Little Belly

11 12 2007

It has been one of my greatest desires that my girls don’t have a childhood like mine: that of the fat kid. While the rest of the nation is quickly becoming fat, and doesn’t know what to do about it, I will do what I can to help my girls not achieve this milestone. As a part of the generation who grew up thin, I always resented the fat part of my childhood. I wanted to do so many things, but my weight always felt like it was holding me back. By the time high school came around, I had accepted it, and tried to achieve more with my mind than I thought was possible with my body. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was able to break free of the endless cycle of fat. Even now, as I feel as unfit as I was when I first started, I haven’t gained a whole lot of weight because I know when to stop eating…for the most part.

As Eliana has grown over the past few years, we have made a concentrated effort to keep her from a fat childhood. The war is unending, and we have lost a few battles. The time we caught her sneaking to the bathroom to eat something was pretty bad. She has always been praised as a “good eater” at a time when every other kid in daycare was so picky. That is our “fat gene” taking control. As Eliana has grown to understand us and communicate with us, we have told her that we want her to have a small belly. We, have rethought this strategy many times as it can probably lead to some kind of mental confusion in the future. I don’t want that to happen either. But since we have no way to control her eating other than taking away food, we have little choice.

Today, while eating dinner, she actually slowed a little, and said, “I’m done”. Usually she cleans her plate. Sometimes she does this to get some dessert, or will sneak in a snack later. We’re wise to her games. But this time, she told us “I don’t want to have a big belly. I want a little belly so I can wear the pretty dresses”. I’m not sure what to make of this statement. On one hand, our message is getting through to her. On the other hand, she may well be on the road to anorexia so that she can fit into size 0 clothes. I obviously don’t want that to happen, so while I am glad she understands there is a good reason to not eat everything in sight, this should still be reinforced with positive messages like “you’re beautiful no matter how big you are”.

Personally, I want her to be a normal weight so she can just enjoy all the normal activities kids do. That’s all I wanted as a kid.

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