Maintaining a Healthy Body Image – The Freshman 15

By Cindy Bishop on 09/04/2007
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Everyone has heard about the dreaded Freshman 15. Whether women going off to college actually really gain 15 pounds (more or less), it’s the change in lifestyle that often leaves them behaving differently around food and eating.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that moving away from home to a completely new environment with all the pressures and temptations of college might lead some young women to put on a few pounds. But is it really a big deal>

When you’re 18, your comprehension of cause and effect may well be left in the classroom. All you can see is the end result – your jeans are getting tighter and you may no longer be as thin as the ‘other girls’. The next steps a young woman takes to come to terms with her new body are crucial. All she probably needs from mom is your support, encouragement, and love. Translation?  Do not over-react!

Addressing any weight gain to your daughter (or son for that matter), is a very slippery slope. The key is how a young woman accepts her new body image and perhaps, more importantly, how those most influential in her life handle these changes as well. I believe this is one of those times in life when it’s best to leave well enough alone. Simply not commenting on weight gain may be the single best thing you can do.  Trust me, she knows she’s gained weight, and it may surprise you to know it doesn’t bother her as much as it bothers you!

Making sure your daughter feels secure about being loved and valued is what it’s all about. Hopefully, we all know better than to create any correlation between what the scale might say and how much we love.

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