[Feel Good About Yourself]

Did you know you probably suffer from the dreaded dysmorphobia? Almost every teenager has a dysmorphobic disorder, or “an abnormal preoccupation with an imagined or minor physical defect.”

What’s the cure? Confidence. You need to feel good about the body you were blessed with. Here are some hints to help you feel good about yourself.

I’m All Right

Quick! Think of ten things you really like about your body.

If you’re like most people, you’ll be stumped. You’re probably sitting there thinking, “My waist is too big, my legs are too short, my arms are too skinny.” We often tend to focus on what we perceive as our exterior flaws, rather than on the many positive things our bodies actually do for us. For example, did you think of listing, “My body enables me to see beautiful colors”? Or how about, “My body allows me to feel cold water all around me when I go swimming on a hot summer day”? Get in the habit of being grateful for the good things your body can do, and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.

“The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

The Energizer

Feeling down, depressed, ugly, unappreciated, unloved? Could be you’re not getting enough exercise. It benefits the body and makes you feel better about your physique, but it also benefits the mind. Studies have shown that significantly fewer symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety exist among those who exercise. The kind of exercise doesn’t seem to matter as much as the fact that you get some. The more active you are, the less tension, insomnia, and even pessimism you could feel.

What’s Going On?

Here’s a list of activities and exercises teenagers are commonly involved in and a list of what they do:


Approximate Calories Burned in 20 Minutes by a 125-lb Person

Parts of Body Worked

Walking (4 mph.)


legs, hips

Jogging (7 mph.)


legs, hips

Cross-country skiing


total body



total body

Cycling (13 mph.)


legs, hips



legs, arms



legs, arms

Eyes Can Be Deceiving

When you look in the mirror you might not like what you see, but you can be sure your appearance is not as bad as you think. Here are some ways to avoid being self-critical.

  • Don’t Focus on Details. Instead of noting how long your nose is or how pointy your chin is, try to look at your features as they work together as a whole.

  • Consider Rapid Changes. So you’re suddenly taller than anyone else in the class. Remember—things usually even out.

  • Let Go of Past Images. Many people are pudgy as children, lose the baby fat as they grow, but still consider themselves overweight. Try to take a realistic look at the way you are now.

  • Boost Self-esteem. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you’ll pick out flaws and fixate on them. Focus on things you do like about yourself.

Studying Government

Joel Curzon, 17, of Salem, Utah, spent a week in Washington, D.C., studying the federal government. He was one of 102 high school students selected in the Senate Youth Contest sponsored by senators from each state. Competition for the contest included written and oral examinations. Academic achievement and involvement in school affairs were also considered.

While in Washington, contest winners listened to speeches from the chief justice of the Supreme Court and from various senators.

While a senior at his high school, Joel was debate class president and a student council member and was involved in a research project at BYU.

In the Salem Seventh Ward Joel serves as first assistant in his priests quorum and is actively involved in the Family-to-Family Book of Mormon program.

Talent Winner

Kelsi Osborn of West Valley City, Utah, was one of four young people chosen to host the Showtime Cable TV Family Series. She was chosen after an exhaustive national search in ten major cities.

Kelsi is the third winner from the Salt Lake City area over the past several years. A spokeswoman for the cable network said, “We have tried to analyze why so much talent is displayed at such a young age here in Salt Lake. It seems to be the strong emphasis and training these young people receive in music and being in front of people at a very young age in the Latter-day Saint children’s Sunday School and in their family home evening activities.”

Kelsi is in junior high where she is a straight-A student. She enjoys performing and has won several talent and performing contests with her younger sister. Kelsi’s mother, Robyn, said, “Although all of our children seem to enjoy music studies, Kelsi’s thirst for performing seems unquenchable. She used to drive everyone crazy on family vacations by serenading us for hours at a time. That’s when we decided to get her some formal training.”

Kelsi serves as first counselor in her Mia Maid class in the Hunter Fourth Ward, Salt Lake Hunter West Stake.


Debbie Westover of the Davis First Ward, Davis California Stake, was spotlighted in the local paper. She was interviewed about her life, her plans for the future, and her personal beliefs. In the article, Debbie talked about basketball and the Church—two things she really loves.

Debbie grew up playing basketball with her brothers. She played on the varsity girls’ team in high school and was voted Most Valuable Player three times. She was also chosen as one of the Northern California Optimists All-Star basketball players.

In school Debbie was also involved in playing volleyball, in student council, and in the “It’s Okay Not to Drink” club. She has been asked to speak about the club’s principles at the state capitol and at drug and alcohol awareness conferences.

In the Swim

Lorraine Booth of the Ottawa Second Ward, Ottawa Ontario Stake, was born with a birth defect leaving her partially paralyzed from the waist down. But that hasn’t stopped her from competing in athletics.

Lorraine won two firsts in the Regional Ontario Games for the Disabled in the 25-metre breaststroke and the 25-metre freestyle in swimming. She went on to the Provincial Games for the Physically Disabled in Toronto and entered two 50-metre races and received gold medals in both.

Lorraine also enjoys horseback riding and tennis.

Scouts Out and About

Going to a national jamboree may not seem like such a big deal for some Scouts, but for the Scouts of Troop 469, Fairport Ward, Rochester New York Palmyra Stake, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They were the first LDS troop from the northeast region to attend.

It took the Scouts and their families almost a year of hard work to raise the funds. But finally after many of the Scouts had participated in the Hill Cumorah Pageant, the day arrived when they would hop in the car and camp with over 50,000 other Scouts and leaders from all over the world at Fort A.P Hill in Virginia. Not only did they have the opportunity to work on merit badges, compete in sports, and participate in a number of other activities, but they also enjoyed Church meetings with General Authorities who attended the jamboree. “I wish all young men in the Church could have heard their powerful message,” said Scout Jeff Rotz.

“Though the showers were cold and everyone had to get up at 6:30 A.M., it was really fun!” Jeff continued. “I felt as if every leader and Scout was my brother. If I hadn t come to this jamboree, I would have missed out on the chance of a lifetime.”

Triple Winners

The three teens in the Garlock family of the Bountiful 37th Ward, Bountiful Utah North Stake, received bronze Congressional Awards. This award is presented to a teen who excels in areas of service, personal development, and physical fitness.

Annie, 16, is a Laurel who loves to play soccer. She is on her school’s varsity team and recently played on the Utah State Select Team.

Brian, 15, serves as teachers quorum president. He earned his Eagle Scout Award and plays on the high school soccer team.

John, 14, also an Eagle Scout has traveled all over the western United States playing soccer with his championship team. He also was a member of the Utah State Select Team.

Does She Ever Stop?

Sarita Howe of the Imperial Beach Ward, Chula Vista California Stake, is only in her first year of high school, yet already she’s received the “Nancy Lewis Award,” a trophy for outstanding accomplishments in citizenship, service, and academics.

The activities she’s been involved with include the math team, the Youth-to-Youth Drug Free Association, the school choir (where she received their highest honor), cheerleading, speech competition, computer competition, and drama. She also plays piano and guitar.

At church, Sarita is secretary of her Mia Maid class, and at home you can find her helping with the family paper route and taking care of her two younger sisters. Not bad for a 15-year-old—or for anyone else, either.

Quite the Sport

Here’s an all-around athlete for you. Lisa Nysetvold of Bow Valley Ward, Calgary Alberta West Stake, was named Most Valuable Player for basketball and Outstanding Athlete of the Year for participation in school volleyball, basketball, track-and-field, swimming, diving, and field hockey. She also plays both indoor and outdoor soccer, and her teams have competed in tournaments in Denmark and Sweden.

But sports are not her only specialty. She’s a grade 10 pianist (Royal Conservatory) and is the assistant ward organist. In addition she has served as a peer tutor at her school.

Lisa is currently attending the University of Calgary where she is majoring in Biological Science and plays on the university soccer team.

Photography by Steve Bunderson

California’s Debbie Westover got the chance to speak at the state capitol. “Our church teaches things I really believe,” she said. “We don’t believe in drinking or in doing other bad things that affect our health. For me, there is no other way.”

Ottawa’s Lorraine Booth (right) doesn’t let paralysis stop her. She’s pictured here with Rick Hansen, a famous Canadian wheelchair athlete.

President Thomas S. Monson took time to visit with the Scouts from troop 1223, of upstate New York, at the National Jamboree, held at Fort Hill, Virginia. “We learned so much from hearing him talk,” they agreed.

“I felt as if every Scout was my brother,” said New York’s Jeff Rotz, second from left. He’s pictured here with (l–r) Scott Holmes, Camron Mylroie, and Jonah Harrison.