Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

I am 18 years old. I am vexed that my mom and dad are constantly saying that I have become fat. My mom tells me to do housework so I can reduce some weight. I want to exercise but going to college early and coming home late makes me so tired that even if I want to exercise, like walking my body doesn't agree. My sister and my friends are slim so my mom and dad constantly compare me with others. I am desperate to become thin because being fat makes me lose confidence. I feel shallow because everyone that I know is thin. So I cry myself to sleep every night and this thing stresses me out.


Your parents seem to be under the impression that we’re living in a Hollywood-ised version of the future, where everyone wears the same clothes, eats the same food and has the same body-type. People come in all different shapes and sizes, and just because your friends are slim, there are no rules stating that you should be too. That being said, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle regardless of your weight. Seek guidance from a nutritionist to understand why you have been putting on weight– maybe you have not been following a balanced diet, or maybe you have hormonal imbalances that can be controlled with the right care. If you make excuses for exercising at this age, you’ll have more trouble staying fit later on, so force yourself to make time for it, at least three days a week (you can go cycling or enlist a friend to join you in an aerobics class). Talk to your parents and tell them that their constant comments about your weight are very hurtful; being slim and being healthy is not the same thing. You are committed to being healthy, and you want their support in achieving this goal.

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