The Say Blog

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The F Word

In my house, the word FAT is a swear word. My kids actually believe it's the "F" word at this point in life, and to be honest, I think it's a worst word than the actual F word.

There is such a battle in weight loss between wanting to NOT be fat, needing fat, eating fat (good ones), past pain of being called fat, and FEELING FAT.

I hate that word.

One of my greatest parts of this journey has been relearning everything to do with body and food. Creating a healthy balance, and being very aware of what an imbalance means. Over eating is an eating disorder, under eating is an eating disorder. Healthy living is a balance. Words like FAT just mess with my whole jive.

My goal as a mother is to change the perspective that my kids hear and learn. We don't talk about my weight loss. I'll say things like "I'm not going to eat that because it's not good for my body" or "I'm exercising so I can be strong". They don't hear me say my weight, my size, or even talk about how how I'm trying to achieve anything.

When they see photos of me before they'll comment things like "you looked different, your hair, your clothes" but they've never mentioned that I look fat, or even use the non-swearing-in-my-house word, overweight. Not once. My hope is that through creating good conversations about body image, health and the balance, they will have a greater understanding on how to treat their own bodies!

...But then some boys at school called my daughter the F word.

I was devastated.

Because I knew.
I knew EXACTLY what was going to happen.
These words, in her 7 year old little heart, were going to burn themselves into her. Into the fibre of her very being. These words would follow her for years.

I know, because I had it happen to me too.

When I was in the 7th grade, my family and I went on a vacation to Florida. On that trip I got some new clothes and shoes, and when returning back to school was so excited to wear them. For sake of a pretty stellar visual of my rocking 12 year old self - here is the rundown... My pants were high waisted pale purple chords, my shoes were jellies, my top was a short sleeve crushed velvet short top that was a matching purple with large daisies on it. My pants lined up with the bottom of my shirt and I wasn't showing any stomach, but when at my locker I raised my arms to put a binder away and THE CUTEST BOY IN SCHOOL (in my opinion) poked my side and said "had a few burgers on your vacation did you?".

Do you think I just have a fantastic memory? or do you think that maybe, just maybe, that entire moment is burned into my being?


Back to my daughter. Within two days, she asked me if she could not wear snow pants because they "made her legs look big". I saw her checking out her body in the mirror and poking away at it, squeezing her thighs, and asking why they looked big when she sat down.

I'm reeling at this point.

I can't take away those words from her, but I can only try to have life giving conversations with her, have her know she's loved and created oh-so-perfectly, and teach her a healthy lifestyle. Which btw - I don't do for her body type, or so she fits a mould, but so that she IS healthy, and so that she doesn't struggle with self control and mindless eating like I did. I need to lead by example. I'm now seeing that my health and my journey - it has witnesses that are very impressionable. I can only hope and pray that they learn good things from me and through me. That the F word remains a swear word, and they never repeat it to themselves in a mirror.

We need to stop the cycle with our bodies, with our children, with each other.

Trim the fat of the word FAT, if you will...from negative fat talk, from fat talk at all, and striving not for weight loss, but striving for health - with a side effect of weight loss.

...and love the freaking crap out of our children enough to teach them good habits, and not just easy ones. I struggle so much with this. But like Drew Carey said "eating crappy food isn't a reward, it's a punishment" maybe that should apply to feeding loved ones, too.

Photos taken Spring 2015 by Summerlee Photography

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Let's talk about food, baby

This is a difficult subject to just jump into and adapt and change and not feel completely adverse effects or deprivity from your favorite meals, past times, traditions, snacks, comforts etc.

Food is all around us.
like the force.
lol sorry, expect some star wars blurt outs as we go, it's just in me.

For most people, when you struggle with addiction you remove that item from your life. Drugs or alcohol, relationships, and you learn to live without it.

But food? we need to learn to live WITH it. It's a partnership. It's a need.  Your addictions have to change and adapt to new ways and forms. But you can't eliminate it. Food is a part of our everyday existance.

If you're like me, it can consume thoughts, it can feel like you're powerless to it. That one bite may not be enough, you may be 20 bites in and feeling like you can't stop. It's not just about learning to eat the RIGHT things, it's a full take back of control.

This is where its very much about your MIND.

There was a point early on in my journey in which I was at a family event and there was all of my favorite foods and I stood there staring and the inner battle began of "Oh, it's just one day" and "I haven't had this in forever, when will I have my aunts best dish again?" and so on. But, then instead I looked at that food and adjusted my mind. I started telling myself "you don't need it" and "that will slow down your progress" "that food is a road block to your success".
Then I walked away.

Suddenly I began to feel it. I began to feel that control. IT WAS NOT EASY, but I was DOING IT.
I was saying no to food. The wrong foods at least. The over indulging foods. The foods that weren't here to partner with my body, foods that wouldn't fuel me but drag me down.

It was losing it's power and grip on me.

Let me get something incredibly straight here...

It doesn't get better.

Those inner voices? that addiciton? for me has not gone away.

I've just learned how to say no, how to cope with temptations, how to make wiser choices.

My MIND has learned. My BODY has followed.

If you think for one moment that I don't walk past donuts and dream of eating an entire tray of them, you're kidding yourself. Will I? heck no. It's a road block to my success. Not only that, but as I have cleaned up my eating habits, my body no longer likes it when I reintroduce crap. Even if it's gloriously sprinkle covered crap.

In life we make choices. We choose good people to be friends, we guide our children to make wise decisions, we budget our spending, we have responsibilities that we choose to take care of.

Your body is one of the biggest responsibilities of your life. How you treat it, feed it, care for it - it changes your relationships with everything else too.

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