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:

“I don't want to be seen as a fat loser.”

Hey Terra,

I think I have a self-confidence issue. Like I constantly am putting myself down and overanalyzing my friends' conversations with me (like making a harmless comment into an insult). I guess it has a lot to do with my huge insecurity with my body. I'm 13, 5'8" and weigh about 150. I know that's not like huge but it's just enough to make me feel horrible. I've heard things being said about me and it's hard to ignore. I mean I'm not even that fat! I just have huge hips and a very round booty... I hate going to the beach and I won't even wear shorts in the summer because I'm scared my friends will think, "God she has huge thighs."

I'm starting high school next year and I'm going to a different one than all my classmates so it's gonna be like a fresh start, but I'm scared I'll only be seen as a fat loser. I feel so alone.


Dear Insecure,

I wish there was a magic wand I could wave to help you be happier with who you are. The bad news is that no such wand exists anywhere. The good news is that you are extremely intelligent and self aware (and this really is good news).

You already know a lot about yourself and how you are contributing to your own unhappiness.

For example, you know that you're "constantly putting yourself down" and that you have a habit of taking a friend's "harmless comment" and twisting it in your mind so that it comes back to stab you again and again as an "insult."

You see what you are doing to yourself. This negative 'self-talk' is eating away at your confidence.

The way out of this trap is to take your high level of self-awareness and start learning a new way to think about who you are. Part of that includes becoming your own best friend.

Is this an easy thing to do? Maybe not. Especially if you've spent a lot of time being your own enemy. (If you were your own best friend you would not be putting yourself down and you wouldn't be calling yourself a "fat loser.")

You've gotta stop all that.

I have some suggestions of where you can begin making this change from self-doubt to self-confidence.

1. Check out this section of my website on self-doubt.

This isn't about your weight, this is about YOU. But it's also true that getting yourself in shape will make you feel better about your body.

2. Get a copy of "Ultimate Weight Solution for Teens: The 7 Keys to Weight Freedom by Jay McGraw (the son of TV's Dr. Phil). You'll learn about the reasons you're over eating so that you can take charge of your food and create a whole new way of living.

3. Check out this for suggestions on an exercise program for teens (something that will help you burn the calories faster wile you increase your strength, endurance and self-confidence as you get in shape.

You can do this, I know you can. And I know you want to.

Like you say, you're starting high school next year and you want a "fresh start."

This is where you begin.

Go for it. Get the book and get started.

Good luck.

In friendship,


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

Find Annie Fox: Find Annie on Facebook Find Annie on Twitter Find Annie on Pinterest Find Annie on YouTube Find Annie on Google+ Find Annie on LinkedIn Find Annie on Goodreads Find Annie on Quora
What's New?
''The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friendship Without the DRAMA'' by Annie Fox, M.Ed., illustrated by Erica De Chavez Books & Apps for Teens
''Middle School Confidential 3: What's Up With My Family?'' iOS app ''Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind'' iOS app ''Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are'' iOS app ''The Teen Survival Guide to Dating & Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along'' by Annie Fox M.Ed.
''Middle School Confidential, Book 3: What's Up with My Family?'' by Annie Fox, Illustrated by Matt Kindt
''Middle School Confidential, Book 2: Real Friends vs. The Other Kind'' by Annie Fox M.Ed., Illustrated by Matt Kindt
''Middle School Confidential, Book 1: Be Confident in Who You Are'' by Annie Fox, Illustrated by Matt Kindt
''Too Stressed to Think? A Teen Guide to Staying Sane When Life Makes You CRAZY'' by Annie Fox, M.Ed. and Ruth Kirschner