How to Deal With Being an Overweight Preteen

Three Methods:Building Your Confidence and Self-EsteemAdopting a Healthy LifestyleSeeking Professional Guidance

Being overweight during your preteen years, age 10-12, can be challenging. You may be in middle school and trying to fit in with your classmates or trying to make friends, but are finding that being overweight is making you feel self conscious and alone. You can deal with being overweight as a preteen by focusing on building your confidence and self-esteem and by adopting a more healthy lifestyle to lose weight. If you are still struggling to deal with your weight, you may seek professional guidance on how to cope.

Method 1
Building Your Confidence and Self-Esteem

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    Focus on getting better at a skill or a hobby. Though you may struggle with your weight, you can build your self-esteem by taking the time to focus on getting better a skill or a hobby that you are good at and enjoy doing. This could be a love for drawing or painting, playing an online game, or learning how to do woodworking. Working on getting better at a hobby or skill will help you to gain more confidence and feel good about yourself, even as you struggle with your weight.[1]
    • Talk to your parents or guardians about taking a class in a certain skill or getting supplies and materials to work on a certain hobby. Look to them for support and guidance as you try to improve your self-esteem.
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    Set personal goals. It can also be motivating to set personal goals for yourself, where you list five to ten specific goals that you will achieve within a set period of time. These goals can be small, such as “going for a walk every day for 30 minutes” or large, such as “lose 20 pounds in six months”. You can write goals that focus on fitness, socializing, getting better at a hobby or skill, or doing better academically at school.[2]
    • Make sure you create goals that are specific but also realistic. You should also set a due date for each goal so you have a set time frame to check the goal off your list. This will help to motivate you to achieve the goal and feel a sense of accomplishment when you finally do check it off the list.
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    Join a club or group where you can meet other pre-teens who share your interests or hobbies. Work on your self-esteem by being more social with others and getting more comfortable being around new people. Look for a club or a group in your area where you can meet other pre-teens who are also into a certain card game or a specific skill and join this club or group. A weekly club meeting will allow you to socialize with others who have common interests with you on a regular basis.[3]
    • Joining a club or group can also be a way to make new friends who can sympathize with your struggle with your weight and support you as you try to deal with your weight issues. Building relationships with close friends can also help you to feel more self assured and self aware.
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    Get involved in school activities or events. Rather than avoid school activities or events, focus on getting involved and connecting with your peers at school. This may mean joining the yearbook committee or participating in after school activities with other students. Focus on getting involved so you appear as a leader and an example to your peers, rather than someone who is bullied or treated badly because of his weight.[4]
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    Volunteer your time with an organization you believe in. Giving back to others can also be another way to build your self-esteem and allow you to connect with others in a generous and open way. Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen with your parents or invite friends to volunteer with you at the children’s hospital in your area.[5]

Method 2
Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

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    Create a meal plan. Adjust your diet so it is based on a healthy meal plan. Your meal plan should account for three meals a day and include the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meat or plant based proteins (such as tofu), and dairy.[6]
    • Work with your parents to create a weekly meal plan for the entire household, where you all focus on healthy eating every day. Creating the meal plans together will help you feel supported and part of a team as you try to eat healthier to lose weight.
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    Cook with your parents or guardians. Offer to help your parents prepare the meals or cook a portion of the meal together. Getting involved in the process will allow you to know every ingredient that goes into the meal and be an active part of eating healthy at home.[7]
    • You can also cook enough food to take leftovers to school the next day. Packing your own lunch every day will help you to stay healthy and avoid vending machine food or fat heavy school food.
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    Bring healthy snacks to school. Develop healthier eating habits at school by packing healthy snacks, like a ziplock bag of nuts or fresh fruit, and bringing them to school. This way, if you get hungry between classes or after school on your way home, you can pull out the healthy snacks and satisfy your hunger with food that is good for you.[8]
    • If you have a locker at school, you can also keep healthy snacks in your locker to pull out between periods or when you have free time between classes. Make sure you only store non perishable snacks, like nuts, in your locker so they do not go bad.
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    Join a sports team at school. Be more physically active by joining a sports team at your school like the track and field team or the swim team. Talk to the coach beforehand, with your parents, about your weight loss goals and your commitment to lose weight by playing a sport. This will allow the coach to better understand your fitness level and support you as you play on the team.[9]
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    Integrate physical activity into your daily routine. This means always trying to work your body in someway as you do daily activities, such as walking home from school, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing household chores, and going for walks with family or friends. Integrating physical activity into your daily routine can help you get into the habit of doing something physical every day.[10]
    • Reach out to your parents and talk about ways to get the whole family to be more physically active together. This could mean making a daylight hours policy, where your whole family plays outside together after school and on weekends, rather than stay inside and do inactive things like watch TV.
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    Focus on improving your health, rather than your physical beauty. It can be hard to feel good about yourself when you see skinny models in magazines or slim men and women on television, who are considered beautiful or desirable. But rather than let yourself feel bad or guilty about your weight, focus on improving your overall health. The more you workout and eat healthy, the better you will feel about yourself. Your physical beauty will naturally become more apparent to you and to others as you work on getting fit and staying healthy.

Method 3
Seeking Professional Guidance

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    Ask your parents or guardians for professional support. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or loneliness due to your weight issues, you should consider getting professional help. Talk to your parents or guardians about scheduling a meeting with a professional therapist who specialize in eating issues for pre-teens.[11]
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    Talk to a school counselor. You can also seek professional guidance by talking to your school counselor, who should be trained at helping pre-teens with eating issues. Set up an appointment and be as honest and open as possible. Be straightforward about your struggles and listen to the counselor’s suggestions on how to cope with your weight issues.[12]
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    Reach out to a mentor or a teacher. Though your mentor or teacher may not be a professional counselor, they can still be a good listener and offer advice. Confide in a mentor you trust at school or at home and ask them if they think you may need professional help. Sometimes it can be helpful just to talk to someone about your feelings and know that that they care about your wellbeing, even when you are dealing with issues with your weight and your body image.[13]

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Categories: Losing Weight