I've been a part of many conversations bashing the media and Hollywood in particular for the skinny-obsession, and I've stood in a different light in lots of these. Sometimes, I feel like it's our job as individuals and as parents to remind ourselves and teach our children about the importance of healthy eating, exercise and body image. Sometimes, I want to karate chop the media and the fashion world for creating this skin-n-bones monster in the first place, but then I glance at my workout playlist on my iPhone and remember it's called "Get Skinny".
Yup. It's a thing. I dread standing on the scale at work, and yet it's become a compulsion because I'm feeding the monster (no pun intended...) that I hate.
|"Please be less than..."|
And I remember dancing around in the Gap fitting room because the 00 pants fit me, or the times I've skipped a meal (or several) because I felt fat.
I remember the times I've eaten something and felt guilty. I remember the time I let the word "fat" fly out of my mouth like a derogatory word, because although I'm an advocate of loving your body, I'm terrified of gaining an ounce.
I am the problem. I'm a part of it.
Fat is another four letter word to me, and it's one that I wish I could help my toddler unlearn. Because, like his Mommy accidentally taught him, F uses FAT to describe things he doesn't like because he's 3 and it makes perfect sense to him, just like I would use gross, ugly or smelly to describe something I'm not really feelin'.
But then, I remember the time that F asked me if he was fat, because he learned it from me.
So, we can sit around and bitch at the media and build a cross to crucify the media, and then force-feed a bunch of stick-thin models and actresses a bunch of cheeseburgers but that's not the fix. I love my Mom, and she's a wonderful friend and mother and role model, but she's also where I learned to stand in the mirror and say "I look fat". The world isn't always going to be what we like. We can't control every message out there, but we can control our own. It's time I change my message.
I caught myself in the nick of time tonight.
"What are you doing?" F asked as I set up my Wii Zumba, strapping on my belt and stretching a bit. When I told him I was exercising he asked why... and do you know what I started to say? So I won't be fat. I'm glad I caught myself, because that's not why I should be exercising, and that's not what I want my amazing 3 year old to hear.
"So I can be strong and healthy."
Because that is the type of child I want to raise.