I have man boobs and I hate them. I am 17 and overweight. I would like to start working out, but don’t have any room for a home gym and don’t want to use the gym at school where all of the athletes work out because I am afraid they will make fun of me. Since I am under 18 I can’t join a gym and my parents won’t sign for me because then they would have to drive me there in order for me to get there and then come pick me up after I am done working out.
I don’t like cross-country running or track – my man boobs jiggle too much – so I can’t lose weight that way and dieting alone doesn’t work and I always end up cheating on a diet anyway. I really want to lose weight (and my man boobs) but I don’t know how. I have talked to a nutritionalist at school about eating healthy, but it’s hard to do that at school when everyone around you is eating pizza and fries and soda and you are stuck eating a salad and bottled water.
I am going to be a senior in high school this September and I want my last year of school to be fun, and memorable for good reasons not for bad ones. Can you think of a way I can lose weight over the summer and start the new school year a new me? Looking like I do is starting to depress me.
Dear Boob Man:
I suggest that you make an appointment with your physician for a full check-up. If your parents have to do this for you because of insurance or payment issues, ask them. In fact, insist on it. You need to rule out the possibility of a health issue (other than being overweight) that is causing your breast tissues to enlarge. There are several simple, non-threatening reasons this could be happening, including a slow thyroid gland, and medication could help reverse things.
In addition, you need to start eating better and exercising. I know it is no fun to be eating rabbit food while everyone else is eating junk food, but you don’t have to live on either extreme – you can find a place in the middle that offers you healthy choices while eating tasty food. A diet that makes you feel deprived is not a diet that anyone can stick to, so moderation is the key to success. Does your school cafeteria serve veggie pizza? You could get a slice or two with mushrooms, peppers, olives, broccoli, and the like rather than greasy pepperoni; instead of a side of fries you could have a side salad, and you can jazz up your bottled water by adding a sugar-free drink mix to it (single serve packets will fit in your pocket and are portioned for a ½ liter bottle of water). Doesn’t that sound tasty?
Exercise does not have to take place at a gym to be exercise! My Mommie likes to work in her garden, go for walks and bicycle rides (sometimes alone, sometimes with my Daddy), and is currently saving money for a nice pair of roller blades! If you really want to join a gym, is there one within biking distance of your house? A brisk bike ride to the gym could be your warm-up before your workout and a leisurely ride home could be your cool-down after you are done. If this is not an option, you could put a small set of free-weights in your bedroom; I know many people who do this, storing them under the bed when they are not using them. As a last resort, you could ask one of the athletes you know from school or even one of the coaches to assist in your training. When you have someone like that on your side, nobody will dare to tease you.
Weight loss does not happen all at once; it is a gradual process so try not to get discouraged if you are not losing weight – and your man boobs – as quickly as you would like. Any goal worth pursuing is worth committing to for the long haul.
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