Wednesday, October 2, 2013
"Fat" is a State of Mind
But I don't think that is true. I think it IS a state of mind, and I will tell you why.
To me, "Fat" people don't care about what goes in their mouths. "Fat" people stuff their faces with fried, fatty foods, gulp down the sugary drinks, and pass on their habits and addictions on to their children. "Fat" people aren't TRYING to get better, or if they do, they fail, and then resign themselves to being fat forever because they just don't have the drive to care about themselves, their health or those around them. "Fat" people suffer from many sicknesses and diseases that could easily be cured if they got the weight off. "Fat" people usually aren't happy with themselves, suffer from depression, are bullied, but they don't know how to get help or they just don't want to. I was "fat" once upon a time, because I stopped caring... I stopped trying.
These last 10 to 20 years or so, with the rise of technology, lack of health and cooking education, more people out in the work force (eating quick food for lunch, and not cooking healthy things at home), and the rise of fast and processed food -- among many other factors, the obesity levels for the US have sky rocketed!! Just here in Oklahoma, over 30% of adults are considered obese.
And where you find one extreme, you will find the other -- super healthy fit people, as well. When you get the two extremes together you get fireworks... let the judgments fly! I have heard the nasty remarks from both the "Fat" and the "Skinny" and it can be super mean and hurtful and not many are trying to see the other's side. And the rest of us get caught in the crossfire... and then even our children suffer.
I refuse to take any side. I can see each side's points, but they both kind of tick me off as well. I have issues with people being judged for whatever reason. I have had many good friends suffer from obesity and I have also had good friends who suffered from anorexia or other eating disorders, and I have extreme sympathy for both. My heart aches for those who struggle on each side of the spectrum.
What I don't tolerate is shaming and cruelty. And it is my hope to teach my boys how to respect EVERYONE no matter what their trials and choices are in life. I will not tolerate my boys to become mean and bully others. So after all that I have done to teach my boys kindness, you can imagine my horror of what happened this morning.
This is what happened:
I woke the boys up this morning to get ready for school. Nephi hadn't taken his medication yet and was standing in front of the dresser looking off into space. I walked over and nudged him over a little so I could get to the dresser to get out some pants for them. He then looked right at me and spat, "Oh, my gosh, Mom! You are so FAT!" I froze. My heart and stomach sank right to my feet. "Fat" is a swear word in our house. I turned to him and looked him in the eyes and said calmly:
"Excuse me? What did you just call me?"
"I called you FAT! Because that is what you look like!" I was speechless. Haven't I raised my boys better than this? What had gotten into him. I held back my tears, shoved his pants at him and told him to get dressed.
I went in the bathroom, shut the door, and sobbed.
Put downs were not allowed in our house. I thought I was a better mom than this!
When I calmed down, I found the boys in the living room eating breakfast. I had then pulled some pictures up online of some morbidly obese people. Not people who were just sitting there or walking around, but the ones of the people stuffing a hamburger in their face... and that horrid one of the lady sitting in the power chair eating the block of cheese.
I showed them to the boys.
"See these people? These are FAT people. These are people who don't care or don't know how to take care of themselves. They eat bad foods, drink lots of sugar drinks, and don't exercise. These are people who have resigned to be FAT. That is THEIR choice and state of mind. Is this what you think of me?!"
They were quiet.
"Well, is it?!"
"No, Mommy!" They both said.
"I would hate it! I hate that word!" Nephi said.
"Then don't call people 'fat' because it's mean too!"
Nephi didn't apologize. But I could tell he was sorry by the pout on his face. He has a hard time admitting when he is wrong. But if he learned something, it was worth it. I would rather him call me Fat and learn from me why it was wrong, then to go around at school calling other kids that.
"Fat" is a mindset. I used to be "fat", and I admit that I am still overweight, but I am healthy, I am active and I make good food choices, for myself and for my family. And some of the most amazing people I know are heavier set, but run like there is no tomorrow!!! And "fat" never crossed my mind when I see them... not even once! Because, honestly, when I am running down the road, "fat" is the last thing I am thinking about myself either... mostly I am too busy feeling like a Rock Star! As should we all!!