Alex's Answer

Wanting a flat stomach

Your Question

I kept trying to make myself get sick when I was in the shower today. I just can’t make myself do it. It’s not a problem with my gag reflex or anything like that, it’s just that I gag and then pull my fingers out, out of fear. I just really hate that my stomach sticks out a bit. I wish I were as skinny as my friends or the models on tv. They’re so skinny I just wish I were like them. I’ve not been eating as much as I usually do and I’ve been exercising a lot in secret to try lose weight but we don’t own a weighing scales so I bought one in secret and it’s on the way now. I just want a flat stomach, is that too much to ask? These thought, as well as the self harm, are really making me just want to end it all.


Hi there, thank you for your question.

So, it sounds like there is a lot going on for you now, and you’re being brave in letting us know how you’ve been feeling.  

It can be hard not to feel down about your appearance with things like filters, social media and unrealistic beauty expectations popping up everywhere. It can be difficult to look at yourself with kind eyes and learn to make the best of the body you’re in, but there are ways to help build your self- confidence.  

The first step is to change those negative thoughts about yourself into positive thoughts. This will help you to feel and look better as you deserve to like yourself for who you are. You can write down one good thing about yourself, it can be anything you like such as how kind you are. You can plan to do something positive each day, something that you can look forward to, like going for a walk. You can have a chat with someone about how you’ve been feeling, sometimes it helps to see yourself from another person’s point of view. Everyone is different and beauty shines through in many ways, and how a person makes you feel will stay with you longer than how they looked. You can find some more information about feeling more self – confident here  

You mentioned trying to make yourself feel sick, that you’ve been eating less and exercising a lot. Sometimes trying to eat a bit healthier and exercise a bit more to feel better and stronger can be helpful but it’s important that you are not doing anything that can harm to you. Such as not eating at all or exercising so much that you get injured. Your GP could help you with advice on eating and exercising safely.  

It can be difficult dealing with these thoughts and those of self-harm that you mentioned especially when they make you feel like you want to end it all. It can be helpful chatting to someone you trust about how you’ve been feeling. Some information here might be helpful You can visit your GP for some advice, or you can contact Pieta House: 01 6010000; they offer free specialist therapeutic support for those who self – harm or are at risk of suicide.  

It can be hard trying to handle these thoughts but there are some things that can help with feelings of intrusive thoughts such as meditation, which can help you feel calmer and to refocus on other things. Reframing the thoughts, getting a good night’s sleep and getting out in nature are other things that can help with intrusive thoughts, and you can find out more here  

If you would like to talk about this some more, our Childline Team are here to help and support you too. We do not judge, and we can explore your options with you. You can contact us any time of the day or night, the Childline Listening service never closes. We are here for you 24/7/365. Our free phone service is 1800 66 66 66 or chat with us through our webchat service, by clicking on the purple Messenger circle at 

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us, and we hope you found this information helpful.   

Look after yourself, and know that you are not alone. We are here for you,, 


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