A good friend stopped me at my kids’ school last week to say hello. After a few minutes of pleasantries, she leaned in and whispered,
“How are things with your girls? Everything ok?”
I knew what she was asking. You may remember, last year one of my young daughters decided she didn’t want to be “fat” and stopped eating. Completely.
Unfortunately it happened again this summer. (Recap here and here). Thankfully this daughter is doing better (for today) ~ but trust me, this mama bear is keeping a very close eye on the situation.
HOWEVER….I AM SPITTIN’ MAD AND FED UP WITH THIS WHOLE “FAT TALK” JUNK.
You see, last week my daughter —the one who has wrestled with eating stuff in the past— came and told me that my other daughter said kids were teasing her at school. Now I ask all kinds of questions – and often – and this has never ever come up. I was shocked!
I immediately sat with my other daughter and asked her about what I had just learned. She shared through big wet crocodile tears that kids tease her and call her FAT all the time. At school. In the neighborhood. On the bus.
When I asked, “Can you tell me more?” ~ she shared name after name after name of kids – boys and girls – who have been calling her fat over the past year.
Can you even imagine?! My heart was shattered in a million pieces for my daughter and the horrible hurts she’s been carrying.
Later that night I went for a walk with my young son and was telling him what I learned. I asked him if he had heard his sister being teased, and wondered if there was more I should know. I was not prepared for what he would share. My son said..
“I haven’t heard her get teased, but kids call me fat all the time, so I’m used to it.”
Are you kidding me?? Not only is my daughter being teased, but also my son?! My athletic, healthy, hockey playing son – is being called FAT so much at school that he’s just used to it??!
Oh Lord, help us all!
- You’ve heard me rant and rave how Fat Talk has impacted my life – recap here
- You’ve heard me share ideas of how we CAN live without Fat Talk – recap here
- You’ve heard me share how Fat Talk has impacted my family – recap here
- You’ve heard me passionately share my heart on the radio – recap here
But I am now more FIRED UP than ever to be a voice of TRUTH in this media-driven, air brushed, vanity infused culture. Will you join me? Please?
For starters, let’s begin with us.
May we look in the mirror and declare, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am beautiful— just the way that I am.” Not focusing on our imperfections, but extending grace and acceptance to how God has made us (yes, that includes muffin tops, small chests, large chests, flappy arms or whatever “problem areas” you focus on!)
Then TODAY let’s remind one person (or more, but even one person would be a blessing) that they are BEAUTIFUL based on their heart and their character, and not the size of their jeans.
And for those of us with children, may we all remind our kids to be NICE, and LOVING, and that mean words HURT. Kindness does count.
And what if we all decided to take FAT TALK out of our vocabulary.
Let’s End Fat Talk together!
What about for you?? How do you stay healthy and Truth filled in this area? Have your kids wrestled with this before? Any tips for me – please?! I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*. God’s richest blessings to you!!
P.S. If you haven’t seen the “What is Fat Talk” video, please take 3 minutes to watch it. You’ll be glad you did 😉
Oh, Cindy!! I am reading a book right now you might want to read. It’s called “Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter” by Vicki Courtney. I’m only done with the 1st “conversation” and it’s about this very thing. Have you read it? I believe I got it through MelCat sisnce GRPL doesn’t have it. I will pray for you, Cindy! To be honest, I pray for you each time I walk by or drive by your house. I love what you do, and I adore your heart! Thank you for having such a profound impact on me!
Oh Phoebe, you make me cry! I have Vicki’s book already – just need to pick it up! I’ll start today! Thanks, friend! Want to sneak out for a walk someday soon? xoxo
Yes! I do! Let me know what works for you! 🙂
Cindy, this breaks my heart for your kids and for you. I’m sorry this is so and will pray protection and healing for your kids and wisdom and grace for you.
And if you’re looking to assemble a posse of avenging angels, I’m in.
Alison, we all know your prayers work too! Thanks, friend! 🙂
I am heartbroken for you. Ugh. I try and ask the right questions with my girls but you just never know what they are hiding from you. Our school did a big “mean behavior” push last year with this great educator and trained the parents as well and I feel like it really empowered my girls to stand up to bullying. They are still young, but it is something we constantly try and address. But I know my own body image issues make words slip out that I wish didn’t. It is definitely a battle.
I’d love to hear more about the program they had at your girls’ school. Sounds like something our school could benefit from too (although my daughter’s teacher has been excellent!). Thanks for joining the conversation, Jill!
It breaks my heart how mean kids can be. The word fat used to be spelled “Phat.” I wonder if that is what all the kids mean. No one ever said that to me when I was a child because I was only 98 pounds. I heard the other side of the coin – “zipper”, etc. From your picture above, your children are beautiful. Maybe these meanies are trying to put down your children so they can raise themselves up. They say words don’t hurt, but that is a lie. They hurt, a LOT! The devil is sure trying to get at you through hurting your children. Keep serving the Lord! He has never failed you yet! God is good! He loves your children, made in the image of God, and He isn’t fat! Praying for peace for your family. Praying also that I can get back to a good weight (I AM fat now).
Dear Sue – Thanks for your kind words, encouragement, & prayers! Prayer works! (P.S. And no fat talking for you either!) 🙂
oh, cindy. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. i came home in tears friday because i had witnessed an inordinate amount of meanness at school that day. so so so sorry your kids are suffering….
Kendal – I’m so sorry for your tears but I cannot think of ANYONE better to be an influencer at school than you! xoxo
Cindy, when I was 13 my friend told me her mom thought my butt was big. I lost 5 pounds that summer which spiraled into 20 by the end of December. I lived in the shadow of my best friend who would eventually be Miss Indiana and 2nd runner up to Miss America. At age 14 and 88 pounds my parents were going to hospitalize me. In my efforts to gain weight back, I became bulimic, which became my private world and hell for over 7 years until I finally dealt with it as I faced my pending marriage. When I had a girl as my first born I was petrified to raise her in the wake of my own issues with weight, food, and self-image. By God’s grace one word became part of our vocabulary – healthy. Defining conversation, self image, and processing what we saw in the media. As I talked with Kaylee over the years about what was healthy and what was not healthy, it also involved processing how other people view each other and where our identity lies. It’s a conversation we still have at age 21.
As a school counselor, I would encourage you to talk to the school counselor if there is one at the elementary school they attend or even their teacher. Sometimes a class lesson on these topics opens the discussion if the counselor knows the issues a particular classroom is dealing with. I don’t know if that would work in your district, but we have done things like that in the schools I have worked in. My heart breaks with yours. Kids are cruel, no doubt. God is bigger. May the power of His truth you pour into her be healing to the core of her being. I pray this for her in Jesus’ name.
Brenda, thank you for your authenticity, wisdom, prayers, and grace. I thank God for bringing you through your “private world” and now using you to point others to Truth! You are a treasure! 🙂