Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Mommy, someone at school said I was fat."

I had children later than many women do.  When my oldest daughter was born, I was 29.  My husband and I had been married for nearly six years and before getting pregnant with her, we had tried for a LONG time.  When Lilly came into our lives she filled us with such light and love.  We were so completely amazed that we had a part in creating such a miracle. And then, nearly four years later when Lenna joined (and completed) our family, we were again in awe of how blessed we were.  Our girls mean everything to us. 

I have written before about how paranoid I am about passing my food issues to my daughters.  I just can't bear the thought of either of them going through the humiliation that I did in school, or feeling the social awkwardness that often comes with being overweight.  I'm afraid to have them on the outside looking in at life like I was for many years.

Lilly, who is just in Kindergarten, came to me and said, "Mommy, someone at school said I was fat."  In that one instant, when she was looking to me for guidance, I froze.  I thought - how the hell can this be starting?

You must understand, neither of my girls are even a little overweight.  Both are near the 50th percentile for weight in their age groups, which means they are "average."  Lilly is an extremely active girl (as is Lenna - what two year old isn't?).  There is nothing about Lilly that is fat.

So, I sat with her.  I explained what "overweight/fat" means.  I finally addressed my weight loss journey with her.  I told her how I had gotten this way and what I was doing to address the  problem.  I also explained to her (come to find out, the child who said this to her is a much smaller first grader) that sometimes people just say things to be mean because they are scared or feel insecure about themselves.  Sometimes, though it really stinks, people are just mean.  She is a very perceptive child, and she understands much more than a typical 6 year old child does.  She told me she's proud of me.  God, I love those girls.


  1. My brother got bullied at preschool several years ago, teased because he didn't have a dad. (My father is not my brother's father.) He came home sobbing and asked my dad if he would be his dad so the kids would be nice to him. Completely heartbreaking. I worry a lot about the world my kids will grow up in - it's hard enough to be a grownup here, but when it starts as early as elementary school?

  2. Hi Colleen, how sad that you had to have this conversation with your daughter at SUCH a young age. (it just "shouldn't" be an issue for those so young!) Your two girls are very very lucky to have such great role model for a mom! Have a good weekend.


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