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They're Always Listening

My daughter is almost 9 now, and already the idea of “fat” has entered her world.

Last summer she put on a cute little jumper and told me it made her look fat.

I wanted to die.

I tried so hard to hold back the tears. I asked her where she got that idea. Her response, “I don’t know”. I drilled her for answers. I asked her what she thought it meant, and why she believed that. I tried desperately to reinforce why that kind of thinking is not necessary.

Once I was alone, I cried so hard. I wondered where she heard this. Was it from kids at school? Girls at dance class? I began my own personal fat shaming journey when I was around 10. I wasn’t prepared for this to start so soon, or at all. I didn’t want her to go through the same shit I did – thinking there was something wrong with her body. I was so mad. I wanted to know where, when, and how this started.

I sat for a moment by myself. When things got quiet, I realized who she got this idea from. It was me. I realized she probably heard me one of the dozen times I was trying to find something to wear. Did she see me having a total meltdown on my closet floor, because I looked fat in everything? Or, maybe it was the times when I would only allow myself a meal replacement shake for dinner, because I needed to lose weight. Better yet, maybe it was the time I refused to take off my cover up and go swimming at the beach, because I hated the way I looked in my bathing suit. Regardless of which time it was, she got the idea from me. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

I was going through the BARE program when this happened. I reached out to the group for help and guidance. I was full of guilt. I wanted to make it better. I wanted to take back the years of my own personal fat shaming, but I couldn’t. It was too late for that, but the damage was not done. All the work I am doing on myself now will change the tide. I’m changing the conversation. It starts with me. I am changing the way I talk to myself. I am changing the way I treat myself. My daughter will see me celebrate my body. I'm not hiding anymore.

My husband said something the other day that really hit home. He said “I want our daughter to be comfortable in her own skin. I don’t want her to worry about being thin”. Powerful words.

What are you saying about your body?

Do you know who’s listening?

Are you ready to change the conversation?

You can start today by saying something nice about your body.

What is one part of your body that you appreciate?

Can you send it some love?

Be kind to you, because you deserve it.

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