The Weight Blues
As a child, I always had an issue with my weight. I was always the tallest person in my age group but I was also one of the heaviest. I was picked on and bullied constantly... even by my own family members - it didn't help that all my cousins who were around my age were significantly skinnier than me. I remember being told by my aunt that I should wait till everyone else takes out their food before I get mine because I will eat out everything (which by the way was never true). I've been called names like "heavy bri" and "fatty bully" - bully because I used to hit anyone who called me fat. Plus, it didn't help one bit that I practiced ballet 3 times a week and was the heaviest in the class. Sighhhh...
These occurrences during my formative years transitioned into me having a weird obsession with getting myself below a certain weight. Every time I went to the supermarket or to a pharmacy, I would check my weight and body mass index (BMI) to see how I measured up. Spoiler alert: I was always overweight. For my height (5'9") I'm supposed to be somewhere around 165-170lbs, which was probably my weight in Form 5. I've played tennis (my absolute favourite sport), practised aerobics, spin, zumba, had a personal trainer... but nothing worked. I got fitter but maintained my weight (much to my displeasure). Lose NOTHING!!
As I've said before, it took me 27 years to finally feel comfortable in my own skin, mostly because I've seen what my body is capable of... I've birthed a whole child for crying out loud! No one can take that away from me! Lol! Weight gain or weight loss, I'm happy with my body now. However, I now have a daughter... and I don't want her to even begin to experience the kind of discomfort I've felt for the majority of my life. Sad to say though, the weight talks have already begun.
Since Xaryah was born, her weight has been either average or on the lower end of the scale for her age and height. Thanks to her tall parents, Xary is on the extreme higher end of the scale for her height, however, when held up to her weight, she would seem to be skinny. Her paediatrician never had an issue with it, she would just make a note of it. At the end of the day, once Xary’s eating properly and getting her nutrients, she’s good, which is more than fine by me. Despite this, the weight talks began…
I don't know what it is about the older generations and fat babies! Ughhh!! I started getting the "she's too skinny" and "our family only makes big babies" lectures while Xary was exclusively breastfeeding. I got the "put some cereal in her tea to help fatten her up" and "you aren't feeding her enough" talks. I got the comparisons to other people's kids Xary's age - the "look how nice and chubby he is; that's how she's supposed to be" chats... Like if I wasn't going through enough mom guilt and postpartum blues already!! No matter how much I tell them leave it alone, it has not stopped.
Recently, Xaryah began her teething journey which of course, lead to her becoming temporarily picky with her eating. Thankfully, I didn't have to lecture anybody regarding her weight, however, somebodyyyy (I’m not going to say their name) sneakily bought a multivitamin and began giving it to Xaryah (without my knowledge) to "open up her appetite so she can eat more and gain weight". I was livid. Not only because we had this discussion before regarding the multivitamin and I decided against it, but because this person didn't tell me she bought it and I found out via stains on my daughter's clothes... stains that refuse to come out by the way which is not good because if it stains her clothes, that means it most likely has dyes and artificial colouring in it, both of which I'm not ready to introduce to Xary yet.
This weight obsession is definitely a generational thing and I don’t understand it. They fight to have chubby babies (because they look cute) who develop an unhealthy relationship with their bodies and then give those same children talks (or bully them) about being overweight or skinny in some instances. Plus, so many children now are being diagnosed with diabetes - something we would’ve initially attributed to persons much older in age.
To be honest, I think my daughter is one of the healthiest eaters on the planet, not just because we try to give her balanced meals daily but because no matter what we put in front of her, she prefers her fruits and veggies over everything else - a big win in my book. For me, once it's not affecting her general health, her weight does not matter to me... and it shouldn't affect anyone else *side eye*
The aim has been and will continue to be a happy, healthy Xary!
P.S. This topic is funny to me because now when I look back on my old pics, all those times I thought I was fat, I was actually pretty skinny. I mean… look at this photo! Sighhhhhh…