Thursday, June 9, 2016

Number number on the scale.....

Mumma? Do you think I’m fat and need to lose weight ‘cause I do…..

When Lucy asked me that question this morning, I was in the refrigerator pulling out our lunches

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath

This is one of those moments as a parent, depending on how you answer, how you react, will create such an indelible impression on your child that you want to make sure you get it as close to right as possible


That little voice pulled me out of the fridge and I leaned back so I could see her and she could see me

Her eyes were downcast and her chin was resting on her chest

Mumma….do you think I’m fat? And do you think you are? Do you think you need to lose weight?

I closed my eyes again

Luce, look at me honey

I dropped the lunches on the floor and knelt in front of her

Honey, why do you think you are fat?

Because I have a belly – and well, boy 1 and boy 2 at school said you are fat and I’m fat and we both need to lose weight….do you think we need to lose weight? They also said my lunches are too big

I put my hands on her shoulders and stretched my arms back trying to make her look me in the eyes  

Honey, look at me

She picked her head up

Lucy, you are healthy – and that is all that matters – you are healthy and if you have a belly now at the age of 7, that does not mean you will always have a belly

But you do Mumma…… have belly, and they said I would be fat because you are….so I think I need to lose weight to be healthy

Lucy, you brush your teeth twice a day, you eat your fruits and vegetables, you do soccer, swimming and karate…..does that sound healthy to you

Yeah…. She said as she dug her toe into the floor

And do you try to be kind and do your best every day?

I think I do Mumma

And do you think that every day you get better at something?

She started to brighten up a little

Yeah! I’m getting better at push-ups, just ask Daddy and Sensei!

Ok well then you know what honey, healthy isn’t just about the how you look or how much you weigh, it’s about how you live your life

Belly or no belly, as long as you are trying to live a healthy life, which includes being kind, eating well, brushing your teeth, doing your best, (said with a loving poke to her belly button and a giggle from her as she swatted my hands away), you are just the way you should be!

Ok Mumma – but Mumma

Yes honey

I don’t think you are fat even if boy 1 and 2 said you are, I think you are beautiful and me and Daddy love your belly!

I know you do honey, and I love your bellies! Both yours and Daddy’s!

I hugged her to my soft belly – the one which carried her for nine of my favorite months of my whole life – and wondered if I had handled it as well as I could have and should have

While dropping her off at school, I saw the two little boys who called her, us, fat

I wondered how, why, at such a tender age (7) they think it’s ok to say something like that to someone

But then I reminded myself they are only 7

And at 7, kids are still a bit too innocent and honest for their own good

Not that being 7 ever makes it ok to call someone fat or judge by appearance…but I guess I like to think their intentions were not wholly malicious

Kids are honest, kids call it like they see it

And I am fat

I don’t think Lucy is but yes, I am

I mean really, I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember

And I am okay with that

Sure, I got picked on when I was a kid – by my brother, my sisters, kids at school, a couple cousins, even some adults

I’ve even been picked and made fun of as an adult  

It’s taken me a long time (30+ years) to be ok with myself – and with the way I was being picked on

Does not mean it is ok; it just means I process it in a way that bears minimal impact to me – to who I am because no matter what my weight is, my heart is still the same

It’s taken me 30+ years to be ok with it

And a lot of smoking….and eating…and losing weight….and drinking….and gaining it back……and losing it…..and gaining it back

You get the picture

And sure, it still bothers me when someone calls me fat (including when I call myself fat)

But not the way it used to

It bothers me for different reasons

But not as much as when someone calls my daughter fat

A couple of weeks ago, Lucy asked me to pack less in her lunch

When I asked her why, she just shrugged

I did not push for an answer and we pack her lunch together in the mornings

Now I know why

And I want to both hug and shake the two reasons why

I want to hug boy 1 and boy 2 because I think they need it

I want to shake them because at 7, they are already treating a little girl with utter disrespect….I 
shudder to think what will happen as they get older

My losing weight will not change the seed planted in my daughter’s head

My treating myself with love and respect will

Taking a shower, brushing my teeth, being kind, trying my hardest, learning from my mistakes, asking for forgiveness and giving forgiveness are just as much a part of a healthy life as the number on my scale

I think they may actually be healthier…. 

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