Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mouths of Babes

My mom asked me the other day if the kids have any idea that I've been losing weight.  The answer to that would be not at all!  For one, they are kids, so their awareness of anything that doesn't directly have to do with them is low.  For another, they see me every day--and even I have a hard time noticing any difference, so I could see why they wouldn't notice, either.  My mom was incredulous that I don't notice a difference in myself, because surely at least my clothes are fitting a little better...but again, when you look at something every day, it's hard to notice the changes.  Any parent can attest to this--your babies get bigger and bigger every single day, but you're still surprised when they suddenly don't look like babies anymore!  Yes, my jeans aren't nearly as tight as they were a few months ago, but they still fit me well--which means I haven't gone down a size yet, and which also means that I was stuffing myself into way-too-small jeans for like the last year.  How obnoxious of me!  I'm sorry for all the people who had to witness my skin-tight jeans (and not in the hot, Katy Perry way).

Anyway, to illustrate that my kids have no idea, I'll share two embarrassing little stories from this past week.  We went to the store on Sunday so that I could try on swimsuits for lap swimming.  Dan needed new running shoes, so he and the boys stayed in the shoe department, and I took Abby with me while I looked at swimsuits.  Of course, I had to hit the dressing room, because swimsuits are not really something you want to eyeball, and Abby had to come with me.  I put one suit on, and Abby thought it was fine (boring, but fine).  I tried the same exact suit on one size smaller (because hey, I don't want the suit to fall off me if I keep losing weight), and Abby took one look at it, patted my stomach, and said matter-of-factly, "Mommy--this is a chunky swimsuit!"  Um, I don't really know what to say to that.  It was seriously the exact same suit, just slightly tighter, and I guess accentuating my stomach chunk.  Lovely.  Just to prove that I put no stock in what my kids tell me, I bought the smaller suit anyway.

FYI, kids and dressing rooms don't mix!

Then I was giving Abby a bath last night, and she wanted to see how much she weighed on my scale.  She stepped on and weighed 48.0, and she was a little freaked out about that, because the last time she had weighed herself, she weighed 48.8.  She asked me if it was good to lose weight, and I told her that for her, as a growing girl, she is supposed to be gaining weight, but that a little loss like that wasn't anything to be concerned about.  She was still worried and I wasn't sure she was standing fully on the scale to begin with, so I had her step on again.  The number popped up the same.  Sometimes my scale regurgitates the same weight if it's close to the previous weight (to discourage weighing yourself a million times in a row--it's always going to be the same, people!), and the only way to erase that previous number is by weighing something else of a completely different weight.  So I stepped on to the scale to erase her old number, and my number came back at 144.4--I was wearing all my clothes and weighing in the evening, which I also explained to Abby can have an effect on the number the scale spits out.  Abby saw my number and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, Mommy--that number is HUGE!!!"  The only thing I could think of to say back was, "You should have seen it a few months ago, sweetie."  Ha ha.  :)

6 is too young to stress about weight!

I'm actually pretty proud of the fact that my kids have no idea I'm losing weight--my emphasis with them has been that Mommy is trying to be more active and healthy, and I know they are aware of that change.  They don't flip out when I put my sneakers on anymore--they stand at the door and tell me to have fun at my exercise class!  They know it's a big treat when we go get ice cream after dinner now, not just something we do when we're out.  Instead of wasting an hour getting dessert, we take hour-long family walks in the evenings when the weather is nice.  We talk a lot about being active and eating healthy foods, and that's the message I want them to learn--not that Mommy weighs herself obsessively, or Mommy isn't happy because her clothes don't fit.  I'm happy that Abby had never seen me step on the scale before last night--that's not an image I want in her memory.  If she grows up thinking I'm not comfortable with my body, what hope can I have that she will feel comfortable with hers?  Kids are just kids--it's too early to begin the awareness of weight as an issue, and the self-doubt that comes with that awareness.  I just hope that Dan and I are giving them the right tools to fend off that self-doubt when it does come (as it inevitably will)--by emphasizing health over weight and helping them stay active!

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