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Changes to your body shape

During puberty, you will not only get taller, you will also see other changes in your body such as wider hips, bottoms, and thighs. Your body, which has both muscle and fat, will also start to have more fat compared to muscle than it did before. This is normal and you should not be too concerned. These changes in your body might make you uncomfortable because it is so different than what you are used to. You also might think you look strange, or feel shy about your body around other people.

It’s important to remember that many people feel self-conscious during this awkward phase. It is really common to struggle with body image (how you feel about your body) – especially when there are many pictures of girls and women on television and in magazines with bodies that are impossibly thin. Seeing these pictures may make you think there is something wrong with you if you are not as thin, but that is not true. The size of your body does not have anything to do with your value as a person. It’s important to have a healthy weight by having good eating habits and exercising regularly. Check out our sections on exercise and nutrition for tips. Each young woman grows and changes at her own pace. Just remember that you are beautiful and that you are an individual.

Eating disorders

Sometimes, worries about your body can go too far and lead to eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious health problems that are based on extreme and dangerous steps people take to lose weight. Two of the most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa (often called anorexia) involves starving yourself and extreme weight loss. Bulimia nervosa (often called bulimia) involves binge eating (eating a lot of food at once) and then getting rid of the food by throwing up, using a laxative (which makes you go to the bathroom), or doing too much exercise.