Alex's Answer

I like being called a model

Your Question

I’m a young teenage girl and I’m very tall for my age. My family sometimes calls me a model due to my height and figure. I like being called a model because of how beautiful they are. This makes me feel the skinnier I get the more I’ll be called a model. So I try my best to not eat on weekends because then none of my friends at school will notice 

 

Answer

Welcome to Ask Alex, 

We are so glad that you have reached out and speak about what is going on for you. By doing this you are not only getting support for yourself, but you are also supporting many other young people that are questioning are thinking about something like what you have explained in your question.  

You mention above that you “like being called a model, which your family at times say because of your height and figure”. Your family are possibly noting your natural beauty. You have also stated that you “feel the skinnier I get the more I’ll be called a model, so I try my best to not eat on weekends”. This is very concerning to hear. 

Having a healthy eating pattern is vital to the growth, development and energy levels of our body and brain. If we decide to cut out food at the weekends or any other time, we are damaging that process. Although that damage may not be clearly visual, it is happening internally. You can achieve a slim figure without starving yourself at the weekends, by having a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise. You should not cut out food for long periods of time. The right foods are so important especially as a young developing woman. It is possible to feel confident and comfortable in yourself, when you are not trying to be or thinking that you need to be skinnier to be beautiful. You are already a beautiful person.

This path you are following of “trying my best to not eat on weekends” is a very dangerous one that can have lifelong effects on your body and mind. We are not medical professionals, but we would imagine that you have noticed you have more headaches or loss of energy levels, continuous feeling of being tired when not eating at the weekend. These are just some ways which your body is telling you that it is missing the regular diet or food intake; it is highlighting the importance of needing food for energy to you.

Not only would it have effects on this, but it can cause acne breakouts as the cutting out of nutrients leads to the loss of skin glow. These are just some of the side effects to cutting out eating at weekends that you should really consider and fully understand before you begin something that can be very difficult to come back from. Cutting out food to get a slimmer appearance is a form of eating disorder and should not be taken lightly. Some websites that may be of use to you would be www.bodywhys.ie or, www.walkinmyshoes.ie 

We would strongly recommend speaking to a trusted adult in your life, this could be a parent/guardian, grandparent, teacher, or sport coach. They will be a good support to have in really looking at this issue and figuring out what the best way to go forward is. They may be able to bring you for a GP appointment so you can be  referred on for additional supports if required. Either way the trusted adult will be with you through the process no matter where it leads. Early detection and intervention are key with eating disorders, the longer we allow it to continue the harder it is to tackle.  

We have the Childline team who are a 24hr service 7 days a week that you can reach out to if you feel it would be of use to you to discuss it further before talking to your trusted adult. We can be contacted by phone on 1800 66 66 66 or by Live Chat on our website www.childline.ie. These services are instant, so there will be no waiting for answers to be published, which can be very useful when you need to talk it out and get an answer straight away.. 

Please remember as you have said above, your family have called you a model, but no one, only you, have said or think you need to be skinner to look like a model. By cutting out food to become a version of something people already see you as, is it worth the risk to your own health? 

Please take care of yourself, and reach out for more support soon,

Alex  

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