The Ultimate Girls' Body Book: Not-So-Silly Questions About Your Body

The Ultimate Girls' Body Book: Not-So-Silly Questions About Your Body


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Because Growing Up Shouldn’t Be a Mystery

Girls’ bodies do the craziest things! They can kick soccer balls and spin perfect pirouettes, or they can trip up the stairs and break out in zits. As you grow and your body goes through some pretty wild changes, you might be wondering things like: Why don’t I look like her? I have to use that? Is this normal? And, Why is this happening to me?

The Ultimate Body Book for Girls answers all those awkward questions you’d rather not ask your mom—at least out loud. Mixing fun with great advice, you’ll learn about bras, boys, periods, pimples, and so much more. Most importantly, you’ll learn that God made you exactly the way he wants you—no matter how weird growing up can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310739814
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Publication date: 12/24/2013
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 330,915
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 9 - 13 Years

About the Author

Walt Larimore, MD, has been called "one of the best known family physicians in America" and has been listed in the Best Doctors in America, The Guide to America’s Top Family Doctors, and Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who's Who in America, and the International Health Professionals of the Year. He is also a best-selling author who has written, co-written, or edited thirty books. He writing has been recognized with a number of national awards, including a Christianity Today Book of the Year award, a Retailers Choice book award, three Silver Medallion Book Awards, three Gold Medallion Book Award nominations, and three Christy Award nominations. He and his wife, Barb, have two grown children, two grandchildren, and live in Colorado Springs area with their tabby, Jack. His website is and his Morning Glory, Evening Grace devotions can be found at

Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever, MD, is married to a loving pilot-turned-preacher and is the happy mom of three terrific children. A heartfelt prayer transformed her work as a family doctor into a ministry. She now sees herself as a servant in healthcare and strives to care for the soul and minister to the spirit while treating the body. Dr. Mari served as chief resident and received the AMA Leadership Award and the Distinguished Graduate Award from the US Air Force, among others. She helped start a Christ-centered clinic for the uninsured in central Florida and has a passion for missions and serving the poor. Dr. Mari is an anointed speaker and serves as a faculty member for the Institute of Christian Studies. She is also clinical assistant professor at UCF College of Medicine and FSU College of Medicine. Her inspiring devotional, Walking with Jesus in Healthcare, has helped hundreds of healthcare professionals as far as Kenya and Australia to stay close to God while caring for people. She blogs at Her website is

Read an Excerpt

The Ultimate Girls' Body Book

By Walt Larimore, Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever


Copyright © 2013 Dr. Walt Larimore and Dr. Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-73981-4



What does it mean to be healthy?

Have you ever been in an automobile when a tire blew? The loud KABOOM scares everyone in the car. Then the whole vehicle starts to wobble. The driver tightens her grip, slows down, and pulls over to the side of the road. As the car slows, the shaking lessens, and you hear the plop, plop, plop of the flattening tire. When you finally stop and get out of the car, the tire is as flat as a pancake. So much for your plans for the day.

Believe it or not, your body is designed in a similar way. Here's how.

Two of my (Dr. Walt's) very first books were God's Design for the Highly Healthy Teen and 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People. In the books, I discuss how authentic health is about a lot more than simply not being sick or trying to have the best body. I explain that health is made up of four separate parts that work together:

• Your physical health

• Your emotional/mental health

• Your relational/social health

• Your spiritual health

For example, when you have a cold (physical health), it affects your mood (your emotional health) and how you react to others (your relational health). When a girl is emotionally ill—with depression, for example—it can affect her immune system (physical health) and her relationships with her family and others (her social health).

In other words, your overall health is kind of like a car with four tires. Each tire represents an aspect of your health: your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health. If any one of the tires is not fully inflated, or if even one of your health wheels is not aligned correctly, it affects how the whole car rides—how well you are.

If one of your health wheels is off balance, your entire "health ride" will be bumpy. You will have to slow down to prevent a crash! And if one of your tires blows—BOOM!—your failing health stops you cold.

So even though our book is titled The Ultimate Girls' Body Book, it's about much more than your physical body. We'll also explain how emotional, relational, and spiritual health contributes not only to a healthier body but also to an overall healthier you.

Kate is one of the healthiest girls I (Dr. Walt) have ever known. If you met her when she was growing up and just looked at her physical body, you'd think she was not very healthy. She was born with a brain problem that keeps the muscles on her left side from working normally. As a result, they are stiff and contracted. She has a bit of a speech problem and, as a child, could only walk with braces and great difficulty. Her crossed eyes and contracted legs often caused her to stumble and fall. She was bullied frequently by kids who would mock and laugh at her.

Kate doesn't sound like the picture of health, right? Yet despite her physical disabilities, Kate's charming, genuine personality drew people to her. Most of her classmates and teachers loved her. Despite her physical challenges, Kate carried herself with class and self-respect and became highly healthy emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.

Growing up, her attitude was usually upbeat, and her infectious laugh made others smile. If she dropped something, she wouldn't get mad or frustrated; she'd just giggle. If her left hand didn't do what her brain was telling it to do, she'd say cheerfully, "That left hand has a mind all its own."

Kate loved to read and laugh out loud. She was lighthearted, even though many with similar disabilities can be heavyhearted. Not Kate. Her smile could light up the darkest room. She was also wise in choosing her friends and, as a result, was surrounded by a group of great friends who loved and helped care for her. When she needed to be in the hospital, they were always there to support her.

But most of all, Kate's deep faith in God impressed everyone around her. No one ever heard her question why God had allowed her to have such a devastating disorder. Instead, Kate would share what God was teaching her through her disabilities.

As a young woman full of kindness, gratitude, and hope, Kate was healthier than most tweens and teens I've known. Although her physical wheel was a bit out of balance, her extremely healthy emotional, social, and spiritual wheels gave her a smooth ride in life.

I had the immense pleasure of watching her grow up, and now she's a highly healthy young adult. I'm very grateful for all she's taught me. I'm even more grateful to be her dad.

So think about your health car and your four health wheels. Is there anything you can do to prevent a flat tire in your health? Or to prevent a wreck caused by a blown tire?

The answer is yes. That's the whole point of this book. There is so much you can do.

The first step involves prevention, which keeps things from going wrong in the first place. Like cars, people need to take good care of themselves, and they need regular checkups. During these "tune-ups," the mechanic will check the "tires" to see that they are aligned and fully inflated. If they're not, the mechanic will make the adjustments so you'll have a safe ride on the road.

I (Dr. Walt) designed a test you can take to determine if your four health wheels are healthy, or if one or more of them is flat, out of alignment, or ready to blow. You can find a link to these free evaluations for parents and tweens/teens using this QR code or the URLs included in our list of resources.

The second step involves choosing to drive on safe roads that will help keep you healthy. Throughout the book, we help you learn how to drive safely when it comes to your health, and we show you what the safe roads to great health look like. As you read each question, consider how healthy you feel and what steps you need to take to get healthier if needed. We pray that this book will be a road map to becoming a healthy and godly tween and teen girl who will grow up into a healthy, godly woman.

And now, let's learn more about this exciting time of life called puberty.



I'm changing. What's happening to my body?

How often do you or your friends use the word puberty? Probably not at all. But all of the physical and emotional changes that you're going through are part of an ongoing conversation for most girls during the tween and teen years.

Since we are doctors—so we like medically reliable terms—we'll go with puberty. Here's our definition: puberty is the process that develops and changes your body physically from a girl to a woman. Here's your definition: "Wow, what's up with my body? A lot of stuff is going on!"

During puberty, your body will grow faster than at any other time in your life—well, except for when you were in your mother's womb and when you were a tiny baby. You will grow taller, you will develop hair in new places, your private parts will change, and your breasts will grow. Surely you've heard about girls getting their periods. Maybe you're wondering about your first period. What in the world is going on with that?

You'll also experience a roller coaster of new feelings and emotions. You can feel super confident one moment and ultrasensitive the next. In the morning, you may have it all together, only to fall apart in a single second by the first bite of your lunch. You'll have to deal with mean girls, bullying, and attraction to boys. Not to mention TV shows, movies, the Internet, videos, and video games bombarding virtually every thought you have.

We'll talk about all those things, but first let's discuss puberty, which involves three main events: the growth of your breasts, the growth of pubic hair, and your first menstrual period. Typically, the changes unfold in exactly that order and can take anywhere from two to five years. Although these changes may seem weird or even scary, they are normal, healthy, and God-designed.

Girls go through puberty at different ages and at different rates. It usually starts between the ages of eight and twelve. Over the last few decades, more girls have begun puberty before the age of eight—even down to age six or seven. And your ethnicity can make a huge difference.

If puberty starts before you're eight years old (or has not started by the time you turn twelve), you should see your doctor just to be sure everything's all right.

So what kicks off the process? Hormones do. A gland is a part of your body that makes the chemicals called hormones. The bloodstream then carries the hormones to another part of the body (like from your brain to your breasts). Puberty begins when your brain releases a bunch of these chemicals.

The hormones called estrogen (made primarily in your ovaries) and human growth hormone (HGH, made in your brain) cause most of the changes in your body during puberty. Get ready for some drama!

When these hormones reach the muscles and bones, your body's growth speeds up. If someone tells you, "You're all hands and feet," in a way they're right. During puberty, your extremities grow first, then your trunk (back, chest, and abdomen). Most girls grow fastest about six months before their first period (which is called menarche, but more on that later).

You'll grow taller during puberty. You'll gain weight in different places. You'll develop awe-inspiring superpowers—okay, just kidding about that last one.

Most girls will notice more body fat along the upper arms, thighs, and upper back. Your hips may grow rounder and wider, while your waist can narrow. This is all totally normal and divinely designed (that's always nice to know).

For most girls, breast growth is the first sign of puberty; estrogen causes it. Some girls will first notice hair growing in their pubic area, while a few others first notice hair growing on their arms, legs, and armpits (axillae). Menstrual periods usually don't come until later, typically when you're twelve or thirteen.

We know these changes can seem scary and strange to you and to other girls who go through them. But don't worry! As you learn more about what's happening, it will make sense, and you'll feel better. Trust us.

So let's begin to address the many questions that are swirling around in your mind about these amazing, God-designed changes.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."

Jeremiah 1:5

"Your Redeemer ... formed you in the womb."

Isaiah 44:24



Why are there things about my body I just don't like?

I (Dr. Walt) was speaking to a group of fifth-grade girls at their school about their changing bodies. I looked at one of the girls, who seemed quieter than the others, and asked, "Sara, do you have any questions?" She thought for a moment and said, "How come there are some things about my body I just don't like?"

I looked around and noticed many other heads nodding. "How many of you are thinking the same thing?" Slowly, nearly every girl raised her hand. I was not surprised at all. You see, this is one of the questions we get asked most when we talk with girls about all the changes they are experiencing before and during puberty.

No matter how old you are, your body has grown, developed, and changed over the last year. And if there is one thing we can guarantee you, even more changes are coming!

Most girls become self-conscious about their physical development during puberty. They can worry about everything—their height, weight, even the shape of their little toe. But these changes can cause even more embarrassment if your friends or parents—or even worse, boys or bullies—tease you or talk about them.

We want you to learn about and become more comfortable talking about all these changes. First, you need to consider this fact: God created you just the way you are. The Bible says God fashioned you; he formed you.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:15–16

God literally knit you together while you were still in your mother's womb, which the writer of the Psalm figuratively calls "the depths of the earth." In fact, the phrase "woven together" is a single word in the Hebrew that can also be translated "embroidered."

Some of you know what embroidery is: fancy and delicate stitches hand-sewn onto cloth that add beauty and value to the material. That is the word used to describe how God made you.

One Bible teacher wrote, "It describes the delicate embroidery of the body, the things that tie us together so that one organ supports another. The lungs need the heart, and the heart needs the lungs; the liver needs the kidneys, and the stomach needs both; all the parts are amazingly embroidered together."

In other words, God designed you. He caused your body to form and grow, like a weaver creates an art piece with yarn or string.

You are wonderfully made, which means you are special—a wonder. Your Creator has designed you to be completely unique—one of a kind. And he is still growing you—using all of these changes to shape you into the woman he has designed you to be.

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

The Greek word for "handiwork" (sometimes translated "workmanship") is poiema (POY-ay-mah), which means "that which is made personally." Poiema is also the origin of the English word poem, which tells us something amazing: God the Creator not only personally made you, but you are his poetry. You are his artwork. You are his masterpiece.

You are absolutely one-of-a-kind. No one else in the past or in the future has your fingerprints, your DNA pattern, your exact personality, or even the exact pattern of the veins you have on the back of your hand.

Not only does God have a blueprint just for you and your body, but he also designed a special life plan just for you. Here are two verses describing this:

Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Philippians 2:13

God's plan for you includes using what you or others may see as imperfections. Perhaps you feel parts of your body or personality are "design flaws"— mistakes, even— but they're not. God can use all that for your benefit. He made you the way he made you for a purpose.

Do you remember Kate's story in question 1? She could have complained about her physical imperfections. Instead, she chose to see how God would use them in her life. Her disabilities allowed God to use Kate to serve in the speechwriters' office of the President of the United States. She shared the story of God's work in her life not only around the country, but also in Washington, D.C., the very center of our government.


Excerpted from The Ultimate Girls' Body Book by Walt Larimore, Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever. Copyright © 2013 Dr. Walt Larimore and Dr. Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERKIDZ.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Note to Parents, 15,
Note to Girls, 17,
QUESTION 1: What does it mean to be healthy?, 19,
QUESTION 2: I'm changing. What's happening to my body?, 23,
QUESTION 3: Why are there things about my body I just don't like?, 26,
QUESTION 4: Why isn't my body changing like I expected?, 34,
QUESTION 5: Am I growing—or is the ceiling dropping?, 38,
QUESTION 6: Sleeping Beauty sounds boring. Who needs sleep?, 44,
QUESTION 7: Do I really need calcium for my bones?, 49,
QUESTION 8: Makeup, hairstyles, clothes—what makes me beautiful?, 54,
QUESTION 9: Why do I look so different from the girls I see on TV?, 60,
QUESTION 10: Should I go on a diet?, 66,
QUESTION 11: What can I do if I'm overweight?, 73,
QUESTION 12: Some of my friends are having periods; others aren't. What's up with that?, 82,
QUESTION 13: How do periods work, anyway?, 90,
QUESTION 14: What's that on my underwear?, 95,
QUESTION 15: My breasts aren't growing. What's wrong with me?, 100,
QUESTION 16: When do I get to shave my legs and underarms?, 107,
QUESTION 17: Get me off this roller coaster. Why am I so moody?, 110,
QUESTION 18: Can my moods be dangerous?, 120,
QUESTION 19: Acne and tanning—how do I win with my skin?, 131,
QUESTION 20: Why do I sweat? It makes me feel like a boy., 137,
QUESTION 21: What's the big deal about modesty?, 142,
QUESTION 22: Clothing, thoughts, and good choices—what's the connection?, 148,
QUESTION 23: Nails, makeup, and hair—how much should I care?, 157,
QUESTION 24: Diamonds or sterling—are body piercings bad?, 160,
QUESTION 25: Thinking about inking—are temporary tattoos safe?, 165,
QUESTION 26: What about permanent tattoos?, 167,
QUESTION 27: Why are some girls so mean?, 173,
QUESTION 28: Social media is fun, but how much is too much?, 183,
QUESTION 29: What if my friends want to try alcohol, drugs, or dangerous games?, 193,
QUESTION 30: Sex—part of God's plan? Are you serious?, 206,
QUESTION 31: Talk to my parents about sex? Are you crazy?, 218,
QUESTION 32: Is there a monster in my computer?, 224,
QUESTION 33: If sex is so great, why should I wait?, 232,
QUESTION 34: I want to make wise choices, but how do I stay strong when tempted?, 239,
QUESTION 35: When will I become a woman?, 245,
Final Word for Daughters and Parents, 251,
Acknowledgments, 256,

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