Beauty comes in all sizes. Real women have curves. Don’t weight your self-esteem. Wide Pride. Fat and Sassy. I have heard them all.
I am an overweight mom. There, I said it.
Anyone who can see me can know this but we don’t acknowledge it. Now it’s out of the way. I am not using these slogans to justify it. I am not saying these are right or wrong or that thin women are not real women. I am only saying, mind your own beeswax.
I have struggled with weight my entire life. I have laughed and cried over it, often in the same conversation. I have lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of weight and over the years alternated between balancing my self-worth on who I am versus what I look like. I’m not proud of that but it’s true. Who isn’t that true for? I am also a mom who is trying very hard to help teach her daughter to be kinder to herself; to have self-esteem no matter what; to be proud of who she is; to be confident in her intelligence and bravery and kindness. That size doesn’t matter except in your own health and that she is loved. Always.
My daughter is not overweight, not even close. She is tall and absolutely proportionate. She is healthy in every aspect. But who’s to say things will always be that way? Who knows if a 10 pound weight gain will put doubts in her mind and chips in her self-esteem armor? I pray it won’t. I pray my actions and words today will build a woman who is healthy in every sense of the word.
I watch everyone around her like a hawk and listen to what they say to her. I do my best ensure NO ONE gives her any doubt about her body or her intelligence or anything else. She’ll get enough of that in school and in life.
I get up and work out at 5am while my daughter is still sleeping. I do that because if left to the end of the day, it simply won’t happen. However, I also talk about my workout, have shown her my gym, and sometimes on the weekends let my daughter work out with me so she knows exercise is just what we do. Sometimes she joins in with her own moves, sometimes she gets bored and plays. I have taken her on 5K races in her stroller and let her win my medal.
I take her to gymnastics every week and soon to be swimming lessons so she gets her own fun physical activity too. Often we replace boring exercise with walks to the park, where we run and play and sweat and get out of breath.
I make sure there are balanced meals that include lots of fruits and veggies and milk. Sometimes it’s chocolate, but it’s still milk. We try everything, even just a bite before resorting to the standby chicken nugget dinner. I am frequently shocked at what a 2 year old will eat if you can get them to take a bite.
I am trying to instill healthy habits and exercise as part of our every day. I am trying not to put so much focus on what we eat or how we exercise that we swing the pendulum in the opposite direction and obsess over it. Sure, there are days we splurge on our food. There are days I say, “No way, too tired!” on exercise. I let her see that too because it’s life. But, if I can make some small difference now on how she develops her sense of self; how she develops an appreciation of herself; how she sees value in herself; before she even realizes it, then maybe we can also slow down the development of that little doubting voice that nags so many of us. If we are really lucky, maybe we can crush that bugger completely!