When did my daughter start thinking she was fat?
It began with the need to cover up her leotard at gymnastics.
My girls ran into the locker room and started peeling off their sweatpants and shirts. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed her, still fully dressed, fiddling with her shoelaces. “Can I leave on my pants?” she asked.
I chalked it up to the gym feeling a bit chilly. Soon, she started wearing her pants and a shirt over the leotard until she eventually refused to even put on a leotard for class.
When the warm weather arrived, the layers remained. She loved gymnastics, but no amount of coaxing would get her back into her form fitting sparkly leotard.
Looking at my beautiful daughter, I wanted to protect her. Did a classmate say something to make her feel inferior?
Or worse, was she modeling my behavior?
I realized that I was the one who needed to change. Asking my husband, "Does this outfit make me look fat?" proved to be detrimental to the little ears listening. Instead of talking about losing weight and dieting, my focus shifted towards getting healthier.
A simple change in my vocabulary made a world of difference.
With a new mindset, we worked to slowly rebuild the self esteem that had somehow been lost.
Spring turned to summer, which brought with it tank tops and shorts, pool parties and bathing suits. What would my daughter do when invited out to swim?
Unwrapped from her towel, she was once again confident and carefree. Her bathing suit clung to her curves as she cartwheeled across the grass.