Now before you all go “how could she say that” I actually me the -word FAT (not the other one). DON’T MENTION THE WORD FAT, or chubby or well covered or whatever word you can think of that means overweight to our children.
We have been discussing our need to loose weight and get fitter lately and I have realised that we have been speaking about this around our No 2 daughter who is 9.
No 1 son, who works incredibly hard shearing has decided he wants to get fitter and lose some weight which is good for him to do. We have been talking about cutting out our carbs and cutting back on our sugar intake to help us along this journey.
We have been discussing this at the tea table and we have forgotten that our younger children have been listening.
We haven’t said that the younger ones need to do the same and we don’t believe they do, although I think we could all benefit from exercise and healthy eating, but definitely not for them in the weight loss arena.
I have now noticed No 2 daughter not wanting to eat bread and wanting to have more salads, now this is good but I am concerned about her underlying motivation. She is only 9 and has no need to loose weight and they get plenty of exercise riding their bikes and running around outside.
I think we need to be careful how we talk around our children, “fat” should never be a word that we use to describe them or even our babies.
I was a chubby baby, a chubby toddler and you guessed it a chubby child. I never seemed to loose the baby fat that I was born with. Now this is me, some people are born to be skinny and some aren’t.
Both my husband and myself come from families that carry extra weight. It is a genetic trait – although this shouldn’t be an excuse. So it goes to say that our children could possibly have the same genetics and will have to be aware of this at some stage in their lives. By feeding them healthy food and getting them to go out and run around is giving them good grounding for later in life.
I got my share of bullying at school because of my weight (although they didn’t call it bullying then) and children can be really mean. My mum was always on my back too about what I ate and about how much I ate and I don’t think she realised what damage she was doing.
I know that she didn’t mean the words to harm me but in the long run they did. I grew up feeling that I wasn’t good enough and that I had to always work on how I looked.
As I have grown up I have realised that I am good at lots of things, but it still comes back to bite me about my body shape and I sometimes still feel insecure about it.
I don’t want our daughter to have the wrong idea about her body. I want her to love herself and what God has given her. I don’t want her to head into her adult life with baggage that just isn’t necessary, but I also want her to realise that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and she needs to be aware of what she feeds that body and how she looks after it.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
So we are going to try to lose weight and get fitter and healthier but we are going to be careful when and how we discuss it.
If you want to see a great weight loss journey, pop over to Sunny Patch Cottage and see how Angie is going. She is amazing and a great inspiration to me.
This post is linked up here…
38 thoughts on “DON’T MENTION THE “F” WORD”
A much needed post. Words hurt even when we don’t mean for them to or think that others are listening. I always had the opposite problem. I could never gain weight. It didn’t matter what I ate, I was a size 0 until my first pregnancy. I remember fainting often in high school and hearing the other kids whisper the “A” word (anorexic). And I could never find clothes that fit.
Sometimes people really don’t understand genetics. It’s hard to really have much control over God’s blue prints.
Thank you so much, I really needed to hear the other side of the story here, thank you sharing about your journey and what words did to you. Seems we are different but the same :-). Genetics are fascinating and you are right we have no control over them and I know God has a plan in them. I suppose I just want to be the best I can be but it is a hard journey at times. Thanks for being my friend and spending time to comment. Love and blessings.
Very well put, Terri!
My parents were much like that too, and mom had me on diets as young as 4 or 5. I was the fat kid all the way through school, and of course made fun of. I graduated at a US size 26. I remember my dad one day, while teaching me how to drive, telling me that I needed to lose weight if I wanted to get a man. Those words at 15 still stick 22 years later.
My mom’s side of the family is huge. Like average person is 200+ pounds, one made it to 500+ and died very young with complications that were made much worse by weight…she was the next sister up from me. Another sister had her stomach stapled in the 80’s and lost tons of weight, and is larger than when she started. Mom’s habits cost her through cancer and ended her life. Dad’s side are all skinny as rails. I didn’t get those genes. I’ve had to fight all my life with weight.
Now, with stepdaughter, she is showing signs of battle too. Her biological mom is literally 600 pounds or more, and is 38. She’s had a heart attack in the past year, and is home bound. Stepdaughter (lives with us) has the tendency to pack on pounds easy. Her dad is heavy as well, so she has it on both sides. She sometimes has starved herself, but we catch on pretty quick and try to get her to eat meals by using something she really enjoys as a reward. She is 11, and the kids at school make fun of her for being padded (not fat, she is definitely athletically built, has awesome muscle tone, swims like a fish and for a while could out run boys in soccer, and is getting padded in the appropriate places for a female). She has a large build over all, and with it comes the cruel words from the stick thin kids. She will have to watch herself as she gets older in order not to pack on lots of weight, but she doesn’t need to be starving herself, especially at 11. I have told her a few times about how I used to do that when I was a kid, I’d starve myself, then eat like a horse eventually because I just couldn’t do it forever. All it accomplished was making me bigger. I remind her that God created her, and He loves her as she is, and that is what matters–the opinions of her classmates isn’t as important as God’s. She listens for a while, and needs a booster from time to time.
Thank you for the kind words about Sunny Patch! I’m a little ashamed about this week’s post, I did a swan dive off “the wagon”. But each day is a new day and a chance to climb back on and start over. 🙂
Have a great week!
I’ll say it to you again and again and again – you are such an encouragement to me and you are really helping me along in my journey. The great thing about God is that we always have the chance to repent and start again, every day is a new day. Someone said to our daughter the other day that she was getting a little pudgy in the stomach and I nearly hit him. (I didn’t) She just said to him “nah I’m skinny”. Really she is only doing the out before she does the up. Once the words are said you can’t take them back, sometimes they stick like glue, like what your father said to you and what my mum said to me. None of our children (thank God) have had the same weight issues I had whilst growing up, they are quite average, but I notice that No 1 daughter (who is married) really keeps a foot on her weight and No 2 son is trying to do the same. First of all we have to share with them how special they are and how God made them that way, then I think we need to encourage them to be healthy and active and it really sounds like your step daughter is very active. Our journeys have been somewhat the same and I pray for our daughters that theirs can be different in that they aren’t affected by cruel tongues. Thank you for sharing so open and honestly with me, it is such a blessings. I pray you have a great week in every way. Blessings to you and your family.
Good for your daughter! That’s health and confidence. God doesn’t make mistakes and He made Her EXACTLY how He wanted her. Amen. What a beautiful girl!
Exactly right He made her exactly right too. Thanks and blessings.
You’re wise not to talk about fat around your children. My mother constantly talks about fat people, and it created some very unhealthy eating habits at one point in my life.
Thanks Heidi for your comment and that is exactly what we are trying to prevent, thank you for your encouragement. Blessings
Visiting from Mommy Moments. It’s so hard to raise kids, especially girls, with healthy body images. I think it’s most important to always talk in terms of being healthy, how you feel, and what you can do. Never in terms of weight or how you look. Of course they’re still going to pick up those things from TV, school, or just walking around and seeing a billboard, but you can be in charge of whether they’re getting that message at home, too.
I agree with your wisdom Jenny, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Blessings
I agree with what you said. My husband is very tall (6′ 7″) with heavy bones. Our children are all big children – not overweight just big. We have always been careful how we talk about their size because we don’t want them to be conscious of their size in a bad way. We also talk about how and why to eat healthy. I’m happy to say that they all love healthy foods as well as the typical sweets.
Sounds like you have your children eating well Jennifer and we all need to understand how God made us and that we are special no matter what. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Blessings
This is oh so important and I think we can be so quick to forget that they are listening, even when we are not talking directly to them! So good… I have an only and she is now all grown up and out of the house and even still – I am careful at what I say about body image/weight loss about myself or about her… we talk often about health and fitness and that is helping to create healthier goals!
Thanks Karrilee for your kind and thoughtful comment. You are right as our girls get older lets talk heath and fitness and healthier goals. This is great. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings to you and yours.
I agree… our kids pick that up and it sticks with them… even when it doesn’t need to. I struggled w/ anorexia because my brothers teased me about being “fat”… in more recent years, I told them that… and they were appalled and said if I really had been fat, they wouldn’t have ever teased me about it…. I had no idea… I fully believed them and struggled with it. We do need to be careful what we say or allow to be said. Thank you.
Oh I’m so glad you shared your heart with me and this story, it really is important to be careful what we say. Thanks again for sharing and blessings to you.
I’m so glad that you’ve realized how this is impacting your children. I think we forget how much our conversations, our beliefs and our actions change who are children are and shape their view of themselves. I think you are wise, Terri, to dial back the conversation, while focusing on eating healthy. It’s quite a balancing act for parents, but your kids will definitely benefit. I’m so sorry that you were bullied in your youth. Young people can be so cruel. Blessings to you, my friend!
Thank you Beth for your kind and thoughtful comment and for hosting. Blessings to you.
Oh, I so agree that we must be careful about how we speak about our bodies in front of our kids. I pray for your daughter that she would be able to see herself as God sees her – the beautiful creation she is!
Thank you so much Jennifer for your kind and thoughtful comment and prayers, that is a prayer for all of us too. Blessings to you and your family.
this is so important- our children are ALWAYS listening!
Thanks Jandi, and our children hear well too. Blessings to you and your family.
Best of luck on the journey!
Thanks Tamar, Blessings.
I don’t want my children to get the wrong ideas about their bodies either. However, as a fat woman, I am tired of fat being treated as a dirty word. Being fat doesn’t make me a criminal, it just makes me fat. Thank you for sharing this at the #SHINEBlogHop!
Thanks Echo for your thoughtful comment and you are right, we aren’t criminals or lesser people because of our body size. God love us all the same. Thank you for stopping by and blessings to you and your family.
Oh such a struggle, that whole weight thing. Ugh. Rebecca
Yes you are right Rebecca, thanks for stopping by, blessings
Great thoughts on making good choices without harming and shaming. Our kids definitely learn esteem from our words. Best wishes to you all!
Thanks so much Kim for your lovely comment. Blessings
Darling, thank you for your honesty and your thought provoking words. I struggle with personal image, and I seem to be constantly working on improving or changing the way I look. But I definitely want to be careful about what I do and say with my little ones around. My children are too young to understand these things now, but my three year old definitely watches EVERYTHING! You definitely gave me something to think about. Thank you.
Visiting from Still Saturday and the Weekend Brew! 🙂
Thank you Kimberly for your thoughtful and kind comment. I pray that God will help us deal with our struggles and learn to hand them over to Him, the one who made us in His image. Thank you for sharing your heart with me. Blessings to you and your family.
Thank you for sharing at The Weekend Brew. I spend years talking down to myself about my looks, and weight in front of my children. I am thankful that they both have positive body image. This is such an important message.
Thanks Barbie for sharing your heart with me and for hosting The Weekend Brew. Blessings to you.
My oldest son who is 8 is starting to pudge out a little but I think it is from the fact he is going to hit puberty early. He was horrified when the pediatrician started talking about his weight….. Seriously, he is 8! He may be at the top of the charts for weight for his age, but he is also at the top for height *smacks forehead* I told him, I was over weight…. then I asked him if he loved me less because I was. He said no. BINGO You love people for who they are! He felt a bit better then. Thanks for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop. I can’t wait to see what you share next next time!
Exactly Mindie, we need to love people for who they are, that is such a valuable lesson for us all. Thanks for hosting and for your lovely comment. Blessings
Excellent! I totally agree. Kids have enough pressure and stress, they don’t need the added insecurity of their image. I absolutely hate “diets” too – and that word. At home, we talk about “fueling our bodies well” and “getting a good workout”, etc… in order to instill the idea that’s is a positive thing, an act of worship really, to take care of one’s body… not a matter of shame. Thank you again for sharing this.
And, thanks for linking up at Front Porch Inspired last week. Feel free to come back today sometime for this week’s conversation.
Thank you Anne for your comment and I so agree with you and what a wonderful way to look at it. Thank you for hosting and blessings to you.