This weeks question takes on a more serious tone. A few weeks ago Steph over at Back in Skinny Jeans asked a provocative question that brought out a lot of feelings for me. Feelings I always had but never really faced before.
What is the one thing you wish your parents, your significant other, siblings, or your friends understood about your body image issues?
I never hid the fact that body image issues actually started my weight problem, not the other way around. Looking back I was a perfectly normal teenager who thought she was fat and turned to food to deal with her unhappiness.
What I never talked about is where I think those body images started. When Steph asked that question, I, almost unconsciously, wrote a response in the comments. It came out of me so fast I don’t even remember writing it.
You were the most insensitive, rude, jackass of a father I have ever seen. Who points out to their 12 year old daughter she is "putting on weight"? Who thinks it’s a sign of affection to squeeze my legs and see how "solid" I was? Who asks, in front of other family members, what those marks are on my legs when you know damn well they are stretch marks.
And Dad, seriously, the only time you seemed at all proud of me was when I dieted myself unhealthily down to a reasonable weight. You didn’t care that I was a 16 year old starving herself and then bingeing because she couldn’t figure out why you didn’t love her just the way she was.
Never did you point out my non-weight/appearance achievements. Ummm graduate degree, career at age 21, my own home bought at 22. Nope, you know what you were happiest about. Me, getting married. As if you were scared no one would want my chubby ass.
I know in the end the decisions I make are mine and "blame" is an awfully harsh word but you had a big hand in starting my issues with food.
Thanks for nothing Dad.
Your HEALTHY daughter,
I’m posting this for two reasons. 1.) To help me deal with old demons and move on with my life. We all have our histories but how we learn and move forward is what really matters. 2.)To show you how much we, as parents, really do affect our kids. All the Moms out there who don’t think their body images will affect their children, all the Dads that make sly remarks about their child’s body size PLEASE be a bit more conscious of your actions. Live a healthy life by example and focus on the things your child accomplishes, not how they look.
I told you Steph’s question hit a little to close to home for me but I think it’s an important question to ask. Sometimes just thinking about a response, even if you never say it aloud helps.
So I mirror Steph and ask…
Do you have anything you want your parents, your significant other, siblings, or your friends to understood about your body/weight issues?
PS Use a fake name if you want, no one has to know it’s you.