Monday, October 6, 2014

Mama is just fat

Sometimes it just takes a simple conversation to change your life. At least for me it did. After years of struggling with my weight and trying to muster up the energy and self-esteem to become healthy, a simple conversation between my kids and their cousin changed my life.

It all started during pajama time. I asked my kids and their 5 year old cousin to get ready for bed. We were spending the weekend at our camper which has as much privacy as a stage at the Ziggo dome. I tried to do the old slip my shirt off under my nightgown trick while the kids had their backs turned. 

I guess not only parents have eyes in the back of their heads. Soon the conversation between the three turned from who was getting dressed faster to a convo about my body. And this is how it went:

Cousin: Charly, when is your mama's baby coming out?
Charly: No cousin, mama doesn't have a baby, she is just fat. She eats ALOT.
Luca: But mama is sporting now, she is doing yoga.

Ouch. Ouch for several reasons: my daughter sees me as fat and my son is taking up for me. I wanted to cry. I wanted roll up into my giant fat rolls and roll away. I was ashamed I didn't take better care of myself and I was ashamed my kids had these feelings. 

I think what upset me the most was that my son felt like he had to take up for me. He shouldn't have to take up for me, that was my job. At that moment, I think he felt the burden of my weight. He is only six years old, he should be worrying about his Lego Ninja warriors, not his mama.

This broke my heart. And I realized I needed to lift this burden from his shoulders. I want my kids to be proud of me.

After crying inside, I realized I wasn't proud of myself. I wasn't taking care of myself properly. I was just surviving. I was just trying to make it through a day without falling over on my face. It's not easy being a mother.

But that is no excuse, there are millions of healthy mothers. I want to set a good example for them and I realized I wasn't doing enough. My kids are my mirror and that conversation made me look into the mirror and see a unhealthy, tired mother. Not the mother I wanted to be. I don't want to be some skinny supermodel, or even skinny at all. Its much deeper.

Matter of fact, I have made it a point to never talk about dieting or promoting the supermodel body idea. Actually, I worked very hard to try to show my kids how much I loved my body, fat and all.

But you see, it didn't work. I couldn't fool them. I was only fooling myself. And it was time I stopped the lying and faced the truth.

I have to get healthy. I have to get to a point where my body is strong and healthy. Not skinny and necessarily lose a lot of weight. Just the dangerous belly fat, which oddly enough, is what the kids are fixated on. Maybe in some freaky subconscious way, they know how dangerous it can be.

So here I am, trying my hardest to become strong and healthy. It is not easy by any means but with one baby step at a time, I am getting there. I still feel the pitiful look my son gives me when my daughter criticizes my belly. And yes, my daughter likes to grab my belly and say "ewwww fat."

But I hold them both close, look into their eyes and tell them, "Mommy is on her way. Mommy is going to be healthy." And that one day my belly won't be flat and totally fat free but it will be healthy. And I will be proud!





4 comments:

  1. Good for you darling!

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  2. I'm with you, sister--my two kids seem each to have blessed me with an extra 15 lbs. I can't shake (that's a total of 30, just to be perfectly clear). So tired, so over it--hard to take care of everyone else but yourself, right? Hang in there. If you can create two amazing new human beings you can certainly patch up yourself! Anyway, that's what I tell myself in my good moments. You're not alone!

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    1. Thanks, it helps to know I am not alone, which I often do in this country where everyone seems to be a picture of health. Or maybe its just Amsterdam...

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