Let me warn you, I'm about to get on a soap box right now. When it comes to weight, body size etc we have got it all wrong. There. That's the truth.
For starters, being thin/small/tiny doesn't automatically make you healthier. That's a myth and it's time you stop believing it. You can be a size 4 and have cholesterol through the roof. Sure, you can probably rock a bikini the rest of the population can't but you aren't healthy.
The same is true on the other side. You may not be a size 4 and be in excellent health. When did we decide the size of a body is directly proportional to that person's health?
Now that you know where I stand on that issue, here is another that comes closer to home, and gives me heartburn. When did we decide that being thin or smaller than the average population is automatically a sign that someone has "eating issues"?.
Considering we are constantly worried about childhood obesity, one would assume children who aren't near the obesity line would have nothing to worry about. I'm here to tell you that isn't the case.
One of the (few) things I inherited from my paternal side were the genes that made me "smaller" than most. I was painfully thin all through childhood, and suffered much teasing because of it. Call it fast metabolism, good genes, or whatever you want, I am a small person, both in height and weight.
I passed this gene to my children who are also thin. One of these kids is now a teenage girl who has to endure comments like "oh my, you are so THIN! You need to eat more!" all the freaking time.
Those of you who know her can attest she doesn't look "sick". She looks healthy, beautiful, shiny black hair, sparkling brown eyes. There is nothing in her appearance that says this kid has an issue with food. Still the comments keep coming. The last comment I received made me laughed at this person: "does she like food?"
Does she ever!!! She loves to cook, because she loves to eat. She loves chocolate (I blame it on the constant chocolate craving I had while expecting her); and sweet tea. She eats as any normal teenager would I suppose. Perhaps it's in her genes or in the fact she is a dancer and that means she dances from the moment she awakes to the moment she goes to bed (including those trips to walmart when she has to break out into a dance in the middle of the food aisle).
What really pisses me off is these people are usually parents of other teenagers! You would think because they have a child at home the same age, they would be more sensitive to the feelings of a teenage girl. I have been rude many times when answering these people, and have bragged that she has "good genes", and that's probably the reason she can eat what she likes and not gain an ounce.
The thing is, I shouldn't have to say anything. Because those comments should have never been made. At least not in front of her. Way to crush a girl's self esteem!
All I ever wanted was for my children to be confident in their own skin. Whatever size they are, if they are healthy and happy, that's all I care about. On the same token, I am trying to be a good example for them, specially my daughter, about loving themselves and their bodies, regardless of what that body looks like. Self confidence can only come from loving yourself, not from the label on the back of your jeans.
I have tried (not perfectly) to be confident in myself, and show my kids that age is just a number, and we can be healthy and happy without being supermodels as the media will have them believe. I am the mom who wears a bikini alongside her teenage daughter to show her, even at 40+ years, 3 kids later, and a less than perfect body, I still believe in myself and I still believe I am beautiful. Not in the artificial way that the media portraits, but in the way that can only come from knowing looks are just superficial, and what's inside is what matters most.
I like to think I've succeeded at that. I watch her while she shops and she is daring and not afraid to try clothes on. She doesn't care if she doesn't have the x,y,z attribute someone else does, she is happy with who she is.
Which brings me (the long way) around to healthy eating and better nutrition. Remember when I mention how we love to eat? Well, I forgot to mention we aren't huge fans of vegetables. Mostly my fault. I was the kid who refuse to eat anything green unless it was green cake or green ice cream.
As I aged I became better at eating salads, and some more vegetables. But it wasn't until after I turned 40 that I began to eat things like broccoli.
Anyway, remember when I said looks can be deceiving? Yep, they can be. Although I am in good health, I've been fueling my body with the wrong fuel and well, since I'm now older I've noticed how it affects my energy label, etc; not to mention my weight, which in turn affects my joints, etc, etc. Believe me, no one wants to feel old while they still think of themselves as young.
So I decided it is time to eat more veggies, less carbs, and cut down the crap (notice I said down, not out) so I can feel as young as I think I am.
More than likely this will result in me losing weight, because less carbs tend to do that to a body.
Please, I beg of you, don't make comments like "you didn't really need lose weight!". You are right, I didn't. The reason I made this decision had less to do with a number, and more to do with feeling good every day; rather than feeling like I ran a marathon in my sleep.
I am hoping in the process I can introduce more veggies into our food rotation and get the kids to eat more things. So they don't discover how good broccoli is when they are 40 like I did. Because it is good! Why didn't anyone tell me that for 40 years!!!
So please, stop judging people's health based on what you see outside. Unless you have x-ray vision, you don't know what's beneath the surface.
And if you have ever made a comment about my kids' weight, stop now. Before this mom goes all "angry latina" on you. Trust me, it wouldn't be pretty.