I believe the topic for discussion is in relation to body image, children, dieting mothers, mother's with food issues themselves, etc.
Now, clearly...I do not have children. I hope this doesn't discredit me in anyway. Because, shockingly, I was a child once with food issues...who had a mother.
So here goes.
I was not fat as a kid. Although I sure thought I was. Here is a picture of me when I was around 8. I am the one with the mullet that I had begged my mom to let me have.
I was not as small as my friends, but I wasn't fat or unhealthy. I thought I was a whale. I hated my body. I remember I would measure my upper thighs with my hands, seeing how many hand lengths it would take to make the circle. For those of you who have read the beginning of my blog, you know my earliest memory of being fat was from around the age of 5, when my brother told me my ass had cellulite. I remember my mom's diet books. I remember always feeling like I was bigger. That's why I had to be funny. That's why I had to be the class clown. That's why I had to be the people pleaser.
Somethings never change.
And now when I see really obese (and I am talking obese) children (and by children I mean those too young to drive themselves to fast food), I look at the parents and think "What the hell dude"?
At some point, parents enable their kids right? And Lord I can only imagine how hard it is to create a healthy environment when you have a husband, work, kids, soccer practice, work, and a million other stressors. Healthy eating takes time and it comparatively more expensive then unhealthy eating.
So, I look back at my childhood and try to figure out how I went from an average kid to an overweight tween. Our house wasn't stocked with loads of crap. In fact, I always wanted my mom to buy more crap. We never had sugary cereal for example...just things like Rice Chex, Rice Krispies, etc. We were from the midwest though, so our meals were very red meat and potatoes. My mom ate salads, but she didn't (and still doesnt) cook with fresh veggies, spices, flavor etc.
This has been one of my joys after getting banded and finding a better way to eat. There are so many things out there that I had never tried. We never had the "healthy" choices growing up.
My mom was never skinny when I was growing up, but she was never fat. I don't remember who being negative about her body in front of me. I don't really remember her going on diets. She never called me fat, never made me feel fat. My parents always loved me for who I was. In all honesty, if they had pushed me...it probably would have been worse. You should also know that I am third, the youngest, and the best child. lol...this makes a difference because my sister, at 16 years my senior, had very different parents. They were young. My mom was skinny. And according to my sister...always on her about her weight or dieting. By the time I came along, my parents were in their late 30's and we are all a little wiser in our 30's right?
One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me growing up was the gift of "doing". I was always doing something. Playing outside, swimming, skiing, softball, basketball, dance, gymnastics. And for the most part (maybe minus softball and basketball...see...goes to prove I may never earn my lesbian membership card) I loved all of those activities. So even though I might sneak the occasional twinkie or cheese slice...I was active.
So, I guess I really started packing on the weight when I started to make my own money (around 14), and when I could drive (around the same time). I would buy food. I would buy lots of food.
Somethings never change.
So I guess what I am saying is, I didn't need my mom to tell me or make me feel like less of a person...she never did...but I felt that way anyways. I didn't need my mom to feed me bad foods. I found them on my own.
With that said, things are even harder for our girls now. When I was little, sure...I remember wanting to grow up and look like certain movie stars (basically I just wanted to BE a movie star), but I don't remember being inundated with the unrealistic ideas of beauty like kids are today. And little kids are smart. This is Sissy. My brother's girlfriends daughter. I love her like peas love carrots. She is a princess. She could be mine.
She is healthy. She is by no means fat. She is 5 years old. But she will stand in front of a mirror in bikini and pinch her "fat" and say she needs to go on a diet. You know why? Because she has seen her mommy do it. And her mom probably never thought about Sissy watching her. But they watch don't they? And they want to be like us. Or NOT be like us.
So what is the answer? Who knows. If I ever have a little girl, I would want her to know that she is beautiful. I would want her to know that being healthy is important. And health is not synonymous with being skinny. I would want her to find activities that make her happy. I would strive to put and offer healthy choices on the table. I would teach her how to cook. How to enjoy food. I would try not to have junk easily accessible, but teach her that once in awhile...a little junk ain't so bad. I would move my body with her. Go for walks. Go to Zumba. Dance in the living room. I would let her see that I am comfortable in my own skin...even though my own skin is saggy and damaged. I would let her see that no matter what, no matter what size your jeans are or how many stretch marks you have...she can LIVE. You can have friends, be a cheerleader if she wants, dance, laugh, date. She can hold her head high and love herself. That's my hope for when and if I have a youngin. I would just do the best that I could do. And I would love and support the hell out of them.
Holy barbecue smokies...I did ramble didn't I?
Again, the only thing I know for sure is that if I did have a daughter she would probably be an attention whore, talk too much, and not know when to keep her mouth shut. Those are the issues that I would clearly pass on.
But I would just whisper to her "It's okay pookie...one day you can channel all of that nonsense into a blog...and people might actually enjoy it"!