Am I Fat?

Am I fat?

Does my butt look big in these jeans?

How do YOU think I look?

I’ve been thinking about these types of questions a lot as I raise my two daughters. They are only 7 and 5 but I am still conscious of the messages they may be receiving from media, but most importantly, from me.

Recently, my 7 year old decided to put 5 different pony tails in her hair. She asked me if I thought her friends would laugh at her. I told her that one friend may think she looked silly, another friend would think she looked beautiful and yet another friend wouldn’t even notice her hair at all but instead comment on her shirt. I told her she needed to focus on how she felt about her hair and not what others thought.

Hell, I know that is easier said than done but I’m trying to get my girls to have self confidence and not judge themselves based on what others say or how they think others perceive them.

A recent study done by Ohio State University showed that women think they are fat because they think their friends think they are fat. They are not going by measurable standards, ie, BMI. “The most powerful influence on women’s appreciation of their bodies is how they believe important others view them.”

So, even if a woman is measurably overweight, if she felt her peers accepted her and didn’t judge her appearance, she felt good about herself. The study went on to find that half of women appreciate their bodies.

I suppose the other half may have friends who are dying from cancer, who have died from cancer or who are experiencing any number of life experiences that are showing them what really matters. Stop thinking about your freaking weight. If you aren’t happy with your weight or your body, then do something about it. Start walking, eat less, take a Zumba class, call a friend, do something, anything. You know what to do so just do it.

Whenever I catch myself hating my thighs (which is rare, honestly) or whatever I may be beating myself up for, I think of my friend Michele who would probably do anything to be in my shoes. Instead, she passed away and had to leave her 6 year old daughter.

Stop your bitching and moaning and please, please, appreciate your health, your life, whatever you have to be grateful for in your life at this moment. And if you aren’t happy with something, then do something about it. Don’t ask your friends for their opinions. Listen to your gut and your heart. And, most of all, love yourself.

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4 thoughts on “Am I Fat?

  1. I love your answer to your daughter. Considering I dress my 2 year old the way I *wish* I had the guts to dress, I hope to have my wits about me enough to respond in kind. Thanks for this.

  2. Hi Mutterschwester! Thank you so much for reading my post and for taking the time to respond to it. I am doing my best to raise my daughters with the awareness to focus on what they think and how they feel rather than focusing on outside forces. It ain’t easy! Enjoy your two year old. Fun times, huh?

  3. Great response Judie! I feel the same way. My daughter dresses for herself. She’ll ask my opinion, and unless she’s really exposing too much, I let her go. She mixes and matches — and shows her individuality and her sheer joy of being alive through those outfits and hairstyles.

    I think we should all try to make the best of what we’ve got. Just because you are overweight doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to look your best. It makes you feel better and makes everyone else feel better about you, too. It’s hard to just get up and make huge life changes, but when the time is right, everything does eventually click. I’m becoming more convinced with age, that a willingness to explore and keep an open mind (despite how difficult that might be) gives you the best chance at being your best. Stagnation is a death trap for everyone.

    Our family is working on eating better and exercising more and reading more TOGETHER. We all know that less tv and games and junk food will make us sluggish and stupid. Who wants to live like that?

  4. Wendy, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for commenting. I am very thankful that my husband loves sports and he encourages our daughters to get physical. When I speak to my daughters about exercise, I tell them how strong I feel and how much better my days go when I work out. I think it’s working because I’ve been a bit, hmm, cranky this week and my youngest said “Mommy, I think you need to do some yoga.”

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