Let's Talk …

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Their Teasing Really Hurts

I'm 5'6" and weigh only 90 pounds. I know there are overweight people who think I'm lucky, but the truth is people make fun of me all the time. They say I'm bulimic and anorexic. I eat plenty and I'm very healthy, but I don't seem to gain weight. My family tells me to just laugh it off, but the harsh words people say really hurt. How can I gain more self-confidence so the things people say won't hurt me so much?

You are thin for your height. I checked in with a doctor I know and he agreed it would be wise for you to get a very thorough physical examination. You might want to go to a specialist called an endocrinologist—a doctor who specializes in hormones. The doctor can make certain there are no physical problems keeping you from gaining weight.

Also, keep in mind that during your teenage years, physical development happens fast. Once you're sure there are no health concerns, the best you can do is wait for your body to grow and change. You may experience a major growth spurt, complete with weight gain, any day. It could happen tomorrow, it could happen years from now. You may even be thin because of your genetic makeup. Is the rest of your family on the thin side? If so, there's very little you can do to change the shape of your body.

I would also encourage you to keep eating a healthy diet. It might be tempting to load up on junk food in the hope you'll put on weight. But in the long run, you'll do your body more harm than good.

Once you've seen a doctor and been given a clean bill of health, I think you should take your family's advice. It may be difficult to laugh off the harsh words, but there's very little you can do to change the things other people say. All you can change is your reaction to them.

If you're doing everything you can to be healthy, it's time to accept the fact that for now, you're thin. Here's a scripture that has helped me along the way with things I don't necessarily love about my body. These words don't make our physical issues go away, but they can remind us of who made us and that we are all unique in God's eyes:

For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

What about My Problems?

My friends always talk to me about their problems. I'm glad they trust me and know they can lean on me, but I'm getting really irritated with them. They never ask me how I am, or how I'm doing. I'm pretty independent and secure, so I guess they think I can handle my own problems. But I feel like I give and give, and never get anything back from them. How can I get my friends to see that I sometimes need them too?

Tell them. It's wonderful you are a person others can talk to. But sometimes you just need to lay the cards on the table and share your burdens with your friends. They need to know you need them, too.

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