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Being fat

I am always being called fat by my cousins and my mum keeps on saying I am getting fat. I am constantly worried about the way I look and how fat I am. I am 13 next month. I am getting quite fat and I can't stop eating. I recently got braces and I still can't stop. I am getting seriously worried. I don't know what is happening but my life is just centred around food. Please help me!
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Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and well done for getting in touch with me.

It sounds like worrying about food and your weight has become a big part of your life at the moment. Your cousins and your mum saying that you’re getting fat must be pretty upsetting for you and it’s not okay for anyone to say hurtful things to you.

I’m not sure from what you’ve said whether you have felt able to talk to them about how that feels for you. Sometimes people don’t always realise how hurtful some of the things they are saying can be unless it’s pointed out to them. If you were to do this maybe have a think about a good time and place to do that. Think about what you want them to know and if you’d rather just talk to your mum or all of them. If saying it out loud feels too difficult, perhaps you could write it down.

People saying unkind things can really knock a your confidence and make you feel low. Feeling down can actually make you want to eat more, as it can sometimes be comforting. If you're feeling down you could check out our tips for building your confidence and self-esteem.

It’s important to remember that people come in all different shapes and sizes and you deserve to be happy and treated with respect. Your body at 12 (almost 13) will also be changing a lot with going through puberty.

Having regular meals is really important. I would never encourage you to stop eating, but if you’re feeling like you’re snacking a lot in-between meals and you’re not happy with that, you could think about what might be behind that. Sometimes people don’t eat because they are feeling hungry, but because of another feeling such as being upset, bored, tired, stressed. So it might be an idea to have a think about how you’re feeling at the time. You can read more about this on our eating problems pages.

If you realise that it’s not to do with hunger but another feeling, then maybe talking to an adult you trust about how you’re feeling could be a good idea. That could be someone in your family, a friend or a ChildLine counsellor. You can call on 0800 1111 (all calls are free and don’t show up on the bill) or you can have a 1-2-1 chat.

I don’t know what build, weight or height you are, but if you are concerned about your weight then you could talk to a doctor about it. You could let the doctor know that you’re worried about it and they could look at what a healthy weight for someone your age and height would be. A doctor could also talk to you about healthy eating and exercise. You can find out more about staying healthy here.

I hope this helps.

Take care,

Sam

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