Although I have not and will never do the same, I don’t have a problem with people who have accepted their larger shapes and have decided not to beat themselves up over it. More power to you, but I don’t believe in the Fat Acceptance movement. I don’t believe that we should let our children believe that it’s fine to be overweight or obese. The obesity rate in children here in the states is ridiculously high. They learn that at home. It’s not okay – we are jeopardizing the lives of those we swear to love the most with the examples we set and the standards we’re attempting to lower.
Is it alright to teach a young girl that it’s okay to be comfortable in her own skin, no matter her shape or size? Of course, definitely so. It is not alright to teach a young girl that it’s okay to be comfortable being overweight or obese, be out of shape, eat nothing but McDonald’s, to put her health at risk for sake of being alright with who she is. There’s a fine line there, but I’d rather cross it than not approach it.
We teach them to strive to be the very best that they can with everything they do, right? School, social relationships, extra-curricular activities. That should also extend their outward appearance. Not solely for the sake of vanity, but for their quality of life as a whole. We should tell them to strive to be healthy, not thin or skinny, but to be healthy. It they are healthy at an above average weight, fine. If they are not, we should not coddle them. It does them no good, and much harm.
My younger sister is fat. She’s 13 years old and weighs a significant amount. She’s at high risk for diabetes, and her pediatrician has suggested to her and my mom that she lose weight. Neither of them take heed. She eats nothing that doesn’t come from a microwave or a paper bag. The most walking she does is getting from class to class in school. She is growing, every day, width wise more so than in height, and my mother is so concerned with not making her feel self concious about it that she won’t address it.
That’s not what my sister needs – people tiptoeing around the topic of her weight. She shouldn’t like herself the way she is. She is unhealthy. She should be aware, if some rude child at school hasn’t already taken care of that for her, that she’s too big. How is she being taught to love herself if she’s not being taught to take care of herself? Those two things seem to go hand in hand, if we’re talking about teaching them to a child. I don’t want her to be huge and happy. She should be average, normal, healthy and happy. If that means that she can’t have anymore Hot Pockets and Toaster Strudels, and that she’s miserably riding her bike around the neighborhood, so be it.
She’s about to enter high school. High school is hard enough without being the fat girl. Soon, there will be boys. I’d hate to see her crushes crush her because of her size. Yeah, sure, that makes the boys assholes and shallow and all of that, but they’re teenage boys. That’s what they are. She’s going to be in the thick of it, and I don’t understand why my mom is willing to send her into that den of hyenas with a bullseye on her front. People don’t want to accept or acknowledge it, but the truth is that looks matter. They shouldn’t – sure – but they do.
Now, it’s time for me to practice what I preach. I’m not going on any weight loss journey, but I’ve got set a better examples for my girls. I know that I’m not going to sit idly by while they get fat. It’s never going to happen. We have some serious genes in this family to combat, and when they’re old enough to know/do better, I’m going to encourage them to be their best, both inside and out. People may think that’s a bad thing, but I think it’s a wonderful thing. I think it’s bad to do the opposite, and I realize that if I’m pushing them to join the volleyball team or not eat a triple whopper with cheese while sitting here 80 pounds overweight, unable to resist that last donut, that they’re not going to take me seriously and they probably shouldn’t. How am I supposed to tell them to take care of themselves mind, body and soul if I don’t do the same? ‘Do as I say, not as I do‘? Yeah, no. I know my daughters, and that is not going to fly.