I am recording this so I can look back at it. It’s the bad kind of inspiration – the humiliation and misery you can get for being overweight. This is not a post on how it isn’t fair that we treat fat people differently, or pondering why our culture views “fat” so negatively, or any of that – although I could post about any or those. No, this is just an observation.
My daughter is almost seven – old enough to not only know that I am fat, but also to be aware that other people know I am fat. (This, by the way, was what I did not want to have happen. My plan was to be thin (or at least thinner) by the time she was three, so that she would never know any pain or humiliation from having a less-than-perfect on the outside mama. Now I have another whole kid, and he is also three. So that’s inspiration right there, folks.)
Anyway, apparently there is one boy in her class (who has etablished his meanness in other ways), who teased her the first day I came in the classroom because “your mom is FAT!” My daughter told me about this on the way to school last week, when we were talking about “determination.”
We were giving examples of “determination.” I said that this year, I am determined to be thinner.
She: “Yes! That’s a good example! Because last year you had that goal and well…. You are not… well, you are thinner than you were! [I’m not, not really] But not quite at your goal.” [Don’t you love her? Such unqualified support and belief in me!]
Me: “Well, I did reach last year’s goal, which was to be thinner at the end of the year than the beginning. And I am just going to keep on being thinner every year until I am the size I want to be!”
She: “That would be so cool, mommy! And then [boy] won’t be able to … well… one time he called you fat when you came in our class. AND I WAS REALLY UPSET and I told him that he might not know it but there are good things about having a mom that is more.. that is kind of… that is…”
She: “Um yeah, I mean, for example, you are really soft and cuddly to hug and I don’t want you to not be soft and cuddly!!”
Me: “No worries, sweetie, I will not be so thin that I won’t be soft.”
She: “Yes, OK, you can get smaller then. Because I was really sad when he was mean to you. And it felt like he was being mean to me, too.”
The kicker was the way her little voice quivered when she said she was really upset. I know firsthand how torn up you feel when you think you have the best mom in the world and yet you know people will make fun of her because she’s fat, at least until they get to know her. I really don’t want to do that to my kids. And make no mistake, it would be ME doing it to them, not the mean kids. Because I can’t do anything about mean kids. But this body stuff? I got this. This is ALL ME.