DEAR ABBY: I am 15 years old and 20 pounds overweight. Like overweight teens everywhere, I have experienced a lot of rejection. For the past two years, I have tried to slim down my waist and lose the unwanted fat. I have tried walking for exercise, but it's not easy when you don't have someone to keep you company.
It's hard to stay away from junk food when it's always in my house and being offered to me. I don't have strong willpower, and the determination I once had has almost completely left me. I feel like a failure.
Can you help me, Abby? -- ALMOST HOPELESS
DEAR ALMOST HOPELESS: Losing weight and becoming fit are admirable goals. This is not just about determination and/or willpower. Your strongest ally is education. Ask your doctor for help in learning HOW to eat, not just how much. Ask a counselor at school if there are nutrition classes available, or find some books on your own that teach you how to eat properly.
Find a "buddy" who is as committed as you are to changing your eating habits. Exercise together. Don't look at this as "dieting," but as adopting a new way of eating and exercising that improves your health and appearance. Good luck.