Tag Archives: body image

When is the Right Time to Speak up as a Parent?

My daughter is only 3, but I’m already worried about body image issues. I’m sure I think about it so much because it’s something I’ve had issue with my entire life, and it starts young. My Grandfather was never one to mince words made a point of telling me when he thought I was getting fat – I think I was maybe 8 years old? Even my mom made comments a few times about my size in my preteen years, when I no longer spent all day outside riding bikes with friends, and started spending more time on the couch in front of the TV. Maybe she had a point, but how about asking me to go for a walk or a bike ride instead? I think a lot about my daughter’s level of activity and hopes to have her involved in active programs that she enjoys. My husband and I both work out and hopefully provide good examples of being active and moderately healthy. But I never gave much thought to other outside examples.

Last week, we took our daughter to tour her new daycare. She’ll be moving there because the same building will be her home school and it just makes sense to get her comfortable ahead of time. Anyway, we saw the room they play in and met the teachers, then went outside with her soon-to-be classmates for playtime. While out there, once of the teachers who we just met and will figure prominently in my daughter’s day was commenting on the kids and looking at them with proud, happy eyes (which I appreciated). She started to speak about one little girl in particular and referred to her as, “my little chubby chub.” And I was like – what did she just say? I knew I heard right, when I looked at my husband and his reaction mirrored my own.

To be fair, she didn’t mean it maliciously, in fact it came out as a term of endearment if anything. There was a cultural difference, so I wonder if this teacher just straight up doesn’t know that’s not something to say about a kid’s body? And not the point, I know – but this kid wasn’t even chubby! I was taken aback and didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything. This was a person I’d just met and didn’t feel like I knew her well enough to comment. If this were my old daycare, I would have sent an email to the person who runs it and asked about it. But alas, this new place doesn’t have e-mail (it’s 2016, people!)

So if I want to bring it up, I have to do it over the phone or face to face – and it was almost a week ago, is it too late to be bringing it up now? Am I overreacting by wanting to say something? Usually I try to not to be a hyper-reactive parent, but when I think about kids hearing a nickname like that, my heart breaks for the kid and I worry that my kid will think it’s ok to say. I definitely don’t want that. Should I say something? Or wait and see if I hear it again? Fellow parents, what would you do?

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Weighed Down by Weight

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I put a weird pressure on myself in regards to my weight. I’m not sure where it comes from. I was overweight all through my teens, so probably because of that. Those formative years! I go to the gym 4 days a week and do hot yoga on Sunday’s. If something happens that messes with that routine I get frustrated. If I miss a day (which I haven’t in a long time) I feel like I’ve failed in some way.

I’ve done Weight Watchers a few times and it works, but it can take a while. I grew up eating a lot of junk food with less and less physical activity as I got older. It wasn’t until my mid-20’s when I had some success with weight loss. I lost 45lbs and was SO happy. But after a few years the pounds started to creep on again. I went back on Weight Watchers, lost it all again and promptly got pregnant. After I had my daughter, I lost the 40lbs I’d gained and again, was pleased. It took about a year and a half so I was really pleased. This brings us to last fall, I had put 15 lbs back on. Annoying as fuck. I resumed Weight Watchers and a more vigorous gym schedule.

But after 5 months I’ve only lost 8lbs. I’ve hit a plateau I can’t get out of. I don’t measure inches lost only pounds, maybe that’s the problem. I do feel like I’ve been gaining some muscle and I can see it in certain places. But I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid to stop weighing every week and gain more weight, but alternatively, do I travel my weight forever? I weigh myself often, and I try not to do it in front of my daughter. I think about how to approach the subject of weight when she’s older. I want her to be happy and healthy, and I hope with two physically active parents she’ll want to be active and/or involved in sports as well. I just want her to be happy.

I try to ask myself what, at this point in time, would make me happy with my body and I don’t know. I’m active and reasonably healthy. Is that the benchmark? How much food do I want to cut to lose the last 7 pounds and quite possibly feel miserable? Do I judge based on how my pants fit? The weight has been taking longer to lose and I’ve been gaining much faster as I age. I can’t seem to kick these last few pounds, but I admit I haven’t been trying as hard as I’ve previously done. Since Weight Watchers changed their program back in December I don’t feel as invested in it as I once did. But, it’s the only program I’ve ever done and it’s worked for me numerous times. But do I keep weight watching for the rest of my life? I don’t know how to leave behind a program and not gain weight. I’m stuck in a weird holding pattern but I’m not sure how to move forward. I just know that if I get on the scale and the number has gone up I feel awful. Maybe I’ll embrace the weight when I’m 80. 🙂

 

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