Saturday, October 31, 2009

***Edit**** I can not thank everyone enough for your advice so far!!

Tomorrow I am giving a lesson to teenage girls ages 12-18 on
"Caring for our Physical Bodies"

The objective of the lesson is to help each young woman learn to appreciate her physical body and keep it in the best possible condition.

If you could give advice to your 16 year old body what would it be.

Feel free to leave your comment as anonymous.

I would love to know your age today and what advice you have.


age 38
  • stop thinking you are fat because you are not
  • you don't have to be on a organized sports team to be an athlete
  • you can start any physical activity at any age
  • use sunscreen
  • floss your teeth
Thanks I can't wait to hear what you have to say, and I will bribe you with ribbon to get you to comment.
I will pick one comment and send them as many yards of ribbon as your age
The older you are the more ribbon you get!

I loved this quote from the lesson

"There is a close relationship between physical health and spiritual development.
When one's physical health is impaired by disobedience to God's eternal laws,
spiritual development will also suffer."
Delbert L. Stapley {1967}


Anonymous said...


use moisturizer!

Allison said...


The cleaner you keep yourself inside and out, spiritually and physically the better you feel about yourself.

Don't ever think you aren't beautiful, God made you look just how he wanted. He saw that it was good.

Start your healthy life style now and make sure it includes a brownie and ice cream every so often.

Nikki said...

I think it is interesting that we are both 38 and your list is the same as my list!

And I might add:
You are not fat- someday you're going to wish you had that body back :) BUT the more you tell yourself (and others) that you are fat, the more you (and they) will believe it.

I think I would also say- don't stress and obsess about boys finding you attractive. Focus your energy on looking nice for yourself and being smart and spiritual and confident. Those are attractive qualities.

michelle said...


Use sunscreen.
Appreciate the body you have. It's hard to believe, but you will look back and wish you had it just the way it is right now!
If you stay away from addictive substances, you will live to be so grateful that you are not enslaved in that way.
Stretch. If you keep stretching, you will never lose your flexibility.
I would tell them that quote that was in conference not too long ago about doing your best to look nice and then forgetting about yourself when you walk out the door.

Hilary said...

Smile. Laugh. A lot! You always look prettier when you're doing these two things!



Laurie said...

I really agree with that quote. Spiritual strength and trust in the Lord combined with a positive attitude make a young woman who is attractive to everyone.

Take good care of your skin!

I wasn't on a team when I was 16. I had to work after school. But i still kept up on my physical exercise by doing things I loved. If you aren't on a team, don't think you aren't athletic or don't have time. Just do something to be active - whatever it is you love, and do it with a friend or family member - be it walking, running, tennis, swimming, horseback riding...

Eat your veggies everyday. As you continue to age, you'll realize how critical it is to put good things into your body everday and you'll be grateful if you did even as a teen and in college.

Watson Family said...

You don't have to spend a lot of money on hair products to have beautiful hair. Keep it trimmed, clean and conditioned. I have naturally curly hair and always longed to have lovely straight hair of my peers. Little did I understand back then (I'm 35 now) that so many people wished their straight hair was curly. We always seem to want what we don't have, but if we accept our hair, if we embrace the physical attributes that we have been given, our lives will filled with peace and beauty, inside and out. Happiness comes from taking care of, and gaining appreciation for, the beautiful bodies we have been so richly blessed with by our Heavenly Father.

Bahama Shores Mama said...

I'm 40 and it's just now really sunk in that having confidence IS the best accessory! You'll always look good wearing it.

Shauna said...

Exercise is about more than losing weight and being thin.
Exercise for physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

The older I am, the more I realize that the spritual, emotional, and physical cannot be separated. Regular physical exercise is necessary for spiritual and emotional health.

49 here....

Alisa said...

Nothing new that has not already been said. Exercise is more than just about losing weight. We have to do repetitive things continually in our life. Eating, sleeping, brushing our teeth. The same goes for exercise (being fit), spiritual study, prayer etc. Find ways to make it enjoyable, and not always dependable on someone else.

Anonymous said...


get enough sleep
stay active
your body is a gift- be thrilled with it- we are NOT all supermodels, and even they aren't as perfect as they look on the outside- it really is what is inside that counts
stay out of the sun

Nichole said...


Don't worry about boys..the right one will come along when you're not even thinking about it.

$80 for a pair of jeans is ridiculous!

Be nice to your mother. She'll be your best friend and resource in the future.

Be kind to everyone. You never know when & for what reason you may meet them again in the future.

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

dougandcheryl said...

Most of my advice has already been said but the main thing would be to start thinking of excercising differently.. it doesn't have to be aerobics for an hour or running a few miles- it can be anything physical so find something you really enjoy so you'll continue to do it as you get older.

Down in the Sun said...

32-first time writing that!

Here is a quote that I love!
"Our body is…a vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” -- Buddha

I would also tell them that the world would be a bore if we were all the same and looked the same. God made each of us different for a reason!

This quote is also awesome! “Everybody is unique. Compare not yourself with anybody else lest you spoil God’s curriculum.” -- Baal Shem Tov

If they feel good about themselves then others will too!

Kelly said...


Don't drink diet coke. (I'm sorry but you will feel better.)

Early to bed, early to rise.

Not much fun, but the sooner you embrace it the happier and healthier you'll be!

Ciria said...


Food is not an evil thing! You need to listen to your body and take in what you need and those things you want - eat them in moderation!

Of course exercise is so important - try everything until you find what fits you- do this now because it only gets harder as you grow!

Knowledge comes in so many ways never forget that you can gain it through creativity! But the one thing that will help you through out your life is gaining knowledge of your Savior daily! As you gain this knowledge you will find the beauty that is within and on the outside.

I also think I would tell my 16 year old self to have a better relationship with my parents! If I had turned to them more I would have been spared a lot of pain. Turning to them is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of strength.

linda said...

If I were to give advice to a group of young girls, besides all of the obvious such as avoid the sun, get lots of sleep, keep active, etc., I'd also advise them to find something that they enjoy doing and do it well. Excelling in something brings confidence... which brings happiness and a good self-esteem.

Dare I say it...I'm 52!

Charity said...


Don't compare yourself to others. You'll never know everything that is happening in their life.

Love and Respect your Mom and Dad. Take their advice if you love yourself, you will love them too.

Write Thank-You cards. People always remember the little things you do for them.

Serve someone everyday, it will help keep you smiling, which in turn will keep you looking young.

Don't go to extremes with exercise and nutrition. Follow the counsel of the Prophet's and Book of Mormon. Follow the Word of Wisdom.

Wash your face nightly
Remember who you are.

Elizabeth said...


Know that you are a beautiful daughter of God. If you don't know that now pray to Heavenly Father for help. The power of the atonement is there to fix everything. He can help you to know that you are a beautiful, strong, aazing young woman.

Puanani503 said...

I love this lesson and can't wait to give mines tomorrow. so true, as I get older I am learning these things also and the spiritual and physical.

Lene said...

I am 41. A confident person is beautiful. Wash your face every night before going to sleep. Eat well and don't skip meals. Your body needs fuel. Sleep is your friend. A smile is the best accessory.

Amy said...

Now 38, I would tell my 16 self:

Love your body! The way it moves, the way it stretches, the way it looks. Love that flat tummy with no stretch will miss her one day!

Everyone feels like they don't fit in, most of all the girls always surrounded in groups. Do not be afraid to be alone.

Be kind to the people other people laugh at; that nerdy boy will be rich one day, forget about the in crowd boys, look for personality & friendship in a boy.

brooke said...

I'm 32.

I love all of the advice so far. I would add some silly stuff like don't be afraid to try different hairstyles. I wore bangs for 25 years because my mom told me I didn't have the face to pull off no bangs. One day--I decided to ignore that--best decision ever. It's just hair. It will grow back.

Also, get in the habit of exercising now. Working out every day is part of who I am. I don't even think about it because I started doing it so long ago. It's much easier to make it a habit when you're young and then when you're my age and you need to work out for so many reasons (mainly my sanity!) it will be easier.

Amanda L. said...

Oh Kristi! If only I had seen this when I was 16. You have been given such good advice. So much of it we know now because we are older.

The quote that Michelle referred to from conference was something my great Aunt said to her daughter Susan Tanner. It's from the Nov. 2005 Ensign in her talk titled "The Sanctity of the Body". Awesome talk.

I concur with all the thoughts that our spiritual, physical and mental well being are all tied together. This is something I am still learning and working on.

Enjoy being a woman and being feminine. We are supposed to be different than men. Our eternal missions are different.


Jill said...


I would advise them to focus on having balance in all areas of their life and to stop obsessing about their physical appearance. Gaining a testimony and being secure in their knowledge that they are a child of God will give them the confidence and beauty they need to carry them through the rest of their lives. Understanding this as a teenager would be an unbelievable asset!

katherine said...


I recently read my old high school journals. Besides being HILARIOUS they are also filled with a tinge of the self hatred (i'm not smart enough, not pretty enough, skinny enough, blah, blah, etc.). If I could secretly write in that journal to the 16 year old girl I once was, I'd fill it with gratitude lists, rather than lists of negativity. That way by showing my gratitude for what God had blessed me with (ie. talents, good family, gospel etc.) I could have viewed myself through a divine lens rather than a worldly one.

The G's said...

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. When God made you He designed you just they way He wanted you to look. He picked out your nose, your hair, your eyes, everything. He love you very much!

Jinii said...

I love this quote my pilates teacher always uses.."Treat your body as if you will live forever. Treat your soul like you will die tomorrow."

Another thing I like is to always eat food you know where it came from.

Jinii said...

i am 28

Meghan said...

I am 15. So I know right where these girls are coming from. and it's hard. so many tears are shead through wanting the perfect apperence. And in no way am I denying that I never have wanted that, because I have. I just had to learn that I wasn't going to have the perfect body, they prettist features or what not. But I could look at myself and love my self, I truly thing that "beauty and features get the attention, but personality and confidence captures the heart". I believe that with all my heart. Beauty really has an input, but for the most, you just being yourself just makes you beautiful!! I really hope this helps!!

Meghan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...


Our physical bodies are a most sacred and special gift, given to us by our loving heavenly Father. They are wonderful. They are beautiful. They are our special accesory and decoration for our spirits. We have only one. We will have only one. We should rejoice that we have a body. A wonderful body. A third of our spirit brothers and sisters never received one. We are speacial and lucky to have a body. Keep your body in good physical condition, but above all else, keep it pure and holy. Your body houses your spirit, it protects the spirit, it is part of you. Love it, treat it kindly, take care of it. It is your Earthly Treasure.

Erin said...

I seriously should have spell checked myself. Sorry!!!

Nora from Chicago said...

55 glorious years!!!!

What makes a female beautiful and sexy? CONFIDENCE!
When you have confidence you:
-stand taller
-smile wider and brighter
-look people in the eye and really listen to what THEY have to say
-live your beliefs & wear them like a second skin
-help others because you are a better friend since you focus on them and are not fretting about yourself

In your teen years, don't worry about the boys. You will always have time for boys but will not always have time for yourself.

Love having your picture taken. Believe me, some day you will look back at those pictures and laugh because you forgot just how good you looked!

Everything in moderation. When it comes to food, trust the cow and not the chemist! Natural vs. additives.

Be easy on your mother! One day in the not so distant future you will find yourself wagging your index finger and saying something to your child that your mother said to you -- the very same words that today you swore YOU would never ever say to a kid of your own.

Staci said...


I would encourage those young girls to take a good look in the mirror. Each of their bodies is beautiful and fabulous in it's own way. If your body is not the what you wish it would, it's ok. Nobody thinks their body is perfect. Learn to love it. If you think your hair cut makes your face look funny or you think your hips are too big. Do a little research. The are so many tools on the internet that can help you accent what you view as a negative and turn it into a positive. You are beautiful and the sooner that you can look at that and see yourself, the happier life you will lead.

Rebecca said...


Be confident in yourself. This is the best your body gets! When you are good, it makes you happy.

Dina C said...

I was going to show this video of Rick Hoyt. He has cerebral palsy. It is such a triumphant story and a reminder that our bodies are truly gifts of love from Heavenly Father.

Also, the greatest muscle you can exercise is your brain.

And - ALL models are airbrushed. Don't compare yourself.

Take pictures with of you with your children. Don't wait until you are thinner or prettier.

Anna said...

use sunscreen. NO tanning beds. eat right- healthy good choices in practical amounts (NO soda, limited candy). Find a hobby that uses physical energy. Wearing less make-up is always better. Modest clothing sets a pattern for life.

Shelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelly said...


French Fries are not your friend

Build your own confidence, but cause no one else can do it for you!

MeganAnne said...

Smile often. Say hi to people you walk past. Be a friend to everyone.

Be brave, challenge yourself, and try the things you want to!

Me, I'm 25.

Katherine said...


I agree with so much that has been said already. Just wanted to add:
Love and appreciate your body for all of the things it does for you---that are easily taken for granted. Walking, talking, seeing, hearing, smelling, running, jumping, bending over...the list can go on and on.

Melissa said...

Your body is a special gift and is yours. Don't buy into the sexualization of society. Don't use your body to attract a boy. What will really attract people to you is enhancing your natural beauty (everyone has it), confidence and being friendly. Be the friend you wish you had. I could have saved myself so much heartache if I had condidence about who I was as a teenager.

The Birch Bunch said...

I will be 40 on Wednesday!!!! So I have been thinking a lot about age and aging. I think it is important to say that being skinny is not necessarily being fit. Choose fitness and health not size and shape. Also I had a friend recently say to me that I look younger for my age because I smile so often. I have been smiling so much more since then. Balance is crucial in everything. Be yourself and you will never have to wonder who you are.
Thanks for this post, I am going to have my 13 year old read the comments. Smart women, great advice. Pretty comes from the inside. ..........

-A said...

I would tell myself (much like I am telling my daughters) a few things...
-SLOW DOWN...enjoy life, enjoy giggling with your friends, or listening to the birds, every minute of every day doesn't have to be so full.
-Wear sunscreen, pale is the new TAN!! (I've already had Melanoma, at 32. Lesson learned.)
-Be yourself. If people don't like you for who you are then who cares!
-Having one great friend is better than having 20 people that you think are your fiend.
-Stay active, and eat healthy!
- Drink more water!!

-A said...

serious typos.... sorry.

crystal said...

Kristi, what a wonderful idea! I'm loving all these wise & witty responses.
* don't be critical of your physical appearance--LOVE the way you look! You are who you are, whether you love it or hate it and criticizing yourself won't change that. So learn to love what you see--you'll be looking at it your entire life! Be positive about your reflection and soon you will see beauty in its true form...happy, pure, graceful womanhood in all its combinations of perfections and imperfections.

Crystal, age 37

The 5 Bickies said...


It's ok to worry less about boys and more about treasuring your time with your girl friends.

It's ok to not try or do drugs. There is nothing about it that is cool and your true friends will be your friends whether you do them or not.

Enjoy being physically active and find ways to exercise and enjoy it. This will be create a great habit for you when you are older.

Treasure your time as a teen!

Heidi Brady said...

Don't be afraid to be a "prude", as some people (particularly guys, even your friends) may call you when you act very differently from how the other girls (even your friends)do. You will be extremely grateful later on that you were labeled a "prude", as you obviously valued yourself far above the girls who were not honored with this label, and who now may carry labels they never ever would have wanted!

Heidi Brady said...

Sorry, I forgot to say that I'm 30.

Megan Morton said...


Dont walk looking down at the ground, hold your head high and pull your sholders back! Beautiful isnt found in magazines, you'll only find edited pictures there.

TAGYN said...

I think it is important for 16 year old girls to know that having the perfect shape is not the gauge for health! A healthy body can move and do things that require strength and flexability and fitness.
I am 45 and as I get older I realize that my body has allowed me to run marathons and have 2 healthy kids and ski, inline skate, ice skate, swim, and hike- everything I like to do.
I have never been under a size 10 and that is okay, I am truly grateful for my body!!!

Elizabeth said...

"It is my earnest prayer that the knowledge of who you are and what you may become will fill your souls with the peaceable love of God and that this will ignite within you a happiness worthy of your true heritage, for in truth you are princes and princesses, kings and queens." President Uchtdorf, CES Fireside, November 1, 2009.

Anonymous said...

The critics don't count. The sad thing is, in my life, I've been my own worst critic. I've compared the worst of me to the best in others, that has kept me trom happiness for many wasted years. AND I am in the body my Father in Heaven Made for me. In HIS image. How great is that?

a happy heart blog. said...

I think I'm too late to comment, but my advice would be at age 36 -
It's never too late to be the person you want to be. Your position in life my change how you approach life, but it should never stop you from living it to your best. Good luck with your lesson!

Just K said...


Make your own decisions, don't let your friends decide if you are smart enough, athletic enough, fill-in-the blank ect. I let people tell me I wasn't athletic enough to be on certain sports teams so I didn't even try. I wanted to badly, so now later in life I participate in several half marathons a year and love them! I wish I had never listened to them back then and made my own decisions instead.

Stephanie said...


We are all made to look different makes life more fun, Why look like the other person when you could look like you? Love your self because you can't be really loved unless you love who you are.