Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Dieting and Eating Disorders:
“I'm only 12 and I weigh 180 pounds.”

Hey Terra,

I am in the 7th grade and I think I am fat. I mean like really. And I know about the eating disorders and stuff like that and would never do something like that. But I mean I would like to go on a diet or something but I don't really want to talk to my mom about it (or my dad). Every time we (me and my mom) go shopping I mean like I will try stuff on and it won't fit and she will say it is just the shirt or just the pants and it's not me. But I know it is. I mean I weigh 180 and I am 12. Should I talk to my mom? What should I do?

Pink Panther

Dear Pink Panther,

Many people overeat when they are upset or worried or if there's an ongoing source of stress in their lives. A much healthier choice is expressing your feelings -- you know, letting the people who care about you know what's going on.

I would definitely encourage you to talk with your mom about your weight, because it's obviously something that's upsetting you. Part of the benefit of talking about it is for you to get help from someone who loves you a lot.

In most homes, the mom buys the food. The food that you've got at home needs to be healthy food so that when you're hungry and needing a snack, you are making good healthy choices. In other words, if there are no cookies, crackers, chips, candy, etc. around, then you CAN'T EAT THEM.

The more aware you become of how you feel (and talk about those feelings instead of trying to use food to bury the feelings) you will be taking the first steps to getting healthier. Talking about feelings PLUS having only healthy food in your house is going to go a long way to solving your problem.

Oh, and one other thing... regular exercise. You've got to get moving to burn off the extra fat that you've stored on your body. What exercise do you enjoy? Dancing? Bike riding? Walking? Jogging? Whatever you like, you've got to make a commitment to start doing it on a regular (daily) basis. Just 30 minutes a day of heart thumping exercise will help you start shedding those pounds and (amazingly) will get your energy level up. It will also make you feel good about yourself because you'll know you are taking charge of this weight problem.

You can do this!

So talk to your mom. She's you're friend. Maybe she'd like to go on this adventure with you.


Also, if you're serious about losing weight and you're looking for a healthy way to do it, I'd recommend you take a look at this book "Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens: The 7 Keys to Weight Freedom by Jay McGraw (TV's Dr. Phil's son).

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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