Sunday, September 19, 2010

Something That's Been Weighing On My Mind

I've read a few blog posts recently about fat acceptance/healthy at every size (HAES) and I'd like to blog about it from the other side. Most of those bloggers write about being criticised for not being thin. I've lost a lot of weight since my second daughter was born. I now weigh less than I did when I was 15 and I have lost count of the amount of comments I've received about how "fantastic" I look and how "awesome" it is that I've lost so much weight. It's not fantastic, this wasn't' deliberate weight loss and it is definitely not a sign that I'm healthy. The last time I weighed this much I had not finished growing!

When I tell people how I lost the weight: stress, single parenting, breastfeeding, they gloss over it and return to how "fantastic" it is, despite me trying to tell them that it's not a healthy weight loss and that I'm tired.

I've had the hardest nine months of my life. My marriage has broken up. I've been solo parenting two young children who don't sleep. I don't always get a chance to eat properly because I'm focused on taking care of them. I've been breastfeeding and or pregnant continuously for almost four years now. My weight loss is a sign that my body is under a lot of pressure.

I am wasting away from stress. That is not a good thing!

When someone commented on my weight loss and I told them that it wasn't a good thing and I hoped I wouldn't be this weight this time next year and that I was so exhausted that I could barely get out of bed, they said "oh no you don't want to put that weight back on, don't say that!"

The comments also make me feel bad about how I looked before. I never used to feel bad about myself or my body before all this loss, but these comments make me question how I used to look and what people thought of me then?

Instead of trying to convince me how great it is to be a size ten when I have massive dark rings under my eyes and I'm stressed out of my mind, how about offering to help me out at dinner/bed time so I have a chance to eat when my children are going to bed? Or cooking me a healthy meal? Or just responding to me with "I'm sorry you're feeling crap" instead of "it's fantastic (that you feel like crap coz at least you're skinny)."

Whether you're a size 10 or a size 18 it doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy or unhealthy. If someone tries to tell you that they're exhausted and that they don't get to eat properly, it's probably an indicator that they're not healthy. Why do we have to comment on people's weight at all? Why can't we ask each other how we feel and focus on that.

HAES blog posts

Talking about diet talk - Spilt Milk

An anthropologist on Mars - The Shapely Prose

Imperfection - The Shapely Prose

Don't You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy? - The Shapely Prose

35 simple ways to be beautiful - Adios Barbie

Monday, September 13, 2010

Respecting Childrens Boundaries

Excuse me while I have a bit of a vent, but this has been bugging me for a looong time. Why don't people respect the personal boundaries of children? You wouldn't go up to a strange adult you didn't know and pat them on the head or try to pick them up of give them a hug. So why is it okay for you to do that to my children?

You also wouldn't pat a strangers dog without asking the owners permission first and yet people are always patting my children without asking their or my permission first.

Iris in particular is very wary of strangers and really doesn't like being touched by anybody and yet the colour of her hair seems to attract random petting. If she's yelling "Go away! Don't touch me!" please leave her alone and don't touch her (really pretty simple). Just coz they're cute, doesn't mean they're friendly (much like strange puppies!). Maybe my daughter needs to bite someone to get some recognition of her personal boundaries?

I would really like for my daughter to learn that when she says "don't touch me" she will be respected. It's really important for her to know that it's okay to say "don't touch me" and that her wishes need to be respected by others when it comes to personal boundaries.

The next person that pats my daughter on the head might find that I am going to do the same to them...

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