Watching My Weight and My Words

August 11, 2009 at 8:56 pm 5 comments

281273846_497a9c7c9eOne of the first blog posts I ever read was about not passing down bad body image habits to our daughters. I had never thought about this. Did I have a bad body image? I wish I could find that post, but alas, it has been so long I can’t remember which of the 40+ blogs I have in my RSS feed it came from. But, the message has stuck with me: the words we use about ourselves can shape the way our daughters think about themselves. I was glad I was reading that while Reagan was still a baby because I decided then and there to be as conscious of using certain weight words as I was of using curse words.

Well, of course I’ve slipped already! In the rush to get dressed for church one Sunday I became frustrated with the fact that none of my pants fit me and as Reagan stared up at me I blurted out, “Mommy is just TOO FAT, Reagan!” As soon as I said it, I remembered that post and wanted to erase that comment from the still mostly blank chalkboard of her mind. I didn’t want her to learn that a few extra pounds = fat, and that you should let your closet dictate the way you feel about yourself. Why did it take having my mini-me standing there to realize that was what I was doing to myself?

It has become habit to talk to myself that way when I get to the outer limits of a weight cycle that can vary between seven different sizes. I have as many sizes of jeans in my drawer as Old Navy has on their shelves. All necessary. Because, since my mid-thirties, my weight has been as erratic as fuel prices. During stressful times, I will drop five to six pant sizes in two months. I barely ate while Danny was in the hospital and getting chemotherapy. You would’ve thought I was getting chemo as well. I had to buy new clothes that summer because all the clothes I had were falling off me. But, as soon as things go back to normal, I can quickly reach the double-digit numbers in my drawers. Pun intended.

It takes me reaching the boundaries of my closet to get myself to the gym, because Lord knows, I am too cheap, and too vain to go buy another size up! So, now the example I am setting for my daughter is to make time for exercise.  I’m three weeks into a new weekly gym regimen and feeling pretty good. Inside and out. The hardest part of going now, is seeing my daughter, in just a diaper and t-shirt, put her shoes on (always on the wrong feet), grab her pink, satin Dora the Explorer purse and run to the door behind me shouting, “playground, playground!” thinking I’m going without her. It breaks my heart! It also reminds me that there once was a day when I thought running, jumping and getting thoroughly hot and sweaty meant a great day on the playground. If only I could make believe that I’m five-years-old again and step class is the new hopscotch…

Do you think there are ways that you may be influencing your daughter or son’s self-image when it comes to weight?

Photo by mrjorgen

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Entry filed under: Fitness, Raising Reagan. Tags: , , , , , .

Life is a Roller-Coaster, Enjoy the Ride! Nancy Reagan Can Be Proud

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melissa Taylor  |  August 11, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Church seems to bring out my fat moments as well. What’s up with that. (Blog post idea? Hmmm) I can totally relate and have a ton of reasons why this year I’ve gained weight yet I’m now at the turning point of disgust. I’m following you, sister. Next week, back to school and back to workout/diet schedule. You go, girl!

    Melissa

    Reply
    • 2. Mama Bird  |  August 12, 2009 at 11:12 am

      Hurray! Glad you’re going to be able to make time for yourself – we all need it!

      Reply
  • 3. Lori in Denver  |  August 12, 2009 at 9:35 am

    This is something I am aware of, too.

    I think I do a pretty good job of not hating my body (because I don’t) but i also would like to model LOVING my body, warts and all (really I don’t have any warts).

    THAT’s where I fall short. In speaking about my body with love.

    Reply
    • 4. Mama Bird  |  August 12, 2009 at 11:11 am

      Ah, yes, Lori. I forgot about the modeling part. Probably because I don’t do it either!

      Reply
  • 5. Alisa  |  August 14, 2009 at 9:12 am

    This is such an important topic to inform women about, allow them to discuss, and hopefully take action to change.

    I had peers in junior high an high school whose moms put pressure on them to be thin so they could look a certain way in cheerleading, dance recitals, andwater ski shows. Makes me mad.

    I also know a teacher who works at an upper-scale school district who confirms several high school girls are having plastic surgery and breast implants, almost like it’s as commonplace as getting braces or dying one’s hair! So sad.

    When will the madness end??

    Thank you for your blog post, Chris. I believe it starts with us. But it doesn’t end there. We also need to stop allowing ourselves to view certain advertisements we as well. Don’t even get me started on Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie!! Disgusting.

    A gentleman I know put it this way: “If I won’t allow naked people into my home in the flesh, why would I allow them through my television or magazines?” I think that’s a VERY good point.

    Reply

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