Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi Sam, lately I have been constantly worrying about my weight, I am thinking about making myself vomit and seeing if thatworks. I don't uderstand myself because, I am a girl and lets just say I am not a teen yet, I swim 4 times a week and dance and play a lot of sports but still seem to feel heavy. I also feel really bad when I eat but just can't help myself. I just feel helpless. I'm scared of throwing up but feel it is the only way...
WHAT DO I DO? I am not sure how I am going to eat through Christmas time.
Ask Sam


Hello there,

Thank you for your letter. I am really glad you chose to write in to get some support with what you are going through at the moment. 

You’ve said you have been constantly worrying about your weight and it sounds like this has been really getting you down. Constantly worrying about any problem can feel exhausting at times, especially when you have to face what you are worrying about on a daily basis – such as food or how you feel about yourself.

It’s concerning to hear you are thinking about making yourself vomit. I am not trained to give medical advice, but making yourself sick can stop your body from absorbing the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. Making yourself sick could give you a sore/swollen throat, stomach pains, mouth infections, irregular periods, dry or poor skin, difficulty sleeping and sensitive or damaged teeth. I can imagine that might feel a bit scary to hear, but this is not something you have to cope with alone, there is support available.

I can hear you do a lot of physical activity as you’ve mentioned swimming 4 times a week, dancing and playing a lot of sport. Being physically active is a part of staying healthy, but it’s even more important for your body to be getting the food and nutrition it needs, so that it can give you the energy to do all of these things. Even with all of this physical activity, it sounds like you are still left feeling worried about your weight. I wondered if some of the heaviness you’re feeling is also emotional heaviness.

From what you have said it sounds like you’re really struggling to feel okay about eating at all. Everyone needs to eat to survive. How long have you been feeling this way? Is there anything that might have happened to make you start having these feelings about yourself?

Sometimes, negative feelings towards ourselves can happen as a result of what others have said to us or what we see around us.

You’ve also mentioned you are a girl and that you're not a teen yet. Going through puberty (which usually happens between the ages of 10-16 for girls) can mean a lot of changes for your body physically. It can also mean emotional changes too. For example, premenstrual tension (the name for how some women feel a few days before their period), can include symptoms like unexplained sadness/crying and abdominal swelling and bloating. These are completely normal feelings but can feel difficult to cope with at the time.

You don’t mention who there might be in your life that you feel comfortable talking to, or if anyone has noticed how you’ve been feeling. It’s important not to cope with all of this on your own. If you’re not feeling ready to tell anyone else right now, you can always talk to ChildLine.

Have a look at our page about eating problems - hopefully you will find this useful and supportive. B-eat also gives more information about eating disorders and can help you cope.

I think you would find it helpful to get in contact with a ChildLine counsellor for support. It can be useful to talk more about what life is like for you at the moment. Sometimes, food can be used as a way of controlling or coping with other situations or emotions that are difficult. No matter what you are going through, ChildLine is a safe and confidential space and you can get in contact by calling 0800 1111 (free from any phone), logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or by email.

Hope this letter has been helpful and that you do get to enjoy the holiday period.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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