I’m Not Fat, I’m Just Bloated
Susan asked: “Girls, body image, and (over)weight. Can you speak to that? (I am not talking about being skinny minnies, although that is certainly a serious problem as well.)”
Lee says: Our daughters are definitely not immune to the societal obsession with weight and looks. Our focus on the superficial has taken a turn from being health conscious to being perfect. As we know cognitively, perfection is impossible however emotionally we all strive for some sort of perfection. The physical perfection is trying to fit some sort of mold that was created by some warped individual. When we were growing up, the ideal was to 36, 24, 36. That was considered a “10”! Today, that woman would be a cow and told to get lipo, boobies and wear Spanx!
I’m a big girl. I have been all my life and, even though I have been releasing weight (I don’t use the word lose because it puts me in a scarcity spiral and makes me want to keep what I’m losing. Stop shaking your head, it works for me), I will always retain my Latina ass. It’s remarkable and keeps my husband quite happy. I understand the stigma that the extra weight places on our kids and it saddens me when a beautiful girl is overweight since I know the crap she will go through. People are cruel; there is no getting around that.
I know my weight issues are exacerbated by the fact that I use food to soothe me when stressed. I have worked on these issues in therapy throughout the years. A lot of my unhealthy eating behavior stems from inconsistent parents who would bitch if I didn’t eat and would freak if I did. There was no pleasing them so I ate secretly. These harmful habits have carried over into my adulthood and voila, chunky woman. I have become more conscious of my eating and really watch what I do, not to be skinny but to be healthy.
Moms and Dads are responsible for teaching their children that the inside is more important than the outside. We also should be teaching them to honor their bodies not only with the food they put into it but also who we allow to touch it and how. Most religions teach that our bodies are temples and are sacred. And yet we treat them like piñatas at 4 year olds birthday party; filled full of crap and ready for the whacking.
It should behoove every parent to be consistent and loving to their children. We should be modeling healthy behavior not only in eating but in lifestyle and the way we love and relate to others. They watch to see if you share your feelings and are willing to work on your issues in a healthy manner. Our kids look up to us, which is a horrifying thought. They will repeat our mistakes which include how we deal with stress. So put down the cookie dough and chocolate sauce and reach for the carrots and call your therapist when you’re stressed. If you’re like me, you want your kids to live a long and healthy life being happy with who they are and how they look. If that look has some extra junk in the trunk, then amen.
Paul says: I love my rubenesque wifey and her Latina ass. But, as I write this, I realize that that is the same stupid thinking, just with a higher lipid content. I wonder if, in some alternate universe where men like chubby women, females are gorging themselves for beauty and getting fat pumped into their hips.