Chloe asks: I’m turning 12, I weigh 44kg and I’m158cm tall. My friends are about 140cm tall and weigh about 36kg. I always feel fat around them and they make me feel fat. I’m always trying to starve myself to loose weight. Am I fat?
Hi Chloe –
As a dog, I have a very simple and strong opinion about weight. I like to chase squirrels. In order to catch them, I need to be as fast as I can be. If I am overweight, my weight slows me down. If I’m underweight, I don’t have enough strength, and so I can’t get up to speed. But if I’m my correct weight, then Watch Out, Rodents!
Today, humans are more obsessed with their weight than ever before, and have very specific ideas of what is the correct weight to have. This is interesting, considering that different humans have different body densities, bone weights, etc. You’ve probably noticed that two babies, who look just the same, can weigh very different amounts. So what good do rules about weight, in terms of one’s height and age, do?
Well, they do a bit of good. They tell a general range. And if one is in or near that range, they’re probably fine. But truly, I think my test (squirrel chasing) is a far better one. If you’re in great shape, then you’re in great shape. And who cares what anyone says about your ideal weight!
Having said that, Chloe, I looked at some charts online, and they all say… you’re absolutely fine. In fact, they say you’re a bit under the ideal weight for your age and height!
So maybe you’re trying too hard to starve yourself. Twelve is an age when girls’ bodies are changing a lot, and you really need your full nutrition. So instead of starving, how about keeping your weight down by exercising more? If you’re into sports, of course that’s great, but if not, maybe you could go on long walks or runs, or swim (I love swimming!). Or dancing or yoga are wonderful, of course.
The difference between these is that undereating keeps your body from getting what it needs, while exercise gives your body more of what it needs, all while giving you more of the figure you want.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting eating lots of candy bars and cakes and ice creams and chips every day. Eat healthy foods as much as you can. But again, that’s a far cry from starving yourself.
Really, just think of your body as your best friend, and give it what it wants and needs. And if so, it will give you back what you want from it. In my case, that’s a family of squirrels who’ve learned to treat me with Respect! In yours… maybe it’s looking great in a new outfit, or being able to run like the wind, or just liking who you are.
Whatever it is, be good to yourself. After all, you’re the longest, most intimate, relationship you’ll ever have!