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To Sam

Food

dear sam,

this is my last resort and i carnt believe i am writing to you. i never thought i‘d need this childline account but im finally using it.

i want to start of by saying i DO NOT HAVE AN EATING DISORDER. i know it might sound like i have one but trust me im not skinny enough to have one.

anyway im 13 years old and 5 foot 5 and i weigh 128 pounds! i am very muscly cause of all the sport i do including dancing and football and gymnastics. however i HATe how i look and i always compare myself to other girls. i wish i was as skinny as them and had there perfect hair..

IVe startes to eat less. meaning eating less breakfast and skipping lunch and trying to burn off whatever calories i have for tea. its an obsession and the only thimg i care about is getting skinny. i want my ribs showinf and i want a thigh gap so much.

i feel as if im slowly losing myself . i dont know what to do ? why am i so obsessed with my weight when i know i dont have an eating disorder cause im not thin enough for one

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,​​

Thanks for your letter. Everyone has an ideal weight and shape that is unique to them. It’s all about being happy with yourself, staying healthy and finding the right balance of regular exercise to keep fit while keeping to a healthy diet with enough calories for energy and growth.

Being unhappy with how you look and your body shape can lead you to taking unhealthy actions to try to change. Wanting to look different and comparing yourself with others can make you feel bad. Becoming obsessed with calories and calorie counting can happen when you are trying to meet difficult or unrealistic expectations about how you think your body should be.

You may feel some pressure to look a certain way by images of models and celebrities. It’s important to remember that most of these images have been altered and may give you unrealistic goals about body shapes. For example, ‘a thigh gap’ is something that is not physically possible to achieve for some people, no matter how much they exercise or limit the calories they eat. Whilst having your ribs showing may mean that are not getting enough calories to be fit and healthy.

Eating problems are not just about your weight on the scales. Having frequent or constant thoughts about your weight and being thin and starting to skip meals are all signs that you need some support with your relationship with food. Going to see your doctor would be a really good step to take. Let them know about your thoughts and how they are affecting your everyday life.

Accepting how you look and learning to be comfortable in yourself are skills that you can learn too. Start by writing a list of all the positive things about yourself. Include what your best friend would say about your qualities and appearance.

You can build on that by taking time each day to pamper yourself. Give yourself a real treat like a relaxing bath or watching a favourite film and remind yourself that you are worth looking after. Take time each day to have some fun and to enjoy yourself as well.

Childline are here for you and you can talk to us by phone, 1-2-1 chat or email.

Take care

Sam

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