‘Mummy I can’t eat these, the fat number is too high’.
Those words came from my five-year old daughter’s mouth. Those words left me feeling sick, scared of the influence the world was already having on her impressionable mind.
My weight has always yo yo’d, but I’ve never been bigger than a size 14, I don’t stress over what size I am and I have never discussed my size or the size of others with her. She herself has a very slight frame and a fast metabolism meaning she can eat like a horse and not gain a pound – something I envy, but don’t think on.
My family differs, being overweight runs in our family, meaning that the middle generation are very wary of any kind of weight gain, I grew up with it, I still get the remarks, and I don’t want that for my little girl.
I want her to love herself entirely, big or small, short or tall, happy or sad, I want her to embrace everything about herself, because what she looks like doesn’t make her who she is. I won’t allow her to feel under any pressure to gain, lose, or maintain a weight. I will allow her to be exactly who she is, eat whatever she wants and be happy doing so.
Why had she said this? Five year old girl’s should be thinking about what princess dress to wear or what colour bow to put in their hair, not how much fat is in what they are eating, not how big or small they are, young girls should be just that, young, and free, and completely blissfully unaware of the judgmental world we live in.
I can only guess that one of her friend’s at school has an older sister who has hit the stage where things like calories seem important or heaven forbid, another child has commented on her tiny frame. I don’t diet, I don’t calorie count, I rarely check the fat content on products and if I do it isn’t in front of her. Her refusal to eat that day has left me fearful and desperate to shelter her from what the world see’s as perfect.
I don’t want to raise a naive child, she is aware that everyone is built differently and sometime’s others work in different ways, but one thing I want her to always understand is that no matter how big or small or tall or short a person is, it doesn’t change their soul. The outside bares no reflection of the inside, if someone has a good heart, then that is all that matters.
I will never discuss weight with my daughter, but I will discuss self-love and try my hardest to nurture her into a loving adult, open to everyone, no matter how they look or act.