Teen: ‘I Obsess About My Weight All the Time’

By November 19, 2012

I found this site because I was looking for a nutritionist. I am a girl in high school and today I looked at myself in a swimsuit and was disgusted. I swore to start eating healthy right there but ate a big dinner with a big dessert. Later at night I ate more dessert all the while feeling awful about myself. I obsess over my weight all the time. I constantly compare myself to celebrities, models, and my friends. I want to be thin so badly but fall into a habit of eating lots of food (perhaps its binging?). I feel like people shouldn’t like me because I’m not thin. I’m not fat either. Most people would think I’m normal, but I’m so self-conscious about my large butt. Right now finding any way to be thin is the most important to me and yet I can’t stop eating lots of food. I get so frustrated and I also know this isn’t healthy. I don’t know if this is the kind of thing people are supposed to write? – C.

Dear C.,

Yes! Your panel submission is an excellent read. I hear the heart of your desire (to be like those who you compare yourself to). I also read that you have identified specific parts of your body that you reject (i.e. “large butt”). And I notice that you battle between the drive to eat very little and yet the reality that you want food and turn to it.

Let’s take a look at your “self talk” (those things you repeat and spend time entertaining inside your own head):

  • I looked at myself in a swimsuit and was disgusted
  • I swore to start eating healthy right there
  • I obsess about my weight all the time
  • I compare myself to others
  • I feel like people should not like me because I am not thin
  • I am self-conscious about my butt
  • Finding any way to be thin is the most important to me

WOW! Looking over the morsels of words you feed your spirit I can understand how you would start out defiant and ready to force yourself to deny a balanced approach to eating and then end up finding ways to meet what is true—that you get hungry and you want good tasting food. I am so thankful that there is a part of you that realizes going without food is a bad idea and is willing to rebel and demand food. So, let’s cooperate and make choices that allow your hunger needs to be met yet also support a goal of optimal health.

Comparing yourself to others, talking about body parts that you reject, and making contracts with yourself that deny basic needs (i.e. proper nutrition) are excellent ways to become sick and to convince yourself of a lie – that your value is tied to what you weigh.

Instead, I encourage you to fight the urge to become another statistic of young women who alter their bodies, their thoughts about themselves, and their eating in order to be something they think the world wants! I think making an appointment with a registered dietitian and creating meal plans and ideas for balanced eating and good tasting snacks while maintaining a healthy body image/weight would be a great idea. And connecting with a therapist or counselor to talk about the issues underlying your feelings about your body would be a good move as well. See “Finding Treatment” for guidance.