Ask Sam letter


To Sam


My weight has been my struggle through most parts of my life. I am a little on the heavier side, and im not proud of it. Sometimes, im picked on because of my weight. Thats the only thing people can really pick on with me. I've tried so many different ways of losing weight, including starving myself, which was not the best decision i ever made because i fainted at school a few days into the "diet" due to lack of food. Once I had experienced the starvation mode that my body inhabited, I decided to get off that. My self esteem is at an all time low. I feel no one will find me attractive because of this extra weight im carrying. I feel hatred towards myself, i often cry about it. Im at the age where image is everything in peoples books. I don't mind myself facial-wise, but my body is the problem in this story. How can i have more confidence in myself? What are some healthier and safer ways of losing weight? :-(
Ask Sam


I can see how upset you have been lately and this seems to be because you are concentrating on your weight.  I also see that there are some aspects of your appearance that you are happy with.

When you said your weight is the only thing people can pick on, it sounds like you can see that you have lots of other good things about you, which is really great to hear. It is wrong for anyone to make negative comments about someone’s appearance as this can cause their self-esteem to be low. This is a form of bullying and talking to a trusted adult could be a way to help get it sorted.

I notice that you have been trying very hard to lose weight but now realise that some ways to do this are unhealthy and have caused you to be unwell. I imagine that fainting due to lack of food was quite a scary experience.

It seems that you feel image is extremely important at the moment and that others will only be attracted to you if you look a certain way. I know you want to feel attractive and although it is great to make the most of yourself, looks are not the only thing that others are attracted to. Being interested in other people and giving them the chance to get to know you will attract people too.

Having confidence is about being happy with who you are and knowing that we are all different, with different qualities. 

Checking out your weight with someone like your school nurse or your GP might be a good way to see how much, if any, would be ok to lose.  She could also talk to you about the best way to do that. I think you can feel proud that you want to lose weight properly and stay healthy at the same time.

You might find it useful to look at the Explore pages about body image and building self-esteem. If you would like to talk some more about this, a ChildLine counsellor would be happy to support you.  You can ring to speak to a counsellor for free on 0800 1111 or have a 1-2-1 chat on-line.  

Thanks again for taking time to write to me.

Take Care


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