Sarah asks me this almost every night in the bathtub as she looks down at her tummy.
"No, honey. You aren't fat. You are perfect!" is always my reply.
Because she is not fat and she is perfect.
I'm not sure where she gets this notion of being fat. I have been very careful not to use the "f" word around her.
I never stare in the mirror and call myself fat or ugly or big or gross or hideous or any number of words I used to use to describe myself at various points in my adolescence.
I never tell her she can't have a treat because she might get fat. And when I talk about eating fruits and vegetables I always tell the kids it's because I want them to grow up to be strong and healthy and never because I don't want them to get fat.
So where is all of this coming from? I wish I knew so I could make it stop.
I don't want my 5 year old to worry about being fat.
I've been wondering if it's because I'm Shredding and getting excited with the way I look and feel. When she asks me why I'm "taking my exercise" as she calls it, I explain it's because mommy wants to be healthy and strong. (Which is true.) I never mention that I want to wear a bikini or that I want to wear smaller clothes. (Which is also true.)
I wonder if she can sense it though. If my actions and my words, as guarded as they may be, are sending her the wrong message about her beautiful 5-year-old body.
I hope not. Because I want her to love herself, inside and out. And I don't ever want her to have to ask me if she's too fat or too tall or too freckled.
I want her to know that she's perfect. But it's more than just knowing it in her head.
I want her to feel that way in her heart.