Health and weight

Alex - Interview 30

Age at interview: 14

Brief outline: Alex, 14, says her health ' particularly her asthma ' has improved since she lost weight.

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Alex, 14, has lost weight since she joined a weight management programme' she describes herself as overweight - whereas she says she would have been in the obese category before. She says she’s not far off her target weight, which is the ideal weight for her height according to the charts.
Alex joined the programme because she had a problem with her weight and wanted to change her lifestyle and get healthier. She’s found the programme has helped her to make a lot of changes. Now, Alex takes part in lots of different activities, such as trampolining, cheerleading, basketball and dancing. She thinks these activities have made her feel better in herself and helped in her everyday life, with things like climbing the stairs. Alex’s asthma has also improved since she lost weight.
Alex believes she lost the weight by reducing her portion sizes (she says she’s learned this is the most important thing for weight loss), but she has also started replacing some of the things she eats for healthier versions. Alex finds it difficult sometimes, and says if she eats a chocolate biscuit it makes her feel really guilty, so she has to try to be more active the following day. She says she’s looking forward to the day when she can eat normal foods like her friends.
One of the reasons Alex wanted to lose weight was because she used to get upset about not being able to fit into the same kinds of clothes as her friends, who she says are smaller than her, although they’re not skinny. When they went shopping, she would worry about them finding out her size. Since she’s lost weight, picking clothes has gotten much easier. Since she attended the programme, Alex says she’s also found it easier to make friends at school, and is more confident and less self-conscious. She now takes part in musicals at school and enjoys going to parties more. For Alex, one of the best things about the group has been meeting new friends and sharing experiences.
Alex had also tried to lose weight in the past, for example, she went to WeightWatchers with her mum, but she said she found it embarrassing being there with much older women and any weight she lost, she just put back on.
Alex doesn’t think she could have lost weight without the help of her friends, her mum and dad and sister. Now, Alex thinks it’s not so important what you weigh, and she’s much happier with her body and accepts it when people pay her a compliment about how she looks.


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