Okay, teenagers have it rough. I remember going to the dermatologist and dealing with crazy bad acne. My skin fortunately cleared up as I got older, but here I am, twenty-one years old and dealing with the same problem again. This time, the weight gain was significant and I felt like I aged 10 years. Everything seems off. I went to the doctor for a mere sinus infection and the nurse asked me to step on the scale. I could feel my mouth gaping — I was so shocked that I had gained 25 pounds in the last six months. How did this happen?
I felt awful, so when I confronted my mom about it, I broke down in tears. She came around the table and hugged me tight, saying, "I remember having this same conversation with my mom when I was your age. I went to my doctor and he told me it was just normal, hormonal changes."
No one told me that one day I would wake up and my metabolism would just stop. No one told me that I would get a bunch of UTIs out of the blue or that TUMS would stop working for heartburn. I've been doing my best to avoid change, but it still happened. As frustrated as I was, I decided I had to make some changes to adapt to my new body. The best mindset to have is that you aren't 18 anymore, you are constantly evolving, and it's up to you to make the necessary changes as you age. Unfortunately, the routine you had in your teens is going to look a whole lot different than the one in your 20s.
Here are some things I did to help my body out in this new season of my life.
I changed my eating habits
I realized that I needed to change my eating habits because I love me some carbs. There was one day I ate an entire loaf of french bread...as a meal. Being more mindful of what I'm eating has drastically improved my daily function and my mood. I feel less bloated and have more energy.
Probiotics are amazing
The next step was tackling all of the internal problems I was experiencing. Always ask yourself, how can I make life a little easier? Adding probiotics to my daily routine was really helpful. I'm not exaggerating, taking them has changed how my body functions and keeps me feeling amazingly light.
Practice healthy habits for my overall health
I also added cranberry pills to the mix, which I would recommend to all women at this age. Urinary tract health is no joke, and the pain of a nasty UTI will knock you down quicker than you think. Practicing healthy habits like peeing after sex, drinking water, and wearing cotton underwear will make life much easier and keep you out of the doctor's office.
Start drinking a lot of water
It sounds simple, but don't ever underestimate the power of water.
After a few weeks of mindful choices, I saw my acne clear up. It's not completely gone yet, but it is less frequent and that makes a huge difference in my self-confidence. Going to the doctor was an obvious wake-up call for me, even though I don't place value on myself based on my weight, it still gave me that push to treat my body better. I will never forget the conversation with my mom and how she educated me on this "second puberty." I also have to add, when you're a woman and aren't on/near your period, those random waves of emotions and noticeable bodily changes can be downright terrifying when you don't know the cause. It caused a lot of anxiety wondering what was wrong with me.
Before you start fearing the worst, just know that your body might be going through standard hormonal changes and you have nothing to worry about. By no means am I a doctor, but these are just some personal experiences of mine that I felt worth sharing. YOU know your body better than anyone, so always listen to it!