Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"I Feel Fat"


The other day as I walked into our living room to pick up some of the 250 toys that had been throw about that afternoon my five year old looked at me and said “Look mom you should get that.” He was pointing at the television and when I realized it was some type of a weight loss product commercial a lump was suddenly in my throat. “Honey, why would mommy need to get that?”” Because it will help you lose fat and gain muscle. You know because you always say you feel fat. “Suddenly that lump turned into a giant boulder. Instead of feeling fat I just felt like a big fat failure.

Before I could say anything else my husband chimed in from the kitchen and said “Buddy mommy isn’t fat and it’s not nice to use that word when you describe someone.” I could suddenly see the look of confusion on the face of my five year old. After all he didn’t actually call me fat. He simply repeated the fact that I often call myself fat. A wave of panic came over me.  All this time I never thought about what my fat shaming or body issues could be doing to my children. Why? Why had I not considered that they may be soaking it in? Why had I not realized that they were listening to me? Why had I not noticed them in the room when I would say things like “Ugh if I don’t fit in a run soon I won’t fit in my pants.” Why had I not noticed them looking at me when I would ask my husband if the jeans I put on made my butt look big? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I never thought about it because I have boys.  I have often thought to myself that if I ever have a daughter I would really have to watch how much I complain about my body. The last thing I would want is for her to grow up with a warped body image.  I never once thought about what it could be doing to my boys.

As a society we have become so used to constant chatter about diets, weight loss, good foods, bad foods, the best workouts for better butts, arms, legs, abs and on and on and on that it doesn’t seem anything but normal to us. BLEH!!! I dare you to turn on a news program in the morning and last a whole hour without hearing anything about diet tips, the best foods for weight loss, how to cut out sugar FOREVER, jeans that make you look skinnier, taller, richer, anything but bigger.  Pull up Facebook at any given point in the day and try to avoid statuses about shakes, diet pills, powders, potions, new workouts, new workout gear, diets with no fat, diets with no carbs, no sugar, no solids, protein only diets, eating protein while running in place and lifting weights above your head diets.  You can’t. You would have to actually look away to not read anything about these things in your newsfeed. Oh and you can just forget standing on line at the grocery store. Every single magazine has something about diet; get a butt like celebrity A and legs like celebrity B. Maybe you want your left toe to be just as skinny as celebrity C in her last blockbuster. They hold the secrets to all of this and more.

Our kids are saturated by constant information about weight loss. CONSTANT! How do they stand a chance?  We have become a society obsessed by what we eat, what we don’t eat and what we do in between eating. There are so many commercials on all about weight loss it’s actually become absurd. The fat loss industry has taken over and I for one am over it. I am over the fat talk. I am over using the word fat in my every day life.

I have boys.  The last thing I want is for my boys to grow up with a mom who is constantly saying she feels fat. I run. I eat healthy and I should feel good about my body. I’m going to be 38 not 18. If I don’t embrace my body now I never will. I want my boys to know that there is so much more to a woman than her body.  I do not want my boys to grow up calling people fat. I do not want my boys to grow up and be so superficial when it comes to picking a partner because I will never forgive myself. I’m going to make an effort to talk about the positive instead of the negative. I’m going to set an example that I run because I enjoy it, which I do, rather than have them associate exercise as just a means to burn calories. I’m going to enjoy ice cream with them in the summer and pizza with them on a Friday. Oh and on birthdays I’m going to have my cake and eat it too!  I’m going to allow my children to see me live life in moderation not in desperation.   I’m going to start loving myself instead of constantly focusing on the negative. The phrase: “I feel fat” is officially banned from this house.
 

21 comments:

  1. Yes, Yes, Yes. I love this post. It reminds me that the inner voice in my head sometimes escapes and it wrong. Just so wrong. Thank you for this. What a great way to start the New Year

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    1. Thank you Kerri! It's nice to know I'm not the only one guilty of this. Here's to starting fresh in the New Year. :)

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  2. I SO totally understand this. After years of battling disordered eating I find that I have to watch what I say around my kids for fear that I'm going to give them MY issues. Sigh.

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    1. I've been there too and it's not fun. I think this is the year to love our bodies just as they are.

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  3. Whoa! What a big realization. My mom was/is obsessed with her weight and I never heard the end of how "fat" she was despite always being a very healthy (and often skinny) weight. It definitely impacted the way I feel about weight as an adult, and it's a shame. At least you had an ah-ha moment! Meanwhile, I'm kind of laughing at what your son said and what your husband heard. lol Men!

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    1. See it really does affect us. I had my ah-ha moment and it's amazing that it was a 5yo who gave it to me. :)

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  4. Love this, Jennifer! Amy at Carriage Before Marriage has this whole post on eliminating the "F" word. You are so right on: those of us with boys don't always consider that our self-deprecation affects them, too.

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    1. Thank you Erin. It's going to be hard but I'm going to stick with it. No "F" word in the house.

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  5. You are awesome! I really, really love this and it has completely struck a cord with me. Wonder how many times my girls have heard me say the same. Thanks for knocking some sense into my hard head.

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    1. Thank you Lynn. I clearly needed some sense knocked into me as well...now I just hope it stays there. :)

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  6. I've been there. I have always had body issues although I am not overweight (long story). Now, I have three daughters who are 11, & 6. I have heard all of them at some point refer to themselves as fat. It absolutely breaks my heart. I am trying to be very careful about what I say around them, but, as you said, they are bombarded constantly with it even if it doesn't come from me.

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    1. That's the difficult thing...as moms it is always easy to let go of our own personal issues even though we know it's better for our kids. They are so bombarded by the "F" word all the time. Maybe if we make the effort not to use it anymore it will help.

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  7. I try hard to not put down my body, but I think it's so ingrained in me it's almost automatic. I don't say I'm fat, but I'm always wanting to get in better shape aloud. I need to see myself as my kids do, and quit being so hard on myself! This post really does give one pause when thinking about what those little ones are hearing come out of our mouths. "Little pitchers have big ears."

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    1. I'm right there with you Sarah. It's so hard to be good to ourselves. Our kids are always listening...always.

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  8. You are so right! Read that Jay Mohr called Alyssa Milano fat! He was just plain rude about how a woman should look. Many called his comment insecure, but I simply call it childish and immature. Our movement should be about learning to love your body as a woman and EVERY curve that goes with it. Pregnant women have this problem big time and it makes no sense for a woman who is carrying a child to have such self esteem issues. I hope that one day we can move past the superficial and LEARN to love ourselves as we are imperfections and all. Once this is done we can change the way we talk about our bodies as women. As women we should also watch the way we talk about each other....Proably will share this on our blog too. Did a post a while back about Self Esteem and Body Issues....Good Example! Thanks.....

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    1. Justine Jay Mohr should be totally ashamed of himself. Our society is so obsessed with the "perfect" body image that we put pressure on pregnant women and women who just gave birth...literally grew a human for 9 months, to get back into top shape immediately. It's sad really. As women we are strong. We are beautiful and we need to take control over what the "perfect" body image really is. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  9. I have all boys, too, and I don't think about it as much as I should either. One of my sons said something about a weight loss drink he saw on t.v. and asked if he could drink it. Boys think about these things too.

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    1. They definitely do Kathy. The last thing I want is for my boys to grow up thinking the images portrayed in the media are what makes for a beautiful woman.

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  10. What a smart perspective and a cool post. Blows me away how much our kids pick up on our cues--boys and girls. Thanks for the reminder to share a more positive self image with BOTH of my kiddos!

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    1. Thanks Meredith! I'm going to still have to remind myself form time to time. Old habits die hard.

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  11. Excellent! Exceptional! Exact! Extraordinary! Exemplary! That's all the 'Ex' words I can think of right now. Except for exempt - which is what 'I feel fat' now is in my life, too! Thank you for this post! Sharing . . .

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