I received this email recently:
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 help her.
Dear friend, I decided that this was one question I just had to bring my oldest girl, Mariah, in on. Mariah is 18 and a senior in high school.
Mariah said the answer is “nothing”.
Her reasoning was exactly the same as it is for us.
You can’t make someone want to change. They have to want it for themselves.
Think about the things in our lives that we need to change.
Around mid-February, I quit working out. My work out partner got sick and was unable to work out with me. That seemed a good enough reason for me to not work out either! I watched my daughter begin a work out regiment. Encouraged my husband each time he headed up to our bonus room with his Insanity video tapes, but I did nothing to join either one of them. I didn’t want to. In fact, in the past week, I still only worked out twice. The thing that has to change is my want to.
And that is just something we can’t give to another person. They have to want to want to themselves! (You’ll have to read that one out loud to get it!)
In fact, Mariah said that the more we point out when our kids are eating wrong or being sedentary, the sadder or depressed they become and just dig down in that hole deeper.
But, we are not hopeless! We can pray, which is huge! God can do what we can never do with a million talking ‘tos.
We can live out a life where we have our cravings filled by the maker of our cravings…Jesus!
We can model eating right and working out too! (Preaching to myself now!)
You know I am also a huge advocate for doing Bible studies with our girls. Lysa TerKeurst’s “Made to Crave for Young Women” would be a great study to do with your girl. It’s not just about craving food, but shopping, boys…anything to fill that craving heart.
Today, I’m giving away a copy of “Made to Crave for Young Women”. To enter the drawing to win a copy, simply go to LynnCowell.com comment on the one thing your girl turns to to fill the craving in her heart. And if life is just too busy, simply say, “I’m in!” I’ll announce the winner next Monday.