TEENS
A Support Loop for Teen-Agers With Eating Disorders

TEENS is a support group for young people ages 13-19 who have eating disorders and want to work a 12 Step Program to recover from this disease. The TEEN support loop is a safe place for teen-agers to share their experience, strength and hope with one another and find ways to deal with compulsive eating. We ask that the teens also experience an 8 week orientation program which begins on the first day of every other month. It is also good that they begin a search for a sponsor to guide them.

We who have been where you are today cringe when we hear teen-agers we love saying they're going on a "diet." We have learned the hard way that diets don't work. If they did, by the time we came on our knees to Overeaters Anonymous, we would have had perfect bodies. Instead, we found that compulsive eating not only affected us physically ... but also emotionally and spiritually.

Teenagers require a healthful, balanced diet in order to continue to grow. Many studies report that frequent dieting by adolescents not only inhibits growth, but also appears to result in weight gain over the long term.

Why is this so? First, with respect to growth, teenagers require a balanced diet consisting of all food groups, as well as vitamins and minerals. Diets that promote one food group over another, or that exclude key vitamins and minerals, can do more harm than good in young people.

With respect to weight gain, one study from Harvard Medical School reported that dieting which is essentially imposing restrictions on eating tends to result in overeating between diets, which can lead to weight gain. Other research supports that new fat cells are more likely to be created through intensive overeating, than by eating at a consistent level. The evidence in the study was clear: equalizing for other factors such as growth and exercise, girls who dieted frequently gained an average of 1.7 pounds a year more than girls who did not diet. Girls who dieted sometimes gained 1.3 pounds more than girls who did not diet. For boys, frequent dieters gained 2.2 pounds a year more than boys who did not diet. The Harvard research noted the fact that dieters are more likely to binge eat than non-dieters as providing support for their conclusion.

Being an overweight teen-ager is painful. At TRG's TEEN support loop, we believe we can help you. By sharing your issues with others your age, something very good happens. We see bits and pieces of ourselves and when we are able to think outside the box and use the experience of others to find solutions for ourselves, recovery begins. We often hear a teen-ager share these words "It hurts to be me." Some come not really wanting to be here ... what they really want is to isolate. The prospect of being teased for being fat every day shuts one down emotionally. Grades suffer. Numbness sets in. Only another compulsive eater knows that pain.

We offer you hope in the 12 Step Program of Overeaters Anonymous. If you decide to join us, we will welcome you with open arms and love you until you can love yourself.

To subscribe to the Teen loop, please send an email to this address:
Teens-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org




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