I’ve always been painfully aware of how much I weighed. My sister and brother were always thin, no matter what they ate they didn’t gain a pound. But then there was me, who could look at food and gain 5lbs. I remember being compared to my sister a lot, “Well Rebecca doesn’t gain weight, so why do you?” or “She’s just more involved in sports.” which wasn’t true, we played the same sports, there may have been one year where she did dance when I didn’t. “She’s just always active, Cherise, maybe if you were more active you would lose weight too. You’re nowhere near as active as her.” now as a teenager in high school I was 5’6 and 135lbs. I was not fat. I was a size 6, but that wasn’t good enough. Because I wasn’t thin enough. I could be “doing something more.” I was never going to reach that point of perfection because I was not built like my siblings (who in high school wore a 00 or 0). I always felt like “Why was I the one who was cursed? Why don’t I have the fast metabolism who could eat carbs all day long?”
“Cherise, you’re just lazy, that’s all there is to it. Stop being lazy and you’d start losing weight.” These are the things I’ve heard since I was 11. I cannot leave my house without thinking about how much I weigh, what size clothes I wear and if people are staring at me thinking I’m a super lazy person who does nothing. I wonder if people think that I am capable of doing anything or if they look at me and think “you shouldn’t even try pulling that outfit off… you are way too fat to wear something fashionable.” or “you must be a terrible mom because you’re overweight. You can’t even care for yourself how can you care for a child?”
As a 26 year old married woman, I have realized that I have put my entire self value in how much I weigh. Asking my husband “Do you think I look good? Am I embarrassing you if I go out with you?” I have realized that I am portraying this to my 4 year old daughter, who now asks, “I’m skinny, right?” and I realized that I can’t keep thinking this way. I am teaching her that her self worth is based entirely on if she is fat or thin and that’s just not right. Every day I have to look in the mirror and say “I am worth more than my weight.” I have to force myself to find something I like about myself and repeat it, over and over throughout the day. I have to make a conscious effort to not discuss weight around my 4 year old daughter. She should be concerned with playing with dolls, running outside, laughing and having fun, not with if she’s good enough because she’s skinny enough.
Your worth isn’t measured in weight. You are not lesser of a person because you weigh more, you are not a better person because you weigh less. It’s time we raised our children to be good human beings, kind, considerate and loving. Not children who grow up thinking their value is in how much they weigh and what size jeans they can fit into. We are our children’s role models, they see how we live and will receive thinking how we teach them. Make a pact not to discuss your weight around your children, love yourself as you are. There’s a lot more to life than how much you weigh.
My new rule is that NO ONE is allowed to discuss weight around my daughter. No one is allowed to say they are fat around her. No one is allowed to say “You are so skinny! I wish I could be like you!” because value is in more than what you weigh.
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