Health and weight

Sami - Interview 06

Female

Brief outline: Sami, 18, has always been overweight and has suffered with depression. She finds it difficult to lose weight and feels she hasn't had much support. Although she is comfortable with her weight, she is hoping to reduce it. Ethnic background: White British.

Background: See 'brief outline'.

Audio & video

It all started when Sami went to her first school at 2½ years old. She was a clever kid, and new her alphabet and all her numbers by that point, but she was never the skinniest kid – which made her vulnerable, and she was picked on and bullied every day from that first day, until she left school at 18. Sami has always had problems with her weight – fluctuating from being overweight to obese throughout different life stages, but she was never skinny like all the rest of the girls at her school.
 
Sami went to see the doctor – who told her she needed to lose weight because she was ‘fat’, but there was never any support or help from him. He didn’t tell her how to eat healthily, or how much exercise she should be doing, and she began to lose all hope. Day by day, from the age of 8, Sami’s depression got worse and she started to self harm, and even tried to commit suicide, yet still there was no help offered to her. After nagging at the doctor to listen, he finally put her on anti-depressants and referred her to counselling –which she had to wait 6 months for! Sami slowly learnt to talk about her feelings and understand how she was feeling, and most importantly, how to cope, without self harming. Sami fought her battle alone, until 3 years ago when she met her fiancée. He still doesn’t understand what ‘depression’ is, or why she feel like it, but he is supportive of her every single day.
 
Sami has learnt to like herself now, but she still has bad days where she looks in the mirror and can’t stand to look at what is staring back at her, but now she has support and help, and she don’t have to turn to sharp objects to sort out her head. Sami knows that she is still classed as obese, and has a BMI of 36.3, but she is comfortable with herself, and she knows that she has the power to change herself if she wants to. But if she did, she would be doing it for herself, and not for anyone else.
 
Sami finds it hard to lose weight because she loves cooking and she loves food, and she doesn’t know how to increase her exercise within her hectic lifestyle. Sami has now started a degree in Dietetics, because she would like to help people make the changes in their lives, which she had to fight to have some help with. Sami will be trying to change the way she is, but she is hoping that she might get some support from her doctor and the rest of her family. Sami decided to do this study because she wanted people to realise that weight loss is not always simple, and that there is a person behind the flab! ‘We have feelings too!’ Weight is such a sensitive issue in the public eye at the moment – with obesity levels rising, and government targets being set. Sami would like to be one of those people who people can look at and say, “She is happy with her weight – so why shouldn’t I be. You are worth it, we are ALL worth it.”

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