How can a 14-year-old get fit?

Excellent job being aware of the needs of your body & mind! I can only share with you my experience. I hope it helps!

When I was 14, I was about 50 lbs overweight. I didn't feel confident. I had been teased quite a bit for years about my weight. I knew I was out of shape & decided to do something about it. I started by making the obvious changes. I quit eating candy, cake, cookies etc. After 3 weeks I stopped craving those things. It was such an empowering thing to realize that such a small change on my part (adopting a new attitude about sweets) could have such a significant change in my body. I replaced all beverages with water. I allowed myself one diet Pepsi a day, as a treat. (It became my dessert, I just chose to not have dessert at night) I started walking every day! I did it in the evening usually 7 or so. I would leash my dog, grab my headphones & go. It became my private time, my thinking time, my me time. It was something I came to love. I loved it in the rain, I loved it when the seasons changed. I loved watching the people on my route. I started walking 1 mile then 3 up to 6. I would run all out at the end. I'd run till I thought I was gonna fall over. I loved the endorphin rush I got when I was finished. Everything tingled & I felt truely alive! Usually when I was laying in bed, right before going to sleep. I would do sit ups, leg lifts & some push ups. I would set personal goals & it was fun. I started eating total cereal for breakfast w/skim milk & a banana. I also always took vitamins. Lunch would be a cinnamon raisin bagel w/nonfat cream cheese a few slices of turkey, tomato & sprouts & water to drink. Dinner was whatever we were having in appropriate proportions. My parents noticed the changes I was making. We talked about it. I started doing some of the cooking. About 4 days a week. My mom gave me a book on nutrition & the New American Heart Association cookbook. (I didn't have access to the internet back then.) I started helping with the meal planning & shopping as well. My parents were grateful for the help & of coarse I had to clean the kitchen when I cooked. My body changed significantly & in 6 months I was more fit than I had hoped for. I felt good, healthy & confidant. I have maintained these habits over the years & never struggled w/more than 20 extra pounds.

Our bodies are all different. No one responds the same way to any lifestyle change. You are growing & could continue to grow for another 10 years. You need to listen to your body. If you find yourself craving meat you probably need it, dairy, vegetables or fruit you probably need it.

1. Talk to your parents & try to be patient with them! You might be surprised at the support you may get. You also might be surprised by questions or concerns they may have. You might have good ideas they hadn't thought of.

2. See your doctor

3. Drink water. Don't go anywhere without a water bottle. It isn't as weird or inconvenient as you think.

4. Start walking. Look for any opportunity you can to increase your heart rate.

5. Cut out all sweets for at least a couple of months.

6. Eat only when actually hungry. Food is fuel for our bodies. Not entertainment. I ask myself this question at least once a day. Pretty much anytime I feel snacky. "Are you REALLY hungry or just bored?"

7. Be patient with yourself! There is SO much information to learn. Changing habits takes time.

Good luck young man!

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