Sunday, August 8, 2010

Growing Up Fat

I wasn't always this big, obviously. My family didn't always have the healthiest attitude toward food. There is photographic evidence (somewhere) that as a child of about 5, I actually had skinny (?!?) knees. I was the little girl with long blond hair, usually put up in braids, with skinny little knees.

For as much as I can tell, my weight must have started rising somewhere in the neighborhood of first least that's when I became conscious of it. And then there is the episode in 5th grade where, when standing in line to go to somewhere other than our classroom, Todd Allen started teasing me that I was "as big as a whale" and the girl behind me was "as small as a snail." A stupid comment by a kid who just wanted to make someone else feel horrible about themselves and it worked. I rarely went out on the playground the rest of that year, in fear that I'd get teased more. That is the year that I started keeping to myself more. The year I started pretending that being teased didn't bother me.

And honestly, looking back at photos of myself, I was probably bigger for my age, but I wasn't an obese child or anything. I am not blaming my parents in any way, but I never once remember limits being put on food as a child. I don't remember them telling me I couldn't have candy any time I wanted it or that I should slow down on desserts. My father was the "Grease King" and LOVED cooking with bacon great (not just cooking with it - but sopping it up with bread for a snack).

When I was little, my mother was mildly overweight, but my father never was. My husband isn't even a little over weight and my daughters are too young to really understand "fat." They just love me for who I am. They're not old enough to be embarrassed by me yet. It's important to me to be a good example to my daughters. I don't want them to ever have the fears and lack of self-confidence that I've had.

So really, yeah - this journey is for me. But in a big way it's for them too.

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