24 Nov 2014

Fat



A couple of days ago I was in our local farm shop and Becky got mesmerised by some delicious looking, colourful cupcakes. “Mummy look, they look yummy”, she said excitedly.

I was just about to put one in our shopping basket (I just can’t resist Becky’s beautiful smile and seeing her devouring something with gusto, and I knew this was just the ticket), when this old bloke who was standing nearby, sneered at Becky from the side: “They will make you fat!” he uttered matter-of-factly.

“No they won’t,” I quickly said sternly, and put the cupcake demonstratively in my basket.

“Yes, they will,” he repeated stubbornly, nodding his head at Becky, as if to give weight to his warped opinion. “No they won’t,” I repeated, this time visibly angry.

Poor Becky looked on in confusion, not knowing what to think. Close to telling this guy to eff-off, I just hissed at him “Please keep your opinions to yourself” (I know! That told him!) and shuffled Becky along, away from the situation and any more of this guy’s unsolicited opinions.

But this episode left me really annoyed and upset, maybe more than it should have, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Firstly, Becky is a petite, dinky little thing, and really not in danger of getting fat from a cupcake.

But there’s a deeper, more fundamental concern for me here.

I have suffered from an eating disorder for most of my teenage and adult life; in fact it was only when I fell pregnant with Becky that I had to address the issue and seek help, and I’m trying really really hard to teach Becky a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food, so I can spare her from all the self-doubt and self-torture that has had a grip on me for so long.

Even though it takes all my discipline, I make sure that I never ever let her hear me run myself down (very hard, as my body confidence at the moment is the lowest it has ever been after recently having had another baby), I never comment on food in terms of fattening or calorific, only in terms of healthy and possibly unhealthy, and just try to convey to her that everything is ok in moderation.

I have therefore banned the word “fat” from our vocabulary (my husband thinks I’m exaggerating; maybe, but it is a sensitive topic for me). So it was funny when on that very same day I came across the very poignant blog by Along Came Cherry, “Why we've banned the word fat” (you can read it here), and it totally resonated with me.

It’s hard enough being a Mum of a girl, what with all the pressures that are put on girls today and from such an early age, but as a Mum with previous food issues it is even more difficult, and I don’t need strangers with deluded opinions to interfere. It just felt like this old guy was undoing all the good work I have been doing, in one, careless, totally uncalled for and incorrect comment.

Suffice to say that I let Becky have her cupcake.  And as for me, I will continue to teach her a healthy attitude to food as best as I can.

* This is a link-up with Honest Mum's great linky Brilliant Blogposts. Check it out here.
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4 comments

  1. Sorry it's taken me so long to comment, things are so hectic right now! I actually cannot believe that man said that!! Some people are just unreal, regardless of whether he thought the word was innocent he shouldn't have been sticking his nose in anyway. Shocking! Thank you so much for mentioning me :) x

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    1. Thanks Jess! Yes, I think what also irks me is that he just spoke to Becky in he first place, it wasn't his place to impose his opinions. Hey ho, I guess we can't protect them entirely from the word and its implications, but we can try our best. :-)

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  2. Such a brave post hun and it's tough to re-learn and deal with food issues. I felt a lot of mine were dealt with when I met my husband but post kids and weight loss issues make it hard. I've recently found a way of eating that makes me feel my best and I've lost weight too. Sending hugs. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

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  3. Thank you Vicki. I'm trying really hard to set a good example to my kids and for them not to have any food or body image issues. I saw your blog about your recent weight loss, very inspiring. Will trial out some of your tips! x

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