11/11: What Hurts The Most? Junior High!
Friday, November 11, 2011
The saddest thing in this world is watching the person you love the most make the same mistakes that you did. Last night, my niece called me and wanted money to buy one of those lose weight doing nothing devices. I told her no and had a long talk with her about weight. I hated every minute because I know what it means.
Baby girl is twelve and I love her so much it hurts, but I have been seeing this coming for a long time. Her BMI is higher than mine right now and she wears a size larger than I do. She just entered middle school and if my memory is correct than the horrors awaiting her are many. It was the worst time of my life and I would gladly give my life to spare her what is to come.
My sister, Tink, we call her cuz she's tiny, lives on junk food. She doesn't cook and her family lives on take out. Baby girl has no rules for eating. If she wants to have mac and cheese and mashed potatoes both soaked in butter for dinner than she is allowed. There are no vegetables, cakes and cookies abound, and capri suns are the "healthful" alternative my sister replaced baby girl's soda with. She drinks six or seven a day.
When I was staying with their family, Baby Girl played softball, basketball, soccer, and took dance twice a week. Since I moved out, she plays no sports because no one wants to take her even though Tink doesn't work. The most activity she gets is texting, reaching for the remote or the cookies.
I have gone on about it until I'm blue in the face. Baby girl does not have her mother's body type. She takes after me and my mom's side of the family. She's short and goes toward curves instead of angles. Tink does not understand, and honestly, I don't much think she wants to understand. Her world is small and she can't see anything bigger. It hurts my heart so much because I want to take it all away and let Baby Girl have a growing up experience that is joyful without humiliations or ridicule. I want her to have a home where what she needs is more important than the small, selfish minds of those around her.
But, with the asking of her favor and the conversation, I see a light.
I did tell her no to some gadget that isn't worth the paper it's printed on, but I told her if she wanted to do something, karate, dance, a sport, a Y membership, I would pay for it, gladly. I will go without, smiling and giddy, if it gets her active.
I signed her up with Spark Pages, got her all the apps for her phone, and told her she doesn't have to follow the advice, she can eat what she wants, but she has to log it and read three articles a day. I can't make her do something she doesn't want to do, but I can give her tools to educate and inspire her. She's a straight A student (never had a B, little smarty pants!) and I know if she gets the information about fats and proteins, reads about cardio and strength training, than she'll be able to look at her habits and improve them. I want her to do it now when she only has sixty pounds to lose, not a hundred and sixty like I did.
Most importantly, I DO NOT berate her or belittle her about her weight. I never have and I never will. If she is happy with herself and her body, I could care less what she weighs. She can weigh 400 pounds and if she can make me believe she is happy, though I'll worry about her health, I won't say a word. I felt ugly and unworthy for too long after I was told I should be unhappy with the way I looked and I was unworthy because I was fat.
There was no proms for me. No one asked. Boys didn't look at me like that and I didn't have my first boyfriend until I was in college. Painfully shy, overweight, and smart did not have them knocking down my door. It took a lot of years for me to get over the scars of my childhood. I don't want her to have scars. I don't even want her to be wounded.