It is normal to go through a period when you just want to ‘fit in’. No-one wants to feel judged by their peers, certainly not based on how we look or what we eat. You may feel particularly different because you can't enjoy the same foods that your peers can enjoy and many social occasions center around food. Despite the pressure, it is really important to stay on diet and avoid diets with unsafe PHE levels. Talk to your friends about it. Plan ahead. Focus on what you can eat and choose to frequent those places where you can enjoy what you do eat.
Tips to keep healthy
- Be active
Regular exercise puts you in a better mood and reduces anxiety. This gives you more confidence in yourself and the way you feel about your body. Staying active may also help you keep your blood PHE levels in the recommended range.
- Engage in positive activities
Find time every day for a rewarding activity - do some exercise, go for a swim, play a sport, have a walk with a friend, listen to music.
- Avoid people who give body shape or weight too much importance
Real friends will accept you for who you are.
- Judge yourself as a whole person
Create a list of people you admire who have contributed to your life, school, community and the world. Was their appearance important to their success and accomplishments?
*Adapted from Reference Source: My PKU Binder. National PKU Alliance. Chapter 7: Ages 13 to 17 Years, Page 61.