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Building Self-Confidence as an Overweight Teenage Girl

Many teens struggle with self-esteem issues. Building self-confidence can be especially challenging if you are an overweight teenage girl. Read how our teen blogger learned how to improve her self-esteem and love herself at any weight.

What does self-confidence mean to you? I know for me it always meant putting up a front and hoping that was enough. But it never seemed to be enough because inside I was always hiding myself, lying, and pretending to be something that I wasn’t.

I was heavy and always wanted to look like all the women in the magazines just like millions of other girls. How could I learn how to build self-confidence when I knew that I was overweight?

Luckily for me I was able to hide behind my sense of humor.

As I got older, seeing the humorous side of things wasn’t enough; I still wasn’t being me. I was being fake. And it killed me. I hated it!

Finding My Way – and My Self-Confidence

It was hard for my mother, too, because she wanted to help me. When I was in 6th grade my mother started a program called I-tri to help at risk teenage girls improve self-esteem while training for a triathlon. I decided I would do the program  – and it changed everything. Suddenly for the first time I felt better about my body and about myself. It wasn’t because I was prettier or thinner. It was that I found my people.

I found my calling in fundraising, student government, and volunteering. After that I never looked back. But of course there was still that nagging part of me that wanted to lose weight so when one of the I-tri board members, Linda Frankenbach, asked me to be part of a beta test group for a new weight loss coaching program for teen girls called Fitsmi Group Coaching, I jumped on it!

Fitsmi has been great! I’ve lost weight and found a supportive group of new friends from around the country with whom I can be very open about my struggles and who get it. As a result of my being part of Fitsmi, I have been on Teen Kids News (on Fox TV!), and now I’m writing this article.

I guess that building self-confidence is hard. And you probably won’t have it all the time because everyone has bad days. Being confident and having a good body image isn’t about being beautiful and perfect. It’s about realizing that you are beautiful in your own way and trying to improve what you can and loving the rest! No matter who you are, finding where you belong is the best confidence builder in the world!

Abby Rhoden

Abby Rhoden is President of her sophomore class at East Hampton High School in East Hampton, New York. She is the founder and director of TARA’S CHILDREN, an organization that helps children of cancer patients find support and counseling. 

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