A Story of Body Image
Middle school and high school are two places that are full of peer pressure and obsessions towards one's self image. Many people spend countless hours unsatisfied with their appearance, and some may believe that it actually affects how people view them as human beings.
To be honest, having been through middle school, many of us have gone our separate ways and no one has ever brought up things about outward appearance. People remember you for who you are and how you treat them. No one who truly cares says, "You were so pretty that one day in February!!" or "You needed a major wardrobe fix."
However, some people say stuff about personalities such as, "We must catch up sometime, you were so nice when you came up to me on my first day of school and became my first friend!"
While the inside is what matters most, it is also very important to keep yourself healthy and have good nutrition. After all, many say that a healthy kid is a happy kid!
It was seventh grade and I had a friend who was really self conscious about her appearance. I never understood why; she was beautiful and, in fact, in much better shape than many of the other girls at school.
She said she needed to get healthier. Soon, at lunch we would all sit and eat what we had packed – whether it be a sandwich, or left overs from the night before. We all noticed that every day for the past week, the girl had only a small Chewy Granola Bar for lunch.
Later I found out what she meant by "healthier" was in fact skinnier. Which, may I add, is not the same. She began to look more tired and drained each day so I decided to confront her about how she was trying to get "healthier."
As an individual, she thought I "didn't understand" and that I should let her do what she wants. We got more worried about her health though, so we decided to approach her as a group and tell her that eating just a Chewy bar for lunch was really unhealthy and there were better ways to achieve her goal.
A little research came into play here: while what she needed to do was eat 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, she didn't eat them at lunch which only gave her two other opportunities to eat them. She consumed more sugar than needed, considering the fact that chewy bars have carbohydrates, sugars, fat, and (occasionally) a little dash of protein.
Overall, this was not enough nutrition, especially for a growing teen. She listened to our comments but then came up with the fact that she doesn't have time to make lunch each morning. So we came up with a plan that she would prepare it at night instead.
A couple days later, she came to school with a lunch and a bright attitude that lasted the whole day. You need energy from food. You also need the nutrients locked inside what foods you eat. So, choose what you eat wisely! I learned that there are many healthy alternatives that are fast and delicious to make and eat.
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Written By: Samantha Phan,
high school writer
Reviewed By: Nancy Brown, Ph.D.
Last Reviewed: October 2013