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New Blog Inspires Teens to Love Themselves Enough to Help Them Get Healthy

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“I’m a size ‘healthy,'” proclaimed Queen Latifah when she became Jenny Craig’s newest celebrity client. So what was the Oscar-nominated actress and singer’s resolution? Somewhat surprisingly: To improve their health.

Latifah was known to already be comfortable in her own skin and openly hugged her curves. Her goal now, she says, is to make sure she takes care of the body she loves by living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s a very different approach for one of the leading weight management companies in the world
Country. Jenny Craig’s clients have traditionally focused on outer beauty rather than inner beauty. Latifah
is a natural speaker because she knows firsthand how physically risky diseases associated with obesity can be. She lost her beloved great-grandmother to diabetes. Now, Latifah says, her goal is to motivate others to take the first step toward a healthier body — because they love and appreciate that body.

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This campaign inspired youth self-esteem nonprofit Hey UGLY to start their newest blog, “One of the biggest issues we hear from teenagers is how being overweight negatively impacts their self-esteem,” said Betty Hoeffner, President of Hey UGLY. “We created this blog to help overweight teenagers maintain their self-esteem while understanding the importance of being physically healthy.” The blog lists celebrity quotes on how to be healthy and excerpts from articles. It’s also a place for experts to post their advice and teens to share what works for them. “We want teens to know that their weight doesn’t define them,” Hoeffner said. “If you are indeed unhealthily overweight, we want to inspire you to love yourself enough to help yourself get healthy. If you end up taller than your best friend but still healthy, that’s fine. That’s just unique, talented, adorable. “

Hoeffner contacted author and noted therapist Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge for contributions to the blog. “It’s all about loving ourselves,” said Jill, who has specialized in helping adolescent girls and young women with eating disorders for over two decades. “If we’re overweight but love ourselves, then we can make a healthy choice to take care of ourselves.” In her latest book, Picture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better About Your Body, Jill explains, “Healthy is happy . Being fit means being free.” That means, when you love yourself and get healthier, you can open up a whole new world of possibilities you never thought possible.

If you’re unsure if you’re actually at a healthy weight, Jill advises seeing a doctor to find out. And if it turns out that you need to lose a little weight for health reasons, consult a nutritionist, NOT to go on a diet, but to create a plan for healthy eating and exercise. And if you feel like you’re using foods to numb your feelings and need support, see a counselor — do your research online before choosing one in your area that’s best for you and your needs . Make sure you surround yourself with close family, friends, and other support systems.

Finally, Jill has a wonderful suggestion. Think of a positive and inspiring statement from you – to you. Think according to the motto “A beautiful thing is never perfect”. Or “I’m a creative chick, not a copy.” And then just make sure you are fit enough to make all your dreams come true.

It doesn’t matter what dress size you wear. Your ability to embrace yourself and others is most important.

Just ask the queen. Latifah, that is.

Thanks to Lisa Barron

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