Wednesday 15 June 2016


It's problem page time again on DREAMCATCHER, and reader Lindsey has a problem for Summer Tanberry to unravel...

Lindsey says:
I hate the summer because when the weather gets hot everyone strips off and wears short shorts and little sleeveless tops, and you can't hide away under layers any more. In case you haven't guessed, I am very overweight and so ashamed of my size. I take a size 18 clothes and I am only fourteen, I don't dare weight myself because it only ever goes up not down. My family are going on holiday to Mallorca in August and I will have to wear a swimsuit, and I am dreading it. I think people are laughing at me all the time, even my friends, or else pitying me maybe. I hate my life.

Summer says:
Being overweight is not easy, because yes, teenagers are very judgemental and the newspapers and magazines are always passing mean comments on how fat/how scrawny a certain celeb is looking. In a world full of pouting selfies and clingy fashions, it is not easy to be bigger than average. You say you hate the summer and hate your life, but you don't say what you plan to do about it... and the solution lies with you. I know you try to hide away in baggy layers and feel scared of the swimming pool and anxious about what your friends may think... and I suspect this low self esteem has stopped you from exercising and perhaps even driven you to comfort eat. I am guessing here, but I know from experience that unhappiness and poor body confidence can drive you to very damaging eating habits. I think a chat with your doctor may be a good starting point. You can establish whether you are overweight and if so, how best to tackle it. You could choose to stop dreading the summer and make it a time for you to change things for the better - whether that is about losing weight or just about getting fit and boosting confidence. Getting fit is basic... find an exercise you like and try to do a little every day, whether it's cycling, walking, aerobics, dance, kick-boxing, yoga or something else! Even the local pool is often quiet early in the morning. Next, cut out any junk foods you may be snacking on - crisps, chocolate, sweets, pop. You'll feel better for it. Buy some clothes that flatter your shape and keep you cool in the sun... and focus on building up that wobbly self-esteem. Cathy Cassidy's book LETTERS TO CATHY has some great chapters on confidence that can genuinely turn things around for you. It's time to be your own best friend and not your own worst enemy, because underneath all the uncertainty and self-loathing you are actually pretty amazing. Wishing you loads of luck... you can do it, I promise.

Cathy says:
I like Summer's emphasis on confidence and fitness here... once Lindsey gets those two things working for her, the rest will hopefully follow. Have YOU ever struggled with weight and/or confidence? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. I can assure you now, although you don't feel comfortable. Nobody else will care about how you look, especially on holiday. Although I could do with losing some myself. I have a habit of covering up for other reasons... My weight has been a Yo-yo my entire life and usually fluctuates depending on my mood.. Sigh... Being healthy is the main point though, make small healthier changes at first and over time it should all fall into place. If you set out making the changes not to loose weight, but to be healthier, you will probably find you loose weight without trying. Just try to stick to it the best you can. FitBits are worth investing in, if you can. You can track your exercise/food and go out for a walk if you haven't done enough steps that day. <3 xxx

  2. I used to be a size 8 and, because I had a massive surgery last year and I wasn't able to excerise for 10 months, now i'm a size 10/12. I beat my self up a lot about the weight I've put on. Seeing girls in Size 6 clothing and showing their figures off on mufti day really gets to me it makes me feel more overweight then I am.

    I have decide to cut back on certain foods like chocolate, crisps, cakes etc. It was hard at first but I gradually got used to the idea of having an apple for a snack instead of crisps. Gradually I've been losing some weight. Sometimes I put some on but that's ok because I know if I excerise properly, although I'm slightly restricted due to my disability, I will loose the pounds that I want.

    Just remember not to go to crazy. Don't loose so much weight that your ribs begin to show. The last thing you want is to develop an eating disorder... As long as you are smart about it and have an adult to guide you through the process, losing weight will make you feel happy and positive and not leaving you feel like it's a chore! Xx



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...