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Thursday, April 7, 2011

The "F" Word

I literally cringed the other day when The Princess tried on her soccer shin guards for the first time and told me her legs look fat. I know she didn't mean it like most people mean it when they say something looks fat, but it still gave me a little shock. We don't use the "f" word at our house. I am very, very careful to never complain about looking or feeling fat in front of my girls. I am very aware of what they are exposed to and take a certain amount of pride in the fact that The Princess didn't acknowledge the differences in people based on their size until recently. Even now, at 5-years-old, it's just a simple acknowledgement, not a judgement.

I never want my girls to dislike their bodies. It is nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to the public perception of what is attractive and acceptable as far as a woman's body goes, so the least I can do is set a good example in what I say and how I treat my body. As a mother, I have a responsibility to teach my girls the value of and to respect their bodies. One way I do this is through the example I set with my running. I also encourage them to be active through things like gymnastics, soccer and an occasional run on the treadmill.

Yet as hard as I try to set a good example, I am not immune to feeling that "f" word myself sometimes. And unfortunately I have been feeling that way a lot lately. It doesn't help that just when I was getting motivated to amp up my running, I stubbed my toe and have been a slave to the bike. It's funny that not too long ago I went almost a week without running by choice and it didn't phase me. But now when I can't run, I am grumpy and itching to get moving like nothing else. Riding the bike just isn't cutting it, even if it means I am getting caught up on some of my TV shows since I bike and watch but never run and watch.

I was a little optimistic the other day when I thought I would be able to run. I did get as far as putting on my running shoes and stepping on the treadmill. Yet, I knew as I slid my shoe over my toe that it wasn't going to happen. That didn't stop me from turning Millie on and taking a few steps though. I thought maybe the pain would somehow ease up once I started running. Nope.

So now my booty is sore from the bike seat, the scale is literally stuck (even the numbers after the dot, as in 199.99, don't even change!) and all I want to do is eat. The eating thing should only happen when I'm training. And training I'm not, at least not the way I should be with a half marathon on the 30th. But sore toe aside, I'm going to keep on keeping on, because getting rid of that "f" word feeling doesn't just happen on its own. That means P90X Core Synergistics tonight and another attempt on Millie tomorrow, with 20 miles on the bike as a back-up plan.

I don't get to take a break from setting a good example for my girls just because I'm having a few weeks where my clothes don't seem to fit right or because I got a boo-boo. I don't want to take a break. Core Synergistics, here I come.


  1. aw geez. This is sad :( And so universal.

    I have very distinct memories of sitting in the waiting room for dance practice to start when I was...about 8. And looking down at my legs, and thinking that I could probably qualify for fat camp.

    I was ALWAYS skinny, always. It's amazing how effed girls heads can get over the eff word. I just compared myself to these little stick dancers, and I had my soccer calves even at age 8 and thought I was a fatty.

    for sure, you being a good role model who does not promote those kind of thoughts, is of absolute importance. My mom was pretty great in that sense.

  2. Wow, this makes me sad, although it sounds like you've done a great job proactively parenting against bad body image. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom who tries to make her feel good about the way she looks.

    I hope your toe gets better soon!

  3. I hear you on our girls and that word. I work really hard too on that with my daughter. Reality, unfortunatley, is that they're going to pick it up from society. We can just do our best to get them to focus on health and what their strong, athletic bodies allow them to do.

    Hope you are back on the run asap!

  4. I think what you are doing for your girls is great. Thinking back on it, I can never remember my mom talking about the way she looked or the way we looked, it was all more about getting out and being active as a family. Any of our friends will tell you that my family is a little intense about exercise, but it was never about weightloss/management/etc. it was about doing something good for our bodies. I think because of that I have a great body image.

    That's not to say that I don't have days where I feel fat, but even when I think or feel fat, I KNOW that my body is beautiful and strong and perfect for me. I think your girls are headed in the same direction. :)

  5. You are making the right thing. You are a very good mom.
    I hope you feel better soon.

  6. Being big as a child. I new that, that word would not be used in my house. I'm almost 50 and I still say chunky or heavy but not the (f) word. I remember when my boy was 3 and was having some speech therapy for his constants. The teacher wanted him to say the F word and he says my mommy say we dont say that word and he would not say it. You are doing a great job with your girls.

  7. I agree. Not a fan of the word..and get really, really annoyed when my mom will use it in our home. We just have to continue to lead by example...not use it ourselves and not get caught up in weight...rather than health

  8. This makes me so sad! It's crazy how young they start worrying about the "f" word. My girls have both said it and they're both little sticks! My girls are both in ballet and they have a very positive teacher who is so conscious of those girls and their self esteem. I'm always glad for good back ups to what I try to teach at home. And it gets harder the older they get. And it's not just limited to girls either.
    I try to be really careful too especially when I'm trying to lose a few pounds. And I try to focus on what our amazing bodies can do when we treat them well and are healthy and strong. But I feel like it's a constant battle.
    I hope your little piggy gets feeling better. But at least you have a back up plan!

  9. Amazing how early girls become aware of weighty issues. makes me sad. My daughter told me she was fat over the weekend. Took all of my control to not get mad at her for saying it but rather took it as a chance to discuss "weight" with her.

    you. are. a. rockin. mom.
    you set a great example for your children.

  10. I love my parents. But to this day, my mom tells me I am fat. I was fat at 90lbs. And at 140lbs, I am definitely fat.
    It really hurts my feelings though. But all I can do is just "suck it up" and pretend it doesn't bothers me.

  11. I love my parents. But to this day, my mom tells me I am fat. I was fat at 90lbs. And at 140lbs, I am definitely fat.
    It really hurts my feelings though. But all I can do is just "suck it up" and pretend it doesn't bothers me.

  12. You are an exceptional mother! Keep the positive and healthy body comments coming and the girls will NEVER say the "F" word again.


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