Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Im not sure what to do

Hi Sam,

I havnt been very confident im myself recently. I used to be in a gym squad and I was confident in how my body looked and how physically fit i was. I feel like I've gained a little weight recently but I'm not sure. My friends all look great and I feel so self concious around them. My boyfriend tells me he likes to way I look but I dont believe him.

But I dont understand because I STILL do more exercise than all my friends and I generally eat quite healthily but I still feel horrible about myself, and that my body is not in proportion.

How can I deal with my confiedence?

Thank you.

Ask Sam


Thanks for getting in touch with me. I can see that the way you’re feeling is confusing for you. I’m really pleased that you’re looking for ways to cope with that.

It’s great that you do exercise and eat sensibly – that will be helping to keep your body healthy even if you feel like it’s not changing the way you look. I’m sorry to hear that you feel uncomfortable with the shape of your body. There are no ‘right’ proportions for the human body, and everyone is shaped differently. I know that can be hard to remember sometimes as there are a lot of photographs in the media that show people who have a very slim shape.

You said that all your friends look great – how would it be to share the way you feel about your body with a close friend? You may find that other friends have similar feelings about themselves. Going through puberty, and then changes that happen later in teenage life can really affect how you feel about your body. Have a look at the ‘How you look’ part of our website to read more about this.

You said you used to be in a gym squad – it sounds like that was good for your confidence, I’m wondering why you aren’t taking part in that anymore? Try to think about how being in the gym squad helped your confidence – perhaps there are other things you could do that would have the same effect. Talking this through with someone might help, and you could do that by contacting a ChildLine counsellor.

I’m pleased to hear that your boyfriend is supportive and says positive things to you. Although you sometimes find it hard to believe him perhaps you could ask him to tell you what it is that he likes about you – that may help you think about parts of your appearance that you do feel good about. Looking at the message board posts from people talking about what they like about their body may also help with this 

It sounds like you realise that your confidence is very low, and would like to find ways to cope with that. You might find some helpful tips about how to do this on the Self-esteem pages in Explore. If you wanted to talk more about ways to build your confidence have a think about having a conversation with a ChildLine counsellor about that. You can phone us 0800 1111, or havea one to one chat with a counsellor online.

Thanks again for writing to me,


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