I’m fat and I’m 10

Dear Suzie, im aged 10 and i already weigh 10 and a half stone. i know you probably think im some stupid fat girl but i realy need help. my younger brother has plader willi syndrone that is where he eats loads and my big sister who is 15 only 5 stone. my big sis always teases me because i need age 14 clothes to fit my fat belly and when my belly hangs out from the bottom of my shirt. i also get teased at school because my button always pop off of my shirt. please you must help me i can\’t help it when i get in from school or anywere i just get loads of food out of the fridge and cupboard and eat it.

i also have never had a boyfriend and i can walk properly i just waddle like a fat git. please reply A. S. A. P with tips on how i can be thiner please, please, please, please, please, please

Of course you need help, not so much because of your weight but because of the awful level of self hatred you show in your mail to me. You’re angry and it seems as if you’re turning all that rage and disappointment on yourself.

I can guess at a couple of reasons why you feel so awful and I do sympathise. People often use food as a way of expressing misery. Some people starve themselves – losing weight can be a way of getting some control of their lives. That seems to be the way your sister has gone; 5 stone at 15 is not just thin, it’s worryingly skinny. Others eat too much, which seems to be the route you’re taking.

Sometimes we tell ourselves we eat all those foods because they give us comfort. People who are sad and feel alone or unnoticed often do it. But I would suggest you have two other reasons for eating too much.The first is that putting on weight is like erecting a suit of armour around you. Sad people often gain weight because it feels as if being overweight protects them. But another reason you may have is that you watch your brother, who has an illness that makes it impossible for him to regulate his eating, and you take two lessons from that. One is that people can be out of control about food. That must feel quite tempting, especially when you have the other, equally scary example of your sister who is all too controlled about it. The other is that much of the attention in your family probably goes to your brother. I suspect you feel when you are fat and out of control about food you too get noticed.

You probably have good reason to feel angry, left out and ignored in your family. It sounds as if there is a lot going on and I imagine your parents feel they have their hands full. If you want to get thinner the best way may not be to obsess about diets, but to ask firmly for some attention. You say you can’t help eating when you get in from school, but that’s not true. Your brother may not be able to help his behaviour but you can control your eating. It may be easier to do so, however, when your entirely justified, normal and natural need for love, attention and acceptance is met by your parents.

Do you have anyone else you can talk to? A trusted teacher, a friend’s mother, another relative? Would your sister stop teasing you long enough to acknowledge that both of you have the same problem – a problem with eating – and support you and herself to get some help with it? BEAT could help you both – get in touch with them. Good luck!

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