Many teens (and adults!) struggle with healthy body image. Not being thin in a world that screams skinny is hard. We're constantly told we need to look younger, hide our wrinkles, cover up our imperfections. These pressures can often lead to binge eating and fad diets, and at its extreme, can lead to eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with food.
God created each of us with unique bodies that respond differently to food. I love to eat dessert and junk food, but usually don't feel good if I do. A diet that helps one person to be healthy does not always work for someone else. And listening to the opinions of others instead of the needs of our own bodies can create a struggle.
Ask your teen...
Have them take a minute to think about: what you are good at? Who are you in Christ? How does God see you?
Do you believe that God loves you for who you are, not how you think you should look? Read Psalm 139:14
Challenge your teen...
Start small....if their eating habits aren't good for them, challenge them to make only one change at a time. Pick one thing they'd like to change about their eating habits and start on only that.
Ask for help...find a friend to be an accountability partner. Even if they don't eat the same things, your teen and their friend can encourage each other to eat foods that feed their body and souls.
If body image is a struggle, invite them to take some time out of each day to build their confidence and self-esteem....spend time with God. Tune out the world and think about what God desires for you. Write down the words to your favorite worship songs or verses. Read in the Bible about how God cares for them. Journal their thoughts. Making this a daily or even weekly habit can help them feel loved for who they are in God's eyes!
Loving God, I struggle to love myself as you do. Teach me to see my value in things that truly matter. I am enough. Help me to believe that truth. Amen.