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Advice on changing appearance and health please!

Tagged as: Health<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 July 2018) 6 Answers - (Newest, 12 July 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 18-21, anonymous writes:

I really want to change myself , I don't mean drastically I just mean in terms of appearance and they way I am . I like my hair but ive always had the same hairstyle really and want ideas of what sort of hairstyle to get or how to just not overthink of what people say so much to me and to not give it a second though. I feel that just getting a new haircut will help as I'm always think my appearance has never changed and I just want something different to make me feel happier

Also, a few months ago I started weigh watchers , ive managed to lose a stone , yet I don't feel like I have at all , I go swimming more and I am trying to exercise more yet I always feel so hungry , ive tried my hardest to avoid snacking yet these last 2 weeks ive seemed to snack again , any ideas/advice on what do when I feel like I want to snack or what else I can to keep healthy and occupied so that I avoid unhealthy snacks .

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (12 July 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntYour appearance and weight isn't who you are as a person and well it doesn't make us any less sad or happy. If you ask someone who you feel has it all I bet they have there own issues and insecurities. We are never happy with what we look like, we always want more. I guess that is life and what we look doesn't define who we are.

Okay so if you want to change your hairstyle then I would say go for it. I know when I get my hair done it makes me feel good. So why not have a look on google and check out new hairstyles and colours and see what works for you.

As for wanting to loose weight, well done on loosing a stone, that is a huge achievement and you should be proud. We are always the last person to notice we have lost weight when it comes to it, I guess it is because we see ourselves every day. I always go by how I feel in my clothes, they won't lie, so I know when they feel tight it is time to loose a few pounds, and if they are loose I know I am doing something right.

The last thing you should do is go hungry. Snacking is important, if you are hungry then you should eat. It is just about knowing what to eat. If you feel weight watchers isn't working then you should give slimming world a go. You are never hungry on that plan, you can eat all day until you are satisfied and it is a healthy eating plan.

Swimming is a great form of exercise so I would keep that up, especially if you enjoy it.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (12 July 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntIf I could speak to my 18-21 year old self, one piece of advice I would give her (if she would listen) would be that, unless it is extreme, her weight and appearance, unless extreme, will not greatly affect her happiness.

The next piece of advice would be that the major deciding factor regarding whether she will be happy or not will not be her appearance or what people do or say but how SHE handles it.

Let me explain. I have been slim (to the point of skinny) and I have been overweight and every weight in between. I was no happier skinny than overweight. Fabulous things did not suddenly start happening to me because I was a certain weight. Granted, I felt better at certain weights but I learned to feel comfortable and confident, regardless of my weight. Confidence is a very attractive quality in people (as long as it is not taken too far and turns into arrogance or cockiness). If you BELIEVE you look good and carry yourself accordingly, you will LOOK good, regardless of your weight.

Beyond this, you need to learn that what people say to you is a reflection of THEM, not of you. Also that you always have a CHOICE in how you react to something someone says to you.

An example: my MIL visited us on one occasion. A lovely woman but VERY straight talking and disciplined. Has been skinny all her life due to eating carefully. We just happened to have cream cakes in the fridge and I offered her one. Her face screwed up in distaste and she said, looking me up and down as she said it, "No thank you. And YOU shouldn't be eating cream cakes either." Now I could have chosen to take offence at this and go into meltdown or I could (as I did) have chosen to laugh and actually repeat the story to others. We still laugh about it.

One book I would recommend you try to read is Secrets about Life Every Woman Should Know by Barbara de Angelis. Very easy reading but makes a lot of sense.

Do you have a hairdresser you trust? Ask him/her to recommend a new hairstyle they think would suit you. If they are good at their job, they will understand what styles suit what shaped faces. If you don't like the style, you can always let it grow out and try a different one.

Regarding snacking, only go shopping when you have eaten so you are not tempted to buy unhealthy stuff. Fill up your cupboards and fridge with healthy snacks and, when you feel peckish, have a small healthy snack.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 July 2018):

Post script:

Here's a dose of reality. You will not always be happy go-lucky. Life is a challenge, and it has ups and downs.

There are idiots out there who think they're supposed feel good 24/7; and nothing is supposed to go wrong. They base their own lack of happiness on everything that everyone else is doing; or what everybody else has.

Your blessings and life-rewards come from improving your mind, keeping faith, and having hope. Believing in yourself and embracing your gifts and talents. Some turn to their faith and worship when hope runs out.

You learn to survive from hardship and challenge. No matter how much money you have, or how beautiful you are; you still get bored, and there are times you will be sad.

Wealthy models and movie stars still commit suicide; when they have beauty and wealth, and almost everything.

Why? Because they don't have faith in life, think happiness comes from how much you have, and they didn't appreciate real-love coming from the right people. They wanted perfection. People are not perfect. Happiness takes a break.

That's the reality of life.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 July 2018):

Just make sure your head is right for making these changes. Before you make such pursuits, you have to like yourself for the person that you are; and not base your self-worth on your appearance.

You shouldn't change your appearance; because of what people say, or based on the opinions of other people. Seeking approval will become a lifetime burden you will never be able to bear. It will drive you mad.

If you want a new hairstyle, go to a styling salon and ask for a suggestion. If you've never worn make-up; go to a make-up counter; they'll give you make-up tips as well.

Do you still live with your mother; or have an older-sister, aunt, or female-cousin? They are good sources of advice. They can actually see you, and base their suggestions on what really needs to be fixed.

Now the weight-loss thing is the part that has me really concerned; and I'm really happy the aunts will be joining in about that. You have to hear it from other women; before you'll really listen, but I'm going to get into your head.

Maybe someone said something that really hurt your feelings. Is there a guy you're interested in? You are at that vulnerable-age where the high-school mean-girls can really get to you.

Has your mother neglected to teach you where self-esteem comes from? It's homegrown, and comes from within. You plant it in your brain, it connects with your soul, and you nurture it with common-sense.

Perhaps you don't get sufficient positive-reinforcement and encouragement from the most important person in your life, from whom it matters the most. Your mom. You're also a teen and a daughter. Most girls see mom's advice as criticism. It's too bad. She's your first and foremost source of wisdom and advice for becoming a woman. Her advice comes from love.

Then again, a lot of people don't seem to see their parents that way anymore. I hope you do!

Losing weight and being pretty will not make people love you; or get you 100% approval at all times.

Mean-people will criticize and insult you; and there will always be someone to make a comment about your weight or appearance. Don't just change your appearance, grow a thicker-skin to protect your heart and soul.

Before you go remodeling your whole structure, it's best that you start with your mind. You start by doing things based on your own decisions and desire to make self-improvements. For your own sake, and your own good-health and well-being. Before you become just another poor young girl full of self-loathing; and living all your youth under medical-treatment and therapy.

You are very young, have the world at your feet, and a lot of life ahead of you.

You can change your hair color, wear wigs, get hair-extensions, and do anything you want with your hair. If your doctor says you're overweight; then weight-watchers will suggest a diet-plan and snacks suitable for controlling your weight.

You don't always have to "lose weight!" Just control it for the sake of good-health and vitality. Diet and exercise and regular activity will burn calories without stressing your young growing and developing body. You're still physically-growing, and will continue growing until you're almost 22. Your mind and your body, are still developing and changing.

Too many silly young girls throw-off their menstrual-periods, upset their natural-metabolism, or develop eating disorders; by monkeying around with dieting and starving themselves. It starts with beating themselves up for falling off the wagon!

Many develop self-inflicted anxiety-issues. Unnecessarily trying to change into women faster than nature intends them to.

They cause more harm and physical-damage to themselves than doing any good. I truly hope you're not heading down that path. Don't expect drastic weight-loss-results too fast! Weight fluctuates in growing-teenagers. You have growth-spurts. Your bosom is still blossoming. Your curves are still forming on a child's frame.

We can't see you; but like most of the OP's who come here with this issue, it is never even remotely as bad as it is in their minds. It's all over what some evil little witch or a nasty boy said to them. It's that, or jealousy and envy of a sister and/or other girls. I hope none of this is the case. If it is, we've covered all the bases.

You are doing all the right things for good-health. Your curves and toning is still naturally in-progress; because your body is still developing.

Swimming, toning or core-exercises, and diet are all you need; when you're under 21, and haven't hit 19. Cycling is the greatest at your age. Just jump on a bike! It covers a lot of areas. Hips, thighs, legs, and waistline.

That's all you really need at your age. You are transitioning from a girl to a young woman; and still have some baby-fat to shed. That usually falls-off by itself, just based on the naturally-fast metabolism of youth. I hope your dieting is being monitored by your family-practitioner; and you're not doing this alone.

If you have a true weight-problem, and you're a little plump or curvy; you're already on the right track to shed some weight. Do not beat yourself up over snacking; just stay within the guidelines of your diet-plan. Eat healthy snacks. I suspect you're starving yourself and eating like a rabbit to shed weight quickly. That's totally wrong. Drink lots of water, eat lots of fruits, veggies, and nuts; and avoid sugary snacks! Sweets are the enemy!

When you diet too fast, and starve yourself; that will make you relapse, crave, and eat even more. You will gain even more weight. I think you should consult a nutritionist. You live in the UK; and you have access to socialized-medicine; unlike the horrid greedy healthcare system we have here in the US. Everything based on making the dollar!

Be careful and good to yourself. Nature is already working on you, and you should be smart and sensible about dealing with what people think and say about you.

Now the fabulous aunts are going to takeover from here. Listen to them, even if you totally ignore me.

Best of luck, sweetheart!

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 July 2018):

Honeypie agony auntPeople RARELY do it, but GO SEE your doctor and discuss HEALTHY weight-loss and fitness.

You can also consult with your doctor and get a referral to a dietician. IF you actually need to lose weight. I would have my glucose levels checked. Eating "right" can help stabilize that (if you are not a diabetic) but it takes a little time. So have patience.

Eating healthy is a bit of trial and error. To be honest. What works for one person might not work as well for another.

But I would suggest the following: lots of water, lots of fibers - as little as possible processed sugar and caffeine. ONE cup of tea/coffee in the morning is fine (no need to go crazy) but I would TRY and stick to only one cup a day. I have tried many times to just not drink coffee/tea at all or stick to green tea and I get such bad headaches. So ONE cup a day.

If water gets "tiresome" to drink because it's so darn bland, try adding frozen fruit/fresh fruit to it. I like to add a some frozen raspberries and mint leaves to my water or just some lemon slices or a couple of slices of ginger root. It adds a little flavor - which means I a more inclined to drink more.

My go to snacks are carrots, hummus (in small amounts), celery, cucumber, raw broccoli, olives, nuts (I really love raw almonds and walnuts).

I like adding homemade pesto to a sandwich (instead of butter or mayo).

If I feel like "chips" I make pop corn ( in a pot with a little bit of oil - NOT the microwavable ones with fake butter and way too much salt) I like adding cayenne pepper and a little salt or Cajun seasoning. You might like other flavors. Or I make roasted spicy chickpeas. Both are MUCH better for you than crisps/chips.

Fruits. I love fruits. Cantaloupe, raspberries, kiwis, blueberries, apples and pomegranates are usually on sale this time of year so I eat a lot of those. You CAN add them to PLAIN yogurt or drizzle a little honey on them. a little bit of sugar (from fruit/honey) is good for you generally because when you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. You want it to turn the fat not so much the muscles. Which is why exercising is good as it builds the muscles and not the fat.

I'd START the day with a GOOD big breakfast and have small snacks through the day so you don't get to a point where you feel so hungry you will eat anything.

Most of what I eat is RAW - as in veggies, fruit and nuts.

And I'd try and keep a food journal. Especially if you DO choose to see a dietician. It can help him/her with an overall meal plan or suggestions.

Another good thing I can pass on is, DON'T try and eat your snacks fast. Drink a cup of water before you start a meal/snack and one during. Chew everything 12-15 times. If you use a plate or a bowl - use SMALL ones. So you don't put more in them that you actually "need". Human have "big eyes" when hungry (as in they want or think they can eat more than they actually can) so using a smaller plate/bowl "fools" the eyes to see a FULL plate/bowl.

If you are still hungry after a snack or in-between snacks/meals... GO brush your teeth. I know it sounds odd but most people don't WANT to eat right after brushing their teeth. And you might forget that that you FEEL hungry.

As for the hair cut. I'd wait until you are at a weight you feel good about. Because your face will also change as you lose weight. there are a TONNE of videos on YouTube that talk about the "right" hair cut for the various face shapes, so maybe go have a gander? Or simply FIND a hairdresser you feel you can trust and see what SHE/HE thinks?

Trying a new haircut is a good idea. Even if you get one and hate it... the hair will grow back out and you can try another hair style! Or color!

Keep busy and find things you enjoy to do. A haircut you REALLY love might cheer you up but it won't "make" you happy. YOU have to find things that makes you happy to do. It's good that you are exercising. But maybe toss in some hiking with friends or going to the beach/lake or go on a bike ride.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 July 2018):

I think you could look at some magazines and books to see what sort of hairstyles you might like. Make sure to take into consideration your hair type. If you have thick hair or thin hair will make a difference in what type of cuts will look great on you.

Also, if you still like your hairstyle maybe think about changing the color. That can make a pretty drastic change in your appearance on its own if you do a very different color. (Like brown to red or blond to black. Maybe do both!

As for your losing weight, keep up the good work. It sounds like you are doing the right things, by exercising and changing the foods you eat to more healthy ones. I think you should go back to snacking though, if you are feeling hungry. Make sure you eat healthy things that will fill you up. I always loved to have Lentil Soup or Lentil Dal for lunch, since it was very flavorful and lentils are very filling and good for you also.

Look for foods like beans, lentils, nuts and seeds that you can incorporate into your meals and snacks. I personally found these to be helpful in my own weight loss since they are filling and have protein and fats in them, but are not unhealthy at all. They are all things that help with weight loss. Lots of Fiber/protein/fat helps keep you from getting too hungry. Have as many fruits and vegetables as your heart desires also. You cannot eat too much of these foods even when cutting calories.

Hope this helps a bit, best of luck!

R

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