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I think the most difficult thing about losing weight is motivation. Sometimes you just don’t want to do it and you want to say, “Forget it.” But you can’t do that; you have to keep working at it.

An adolescent in the OWL Program


The Overweight Experience Journal is a collection of stories and personal experiences from patients and families about what it has been like to live and cope with pediatric weight issues. It represents the “collective wisdom” of these families as well as their health care providers.

While it is normal to feel some emotional discomfort associated with reading the stories of children and parents describing their experiences with weight issues, we hope that families may learn from the stories of others facing similar experiences.

Visit the Glossary to read definitions for words in bold. Visit our Resources page to learn more about family and clinician recommended websites on coping with pediatric weight issues.

Video Interviews:

Child & Adolescent Stories:

I think you have to feel good about yourself to feel good about anything. First, you have to have confidence in yourself.

An adolescent in the OWL Program

Caregiver Stories:

If you hammer at a door long enough, eventually either someone will answer it or you’ll knock it down. So just keep trying.

A Father

Clinician Insights:

When everyone is doing it together, I think that children feel less ostracized than when they try to make the changes completely on their own. When the whole family is involved, children often tell me that they then feel as though they are part of a team.

Nicole Eldridge Marcus, PhD, Behavioral Therapist

A group of parents and health care providers has reviewed all of these contributions for appropriateness. The Overweight Experience Journal was created by the Boston Children’s Hospital Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program and the Department of Psychiatry.


Editor’s note: Please keep in mind that every patient is different, and discussions of alternative treatments, complications, and timelines may not apply to you. Additionally, some families identify medications and treatments that work well for them. The Experience Journals do not endorse specific methods. Each individual is different, and we invite you to discuss treatments with your doctors and nurses to see if they are right for you.