The Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom

The Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens: The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom




As Jay McGraw says, The Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens is a book that will change lives. Weight issues are one of the leading causes of teen depression, and The Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens is being published at a time when weight is the top issue in so many teens' lives. Inspired by the enormous success of the #1 bestselling The Ultimate Weight Solution by Dr. Phil McGraw, Jay McGraw has written a book that deals with the specific issues teens face when it comes to weight matters. It's hard enough to be a teen, it's even harder to be an overweight teen. No one knows that better than the young people who suffer the teasing and name-calling that seem to resonate daily through their school halls. But what do you do when your friends are scarfing pizza and cheese fries and you're trying to lose weight? With this book, Jay addresses this and other problems in a way that they have never been addressed before — in a way that actually works! Just as he did in his bestselling books Life Strategies for Teens and Closing the Gap, Jay talks directly to teens and young adults in a way to which they can relate. Jay gets it and he knows how to give it to them straight. The result is a book that can do what teens all over have been looking for — a way to totally transform their bodies, minds, and lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743257473
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 11/25/2003
Pages: 293
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens

By Jay McGraw

Free Press

Copyright © 2003 Jay McGraw
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7432-5747-2

Chapter One

The Solution You've Been Looking For

Get ready. You are about to learn the best teen strategies for taking control of your weight and getting in better shape.

This book is for teens who want to manage their weight and get in shape - but without resorting to crash diets or trying to get thin thighs in two weeks.

When you get finished reading this book, and putting its steps into play, you will look and feel so much better about yourself. You will reach that point of satisfaction with your body where you will no longer be embarrassed or ashamed of yourself, or obsessed with your weight, or self-conscious about your butt or your belly.

But let me be real honest with you right up front: Not all teens need to lose weight. You may be at a healthy weight already, and so losing weight is something you shouldn't do.

But a lot of teens try to lose weight when they don't need to, or they go on a diet for all the wrong reasons. You do it because you think people will like you more, or because all your friends are doing it. You do it to fit in. Or you try to lose weight because you think you're not as thin as you'd like to be. Or maybe your parents are pressuring you to lose weight. Losing weight sounds like something you should bedoing.

But losing weight may be unhealthy for you. Instead of trying to take pounds off because everyone else is doing it or because your parents say so, it is a good idea to check with your doctor to see if you have too much fat on your body for your age and height.

This is really important. If you find out that you need to drop some pounds, great. Getting in better shape can be a good thing. But make sure you're doing it because you need to - and for the right reasons. Don't do it for your boyfriend or girlfriend. Don't do it to fit in. Don't do it for your parents. Do it for you.

That's what I will help you with on every page of this book: how to do it for you and how to do it right.

You and Food

Here's the first thing you have to realize about your weight - it's not really about a number on the scale or a size on the label of your Levi's. It's about whether you use food to take care of your body or abuse it and do just the opposite. Maybe you never thought about food like this. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.

Using food to take care of your body Eating good foods Eating when you feel naturally hungry Not going on guilt trips over what you eat Not going on diets Abusing food and hurting your body Eating too much junk food Bingeing on food Throwing up food on purpose Going on extreme diets

Abusing food causes problems. The most common one is being overweight. We're spending too much time at Mickey D's and not enough exercising. In your head you know it's not worth it. Feeling like a big blob is a frustrating and depressing way to live. Meet Melissa, a 16-year-old high school sophomore who admits she abuses food and has battled her weight all of her life because of it. She once shared with me what it feels like to live in this dimension:

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UNTITLED MESSAGE I've always been what you'd call a "fat girl." Nobody's ever really made fun of me, at least not to my face, but people do treat me differently. Guys don't think I'm pretty, so I never get asked out. Girls who are smaller than me avoid me, and I feel even bigger and uncomfortable around them. Sometimes I feel like the cute, small girls are a totally different species from me. The few friends I have are big like me, and we don't even go out much. It's kinda like we're grounded, not by our parents but by our own bodies for being fat and too embarrassed to be seen. When things go wrong, I head for candy and cookies. Pretending that life is okay doesn't take the sting out of the shame I feel over my size. I cry a lot. I'm disgusted with my body and with myself because I can't lose weight, and I think about suicide almost every day. I really do. I've never been happy with myself, and I hate my life. I've always felt that if I was thin, life would be so much better.

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Melissa is like a lot of teens. She's unhappy with her body. She's unhappy with herself. She feels like her life is a mess. Her bad feelings are setting her up for trouble. If you share some of Melissa's characteristics, you're not alone. About a third of all teens are overweight. Being overweight brings on teasing from people that messes with your head. It causes a lot of emotional pain, period. When all you want to do is wear a belly-shirt like Britney Spears, and you can't, every single day feels like the end of the world.

But I'm here to tell you that being overweight doesn't make you a loser or a freak. This book will help you get real about yourself and your body. It will help you change some ideas you have about yourself. It will help you and the Melissas of this world live the best that's within you.

Eating Disorders: Dying to Be Thin

Being overweight isn't the only problem. Some of you may be dealing with eating disorders. Two of the most common are anorexia, a kind of self-starvation; and bulimia - that's when someone eats ungodly amounts of food (bingeing), then gets rid of it by throwing up or taking laxatives (two forms of "purging").

Eating disorders are not just about food or weight. They're attempts to deal with insecurities, sadness, stress, and problems with family and friends. This is serious stuff. If you think you've got a problem in this area, stay with me throughout this book, but definitely check out Chapter 11. It's written just for you.

The first time I heard about an eating disorder, long before I researched the subject, was when I was in high school. Here is what happened.

From kindergarten on, Pam and I were best buds. Pam was always a really pretty girl. She wasn't just cheerleader material - she was a cheerleader and homecoming queen. But that's not the only thing I appreciated about Pam. As we got older and started high school, what I really came to like and respect about Pam was her intelligence. She was so smart. I mean, she read Catcher in the Rye just because she wanted to before it was ever assigned in English class, and she took physics even though she could have stopped at chemistry and had no science her senior year. (Now admittedly, at the time I couldn't decide if this made her smarter or dumber because my definition of smart was always to do as little schoolwork as possible. But looking back, I'd say Pam is and was a practical genius.) I used to have her help me with my algebra (this was before you could get Algebra for Dummies on CD-ROM). I needed help because I was sort of average - a C student, at best, during my first two years in high school before I smartened up and graduated with honors. I wasn't in the top half of my class. I guess I was the one who made the top half possible!

One day Pam was supposed to come over and help me figure out how to find the square of an algebraic sum (which I never did figure out). I was up in my room waiting for Pam when my mom came to my room and said, "Pam's not coming over; she's in the hospital."

In the hospital! I automatically thought she must have had a car accident or hurt herself at cheerleading practice. Scenarios of stitches and broken bones raced through my head. I never would have imagined anything else. Pam was healthy, energetic - she was a cheerleader, for goodness' sake!

Well, it was none of the above. Pam was rushed to the emergency room because her mother found her throwing up blood in the bathroom. Nobody knew until that moment that Pam was suffering from bulimia, and had been since seventh grade. It was this huge secret that she lived with every day for years, and now it had landed her in the hospital hooked up to IVs and machines. She almost died!

As it turned out, the whole ordeal was a blessing because it got Pam on the road to recovery. Much later, she poured her story out to me, and I want to share part of it with you.

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UNTITLED MESSAGE All I ever thought about was being skinny. My friends and I would constantly talk about carbs, and calories, and fat, and about 98 diets, and being thin. I was terrified of getting fat. If I gained even a pound, I felt horrible, so I was always on a diet. When I lost weight, I felt really good and in control, like I had achieved something. But sometimes I'd eat more than I meant to, and I'd feel really bad about it. One of my friends told me about purging. I was willing to do anything to be thin, so I I tried it. Then I started doing it more and more. Sometimes I'd throw up ten times a day. I got so good at it that all I had to do was manipulate my stomach muscles and the food would come up. I didn't care if I was hurting myself. I wouldn't stop. I couldn't stop. I got really good at hiding it so that I wouldn't have to stop. I hated myself for it, but there seemed to be no way out.

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Pam felt stuck. She thought that she was in a place or a situation that she couldn't get out of. She was doing what she was doing because it is all she knew how to do, but eventually, Pam found a way out, and so can you. Whatever form it takes, using food in unhealthy ways can sink you into a deep hole, and the longer you stay in it, the harder it will be to get out. This book can help you pull yourself out. I want you to start feeling good about yourself - and not be so hung up on your appearance.

The Seven Keys to Weight Freedom

Whether you're wrestling with being overweight, trying to climb your way out of the deep, dark hole of an eating disorder, or just want to develop a healthier attitude toward food and your body, I'll give you a special set of tools - they're called keys - to help you solve these problems, once and for all.

What are these keys? Well, there are seven of them, and they are based on another book, one that my dad wrote, the original The Ultimate Weight Solution - The 7 Keys to Weight Loss Freedom. My dad's been a psychologist since long before any of us were even born, and he's counseled thousands of overweight men and women, and people with eating disorders. The seven keys are what he's used to help all those people. Dad says that these seven keys are what you need to lose weight and take care of your body. They're not some new fad diet, either. They're a way to help you change the way you look at yourself, and just as important, the way you treat yourself. And that's the kind of change I know you're looking for.

Okay, I'm sure you're wondering what these keys are all about, so let's get to it. Here they are, followed by a super-brief explanation.

Key 1: Right Thinking

Success from the inside.

Key 2: Healing Feelings

The end of eating emotionally, purging, or doing other unhealthy things to your body.

Key 3: A No-Fail Environment

Cruise control for getting fit.

Key 4: Mastery Over Food and Impulse Eating

Get it together: no more bad food habits.

Key 5: Jay's Portion Power Plan

Warning: This is no-diet territory.

Key 6: Intentional Exercise

The fun factor in fitness.

Key 7: Your Circle of Support

Friends are for helping - and keeping you accountable.

So there they are - the seven keys to freedom from food issues. Let me tell you something up front: The seven keys are not a get-a-better-body-in-two-weeks program. As Bart Simpson once wrote a hundred times on the chalkboard, "I will not sell miracle cures."

And I won't.

But when you use these keys in your life, you'll have an instant edge - you'll look, feel, and live better - for real. Other people might not notice an immediate difference, but you will! And what's better is that the results will last. The keys are just the tools you need to do it.

If I had to sum up the seven keys in a few words, they'd be: simple, doable, and totally powerful. But the best part about the seven keys is that there is no willpower required!

Jay's Definition of Willpower

UNTITLED MESSAGE willpower \ wil-pau-er \ n.??The first thing you lose when you go on a diet or start an exercise program. The "I'll grit my teeth and fight through this" speech that you give yourself.

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No Willpower? Yeah, Right!

You're probably wondering how anyone can control their weight without willpower. I know this crazy idea is exactly the opposite of what you've been told before. It's always the same deal: You want to lose ten pounds by the prom, so you promise yourself that you're going to be good. For two weeks you eat salad at every meal and trade your Twizzlers for an apple. Meanwhile, everyone else around you chows Taco Bell and Krispy Kreme donuts. But that's not a problem. All it takes to resist joining in is a little willpower, right? Hardly. Willpower doesn't work, because it doesn't last. Getting all pumped up to cut carbs and fit into your BCBG prom dress might be enough motivation for a little while, but one too many buckets of buttered popcorn sitting right there next to you in your friend's lap, smelling so good that you can't even concentrate on the movie, and you're bound to crack. Some days you have willpower, and some days you don't. It almost always fizzles out eventually. Wouldn't life be so much easier if you didn't have to rely on willpower to get the body you want?

Well, lucky for you, you don't have to. What you need to do is stop relying on willpower and start creating a permanent lifestyle where you can't help but change and stay in healthy shape.

So how do you do that?

You have to put your weight management on high priority. I call it putting yourself on "project status."

When your weight is on project status, that means you have a specific plan and you commit to it. It means you devote time and energy to the plan because it takes on special significance.

Where do you get this plan?

The plan for managing your weight is found in the seven keys. No matter what your eating issues are, the seven keys will help you manage your weight, take better care of yourself, and do it by creating a lifestyle that supports being healthy and in shape. Even when you feel like giving up and giving in, everything in your world - how you think, how you feel, how you act - will work to keep you strong and in control.

With the seven keys, you don't need willpower because you are going to set your life up in such a way that you will be successful even when you don't necessarily want to do the things that will make you reach your goals.

I don't care how many diets you've been on or how many programs you've tried, with the seven keys and the steps they give you, this time you will make it. This time you will:

Get control of your weight. Find exercise you actually like. Stop unhealthy behaviors. Love the body you're living in. Overcome food obsessions and addictions. Learn to love and accept yourself.

Put more fun in your life.

As we go through this book together, I do suggest that you start a for-your-eyes-only journal where you write things down. Writing things down is a tremendous form of self-therapy because it lets you get in touch with important insights into yourself. This is an important part of putting your weight on project status.

No More Weight Worries - Freedom at Last!

Right now, you probably feel that your problems with food have you locked in your own personal prison. Trust me on this: The seven keys will unlock the door to your jail cell. You'll be free to eat things that you felt guilty about eating before. Free to enjoy your food. Free from bingeing, purging, or starving yourself. Free from the need to lie about what you ate. Free from diets. Free from obsessions with weight. Mostly, you will just be free to live a great life. Ah ... Won't that be amazing!

Okay, okay, I know you're ready to just get to it already. But you really will have to be patient if you want to change your life. You need to take it one step at a time if you want the new you to stick.


Excerpted from The Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens by Jay McGraw Copyright © 2003 by Jay McGraw. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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