I’ve been doing a lot of reading online* as well as thinking a lot about my post yesterday, and what I said about obese people feeling good about themselves and believing that they’re healthy and don’t think they need to lose weight.
A friend emailed me, instead of commenting which further made me think. They’re an advocate of being big as long as you feel good about yourself. And as long as your healthy, they added.
My reply, and I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this, was, “Just look at my sister, who’s lost 70lbs and has gone from xxx down to xxx. You could never ever ever convince her today that she was healthy when she was at her heaviest. But tell her that a year ago? Yeah, she’d want to believe you because it made her feel better.”
I’ve been thinking about what I’ll do if some day, Clara is one of those girls with a big mid-section and wants to leave the house in tiny tops and pants that are too small. Would I really tell her that she’s too big to dress like that, that she doesn’t look good, that what she has isn’t what most people want to see? Could I so obviously and cruelly hurt her that way?
Of course not.
I have no idea what I’d say to her in that situation or how I’d handle that scenario. My only solution is to avoid it all together, to instill in her good, healthy eating habits, to teach her the importance of a healthy active life style. One of the reasons we go to the gym five mornings a week is so that Clara will grow up knowing that daily activity, daily exercise is essential to daily living. It’s not optional.
The other day, I was at a birthday party and a guy that I’m friends with on Facebook commented on how I was letting Clara eat from the bowls on the table -chocolate covered raisins and party mix. I responded that she doesn’t get that sort of thing all the time, and a party, at least to me, was a special occasion and warranted the treats. This surprised him, mostly because he thought, based on the photos I posted on Facebook that I was very strict about the food we eat at home. I laughed and admitted that I mostly only posted the good stuff, the healthy stuff I wanted people to see. He challenged me to post photos of the next crappy thing I ate and I hesitantly agreed that I would.
I’m not sure why I responded the way that I did, why I took away the credit that he was giving me for eating healthy wholesome foods. We occasionally do eat crappy food at home, but mostly in the form of snacks that are junk food and those, for the most part, are after Clara goes to bed. And they’re not often. But our meals? For the most part, they’re well thought out meals (I list our daily dinner menu on the fridge a week at a time) and a lot of time, the ingredients I use are either not processed (ie I make my own sauces) or it’s mostly organic.
It takes a lotof effort to eat well and a lot of effort to exercise daily. But it’s worth it to me, to ensure that Clara grows up as healthy as we can control and that she has healthy, active parents as her role models.
*Things I read today to help me validate yesterday’s post:
“Anamarie Martinez-Regino, who is 120 pounds and 3 1/2 feet tall, was taken from her parents and put in state custody Aug. 25.
Doctors said Anamarie “will surely die” unless she uses a breathing machine when she sleeps, follows a special diet and exercises more — “something which the parents have not been able or willing to do,” a state court affidavit said.”
(She was 3 years old at the time).
“Childhood obesity, nonetheless, has become an alarming problem. Although most of the two million extremely obese children in the U.S. do not have life-threatening conditions, Dr. Ludwig told the AP some are in danger of dying by the age of 30 due to obesity-related health issues.
In one case, he said, a young girl who attended his clinic developed diabetes, cholesterol problems, high blood pressure and sleep apnea by the age of 12, and weighed 400 pounds. Her parents, who had little money and physical disabilities, were unable to control her weight.”
“I don’t miss thinking, “Someday they’ll see. I’m better than they know. One day…”
I don’t miss my stomach calling my brain to tell her I’d eaten enough and I just couldn’t (couldn’t!) eat another bite. She never answered.
I don’t miss the staring.
I don’t miss loading a gun with ‘fat’ and ‘pig’ and ‘whale’ and handing it to others to pull the trigger. They never heard mercy.
I don’t miss the excuses and the regrets and the feeling like I’d wasted precious years.
I don’t miss the tears.”
(Read all three parts).
and, also by the same author:
“I’ve never considered myself to be pretty. I’m not sure that I would go as far as to say I was unattractive, but I just wouldn’t call myself pretty. Beauty queens are pretty. Cheerleaders are pretty. I was the awkward, chubby girl.”
And from my own blog, last year:
“What happened to the girl that rode the train in her short plaid skirts, knee high boots, curly (red!) hair swept up in a messy updo?
She stopped caring. And got fat.”