The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Why Are You So Fat?

on April 14, 2012

I call myself fat, but when someone else calls me fat my defences go up automatically.  Even if it’s a friend who thinks it’s ok because I’ve said it.  I use the word to disarm people.  If I say it first then they can’t use it to hurt me, I’ve diffused it.  To be honest most people are too polite to say it to my face, but there are always those who surprise me. A boyfriend once asked me why I was so fat and I laughed it off, but he might as well have slapped me in the face.

But then there are children, little sweet, bundles of innocence who like to crawl into my lap because I’m warm and squishy and they ask me plainly and matter of factly why I’m so fat.  Teenagers are another story, most being obnoxious hosebeasts on a good day so if one calls me fat I usually thank them for noticing or point out that I also have brown hair and hazel eyes since they are pointing out the obvious.  Usually by this point they are long gone, but I say it to myself anyway.  But back to the little blobs of love who hug me tight and call me fat. 

My first thought is to tell them that it’s impolite to call someone fat, but I don’t want to admonish them for asking an honest question.  So my typical response to little ones is that people come in all shapes and sizes and that that is ok.  However given that I don’t like my size and continue to try to get healthy I’m not sure that is the best answer.  Hopefully it will keep them from ridiculing the chubby kids on the playground, but it’s not a particularly honest answer.

I don’t think a four year old poking me in the belly because it’s fun to watch it jiggle will understand a discussion on calorie intake or the need to increase aerobic exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight, but perhaps the conversation needs to cover making healthy choices like carrot sticks over potato chips and encouraging running about at recess.  Of course then the issue becomes whether or not it’s my place to have this discussion with someone else’s kid.  But for argument’s sake let’s say it is, since I am something of an expert on the subject.

A quick internet search later and it seems that most people simply tell kids that people are all different and that’s what makes us all special or they they try to gently admonish children by telling them it’s not polite to talk about other people’s bodies.  Hmm.  I’m just not satisfied that this is the best way to handle it. 

I think we need to talk to kids simply and straightforward and reinforce that no one should ever be made fun of or ridiculed for their weight or size, but also educate them on eating fruits and vegetables and drinking water and only having a few cookies or treats now and then.  I am always astounded by adults who haven’t learned these lessons and think that chicken fingers and mashed potatoes from a box are healthy eating so any chance we have to educate little kids needs to be taken.

– the Goddess


2 responses to “Why Are You So Fat?

  1. That was my obnoxious, er adorable, 4 year old doing the poking and the questioning. Sorry! We did have the “people come in all shapes and sizes and that is ok” talk and she seems to get that it is ok, just not why they come in different shapes and sizes, what makes one person skinny and another person fat? I am hesitant to chalk it all up to choosing carrots over potato chips since I don’t think it is as simple as that. I know I eat much better than I did when I was young but I am still at least 40 pounds heavier than I was when I ate nothing but pop and chips. Don’t get me wrong, I know diet plays a role in weight, but I am not convinced that it is the only factor.

    Having said all of that, we do try to make good food choices with the girls, but we have never discussed calories or diets or weight. We talk about getting enough vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, fiber etc. and why those things are important to your body etc. I figure if my kids are eating well and being active they will probably be ok weight wise and if they aren’t then it is not because of what they are eating and doing but something about their genetic makeup or a medical condition or bad luck and not something they should be made to feel bad about or that they have failed in some way. So, I don’t discuss their weight, I don’t discuss my weight and I don’t discuss other’s. Well, except on this blog 🙂

  2. She is adorable 🙂 And I agree that the cause of obesity is multifaceted, as is the solution, but eating a variety of vitamin and nutrient rich foods and exercising is a definite and significant factor.

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