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Dear Alice: I’ve been overweight for a long time. I’m pretty sure that I haven't been under 200 since 6th grade. I’m tired of being fat and gross. I want girls to notice me and the football guys to stop laughing at me. I’ve tried every diet known to man. I’m afraid of gyms because I don’t want people to laugh at me while I try to work out. I have self confidence issues because I’m fat. Maybe I’m just writing to you so I can have someone to believe in me. -Weight Issues

Dear Weight Issues: I know how you feel. I’ve struggled with my weight and my confidence, too. I’ve found a few helpful tips through my own experience with diets:

1. Cook your own meals- it is way easier to count calories and eat healthy when you cook your own food and control everything that’s going into a dish. You also get a sense of self-power and pride in your work.
2. Don’t snack a lot- Try to eat two small meals and one normal one per day. If you have practice or something that requires energy, eat something tiny that has peanuts or honey in it. 
3. Drink a ton of water- Water fills you up, which will trick your mind into thinking it’s fuller than it is. Drink at least one glass of water before and after meals. You won’t feel like you’re dieting because you will always fill full.
4. Exercise- This is probably the most important part of any weight loss plan. Joining a gym is fun and supportive, but you can exercise at home by jogging around the block and looking up workouts online. If you don’t exercise then you won’t be able to burn off any calories or become toned.

You are a beautiful person no matter what the scale says. Beauty comes from the inside, and I do believe you can do this. You are on your way to a healthier you, and I’m so proud of you for taking this first step. -Lots of Love, Alice