Sunday, April 21, 2013


* * This post was written last Monday. Due to ALL.the.horrible.things I decided not to publish it that day. I waited. I wrote. Then I waited some more. I had some scheduled posts. I waited longer. But it needs to be posted. It needs to help represent a part of me in my personal space here. Thanks for reading. * * 

Yesterday I walked the shelves of Barnes and Noble. Not with anything particular in mind.

I have enough books.

You see my reviews. I know you know. I know it, too.

I am on reading overload lately. My scheduled reviews are plentiful and I'm loving and enjoying it.

I saw a book a while back that struck me. But remember, I have a Kindle now. Can you remember? I don't know if I have ever actually posted that here. We might have to be friends on Facebook for you to know that. But I digress. I didn't buy the book I saw that day. I did, however, take a picture of the cover so I wouldn't forget the title!

Anyway, books? Check. Kindle? Check. Barnes and Noble addict? Check.

I walked through the racks. The RACKS! Not the shelves. Oops.

I headed to the parenting section. I thought to myself that maybe I would pick up a copy of ScaryMommy's newest book. I looked, but I couldn't find it. My B&N did something to their organization system. The parenting books were there, but I still couldn't find the ones I love. The ones where moms talk about motherhood. Real moms. Real life. Real stories.

Skimming the titles one jumped out at me.

The Heavy. A mother. A daughter. A diet. 

Read it again.

I did.

Twice. Three times, even.

It was positioned perfectly on the shelf. Title out. Front cover, I mean. No spine for this one.

Ha. Spine is an interesting word, isn't it? This book, this mom, had, has spine.

I don't know why I needed to buy it. And yet I do.

I have a 6-year old daughter. I'm a woman who is constantly battling weight-related issues. I'm the woman who was that girl who put herself into a corner, and admittedly sometimes still does. Regardless of what society tells me.

The mom who constantly reminds herself and others to look out for you.

It's not easy. Ever.

Motherhood isn't easy, either.

Watching your beautiful little girl grow and worrying, thinking, saying to yourself, will she face all that I did? Will she battle her weight? Hoping and praying, even. Thinking no. No. You won't let that happen. You won't, right?

I see her thighs, strong and sturdy. Thighs. Ugh. Thighs that cause friction. Thighs that bother me when I wear skirts without shorts underneath. Will she hate them someday?

She's tall. I'm not. She's probably 4' already. Will she feel too tall? Too big? I always felt too short. No. Not always. There was a point I reached, perhaps when my weight passed me by? ... I reached it and wished I had a few inches. They'd make it all better - wouldn't they?

Feet. Mine are huge. They are. You don't notice because I'm 5' 2-1/2" and you can't tell I've worn a size 10 shoe for much of my life. She's already passed so many kids her own age when it comes to shoe-size. I shouldn't care, but I remember the days of wearing the same size shoe as my mom for like a minute. It was fun. I don't want her to get to my size, but she might. She could. It's rough when your shoes are the one article of "clothing" you're comfortable shopping for and you can't find stylish stuff because your feet are big, too.

My mom helped me through that. She bought me gorgeous boots every year. I saved them all up. Year after year. Red suede. Colorful suede. Browns. Blacks. With fringe and without.

I also have sneakers in every color. Now. As an adult. I've held onto so many pairs. From my 20s. TWENTIES! I'm FORTY, y'all.

I rarely wear them, but I kept them. I keep them. I keep the option there. Orange Saucony kicks. Pink ones, too. White and black Skechers. Bright pink Bebe's. Shoes to match every outfit. Maybe to distract your attention from the rest of me? Lead you to look down and not up? I don't know. It's surely possible. A therapist might have a field day. Oh, wait, I AM a therapist. I could have my own field day, I suppose.

But again, I tangent.

I started reading this book, The Heavy, last night. I'm easily 130+ pages in.

Then I did some digging and realized who the author was. She's the woman who put her 7-yo on a diet. Restrictive diet. She's the woman who took a beating in the media and from many other parents out there. Moms. Dads. Aunts. Uncles. Who knows? She is the woman who had a 4' 4" child weigh in at 93 lbs. And knew she needed to make some changes.

I'm not defending her choices. Nor am I criticizing them.

I just know that I wanted to read her story.

Even though a few years ago I might have automatically judged.

I'm a believer that children will regulate their eating. They'll eat when they are hungry.

But I, too, have learned that children might also eat if they are bored. Is that learned? Or habitual? Or what, exactly?

How do you look at how your child(ren) eats? Do you monitor it? Schedule it? Plan it out?

School lunches suck. But sometimes they're a great option. Do they suck that badly? Will Jamie Oliver come to our town and get everything but white milk out of our schools? That, in and of itself, would help. Would cut out loads of sugar and calories. Wasted ones.

We give our daughter chocolate milk. Weekends, most often. Sometimes she has breakfast or lunch at school and has one. It's not forbidden. And she might drink it always if we let her. But water is a good substitute. It's my beverage of choice when we go out for dinner. Or lunch. Or both. If she has it for one she doesn't get it for the other. Breakfast at home. No chocolate milk. Lunch sent from home. No chocolate milk. Juice boxes. 100% juice. Yes? No? Who the heck really knows.

So many thoughts.

So many questions.

What's the right thing to do?

Sometimes we just have to figure that out on our own.

For me - that's my plan - and yet ... I keep on reading.

And I keep on remembering.

That we're all a little bit perfect in our own way. Yes. YOU, mom over there struggling. You, too.

Each and every one of us. And we're all a little bit imperfect, too. The struggle is finding the balance between both.

But we can do it.

I can. You can.

And I plan to. Feel free to join me.


  1. I think that when children have parents who model mostly healthy eating habits, they do regulate their own eating, but children also learn from parents, so if you have a parent who doesn't eat well... overeats... eats from boredom or emotion, then the child will learn those behaviors and pick up on that too.

    I try to be really careful about that because I am an emotional eater. I try to limit my snacking in front of my children and when they complain about being hungry, try to get them to think about if they really are or are just bored or thirsty. Does that make sense?

  2. You bring up so many thoughts and concerns that are worth discussing but what you say at the end, I think that's what matters most. We are all a little bit perfect in our own way and I think so long as we recognize that in ourselves and so long as we recognize that in our kids and speak of their own brand of brilliance often, the eating will take care of itself. Personally, I think love will help them regulate their eating more than a restrictive diet. But that's just me. Love always wins. Beautiful and thought provoking post.

  3. It sounds like an interesting book. It's such a hard line because so many kids do have eating issues, so you don't want to start that early on with diets, but at the same point you don't want them to struggle all their adulthood with weight either. Maybe some day there will be better answers.

  4. It is truly hard not to push our own issues onto our fact, it's probably impossible to keep from doing this even when we are self-aware and desperately trying not to.

    I have really tried not to push my food issues onto Lucy (and Bobby), but I'm not sure I've been successful. I guess time will tell.

    This sounds like a really interesting book. FANTASTIC and thought provoking post! --Lisa

  5. I hear you babe.

    I am lucky because the girls take after Sascha's side of the family, with their long, lean bodies. Thank god! Hopefully they will never have to go through what I went through, what I am still going through.

    But the diet? I have mixed feelings about that. Drastically changing her nutrition, yes, calorie counting, NO. I haven't read the book, so I don't have an exact opinion yet, but I hope I never find myself in that situation, because it's a tough spot to be in.

  6. This is so hard. Because I look at my daughter and wonder if I am helping her to make the best choices about food. That isn't true. I know I'm NOT really helping her make the best choices about food. Because I don't make those good choices.

    I want her to be healthy. And confident. And happy.

    It sounds like an interesting book - even if I don't end up agreeing with everything the mother does, it is good that she is doing SOMEthing and is putting herself out there to talk about it. People so easily judge children who are overweight, but I don't think they realize how difficult it can be to make a change, because it probably has to be a family change.

  7. Such a beautiful heartfelt post. I don't have a daughter (yet) but if I do, I pray and pray I can keep myself under control and not let my weight issues become HER weight issues. Especially since my mom seems to always have something negative to say about my weight and I'm 30 and its still consistent. I think it is about finding a healthy balance between the two.

  8. You are so very brave with your words. And yes, as a mother, I look at my son and wonder if I'm giving him the tools to live his life better, healthier, than I've lived mine.
    Thank you for saying what so many of us feel.

  9. This is a well-written and thoughtful post. I have four actual teen girls living in my house right now (youngest just turned 13, oldest hasn't turned 20 yet) and the biggest challenge for us right now is helping them keep decent self-images. To believe that who they are, how they are shaped and sized, is exactly how they are supposed to be right now. We don't watch reality TV, we don't subscribe to fashion magazines; we do our best to focus on values and DOING things and keep the focus off what they think is wrong with their bodies. Simple, not easy. Good post.

  10. Beautifully written!

    I haven't had to worry as much about food/eating issues because I have two boys (I really see from friends/bloggers that there is something different that happens in your POV once you have a daughter) and they are both 'built like my husband' (read: tall and skinny) as the pediatricians keep saying. (Ummmm, thanks. Ugh.) But it seems like you think about it and do your best, which is all any of us can do as parents on any topic.
    ps. I totally do the shoe thing, too. ;)


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