We talked about being fat, getting fat, getting skinny, being skinny, etc a LOT in my house growing up. I can remember my mom going on tons of fad diets, putting us on diets, rewarding skinny and being hurtful about being fat. I never want to do that to my children. I thought it would be easier, though, because I am so adamantly against "fat" and "skinny" talk. Yet, I am finding it is hard. Very hard.
My four year old has a little belly. She is by no means a chubby kid, but I see her not flat stomach and worry that she is overweight. I look at my best friend's kid, who is the same age, and she is so skinny, which makes me worry about my daughter. I have to constantly remind myself that my friend's daughter had to see a nutrionist to try and gain weight. Every kid is different. My four year old does not need to be skinny! She is freaking four years old!!! At her 3 y.o appointment the dr told us to switch to 2% milk because her BMI was a little high and I totally freaked out. At her 4 y.o. appointment she was fine. But, still, I worry. I know we don't eat as healthy as we should (obviously, my husband and I are both overweight), but we do try to get the kids balanced meals. Lately, food has become an issue with the princess. She asks for more food, but when offered only the "healthy" options, declares she is too full and so we let her get down from the table being "full". If all we have is frozen pizza for dinner and she asks for a 3rd slice, we say, "why don't you wait a bit and see if you are still hungry? If you eat that slice, you might get too full and then have a stomach ache". But that isn't really why I am saying it, in my head I am thinking "3 slices is way too much! You'll get fat!!!". We have succeeded in avoiding using the words "fat" and "skinny" to talk about bodies, which is a huge thing for me. But, I still worry too much in my head.
A few days ago a friend of mine posted about her son asking for a snack and then consuming 4 bowls of cereal. My first thought was "4 bowls?! holy cow! that's amazing!". But, then I started thinking, what if it was my kid? Would I let her have 4 bowls? Definitely not. Because that would be too much food. But is it really? If the kid is hungry, let them eat, right? I don't know. I also wonder if my kid was a boy, would I even worry this much? I probably would not. And that's awful.
I am working on being healthier. I am 20 pounds lighter than I was a year ago when I got pregnant. We bought a treadmill a couple weeks ago and I am doing the couch-to-5k program. I feel better about exercise. I feel good about talking to the kids about exercise. I am glad to have my younger sister as a role model for healthy living (she exercises and eats healthy, but also enjoys ice cream almost daily - she has good balance in her life and never stresses these things in terms of body image). So, for me, in my head, I am working on my issues. I just wish I could figure out how to change them faster for my kids sake.
Thanks for listening!