How I Would Have Felt About This As a Child?
I'm fairly sure this would have completely shattered middle school Sarabeth's self esteem that was already teetering on the edge. I was by no means a skinny child, but being a late bloomer whom a friend's mother once commented, in front of many of my friends while I tried to stuff myself into some back to school clothes that, "I hadn't lost my baby fat yet".* Weren't the brown polyester shorts they forced us into wearing for gym class enough to keep us sufficiently fat shamed? Perhaps an additional score of F, for Fat on a report card would have aided in the nicknames from some boys who called me Wedgie Woman and sang a song along to the tune Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman with lyrics talking about how fat I was.** The scores would have fed the fire from all of the whispers for a formerly chubby middle school male friend of mine who had hit a growth spurt at the same time he went in for minor surgery and everyone talked about how he was actually at fat camp. Kids are already jerks, don't give them any more ammunition.
I know personally how I would have "dealt with" my fat scoring. I would have starved myself for two weeks before and then gone home to soak my troubles with milk and Oreos a la Natalie from the 1980's television show The Facts of Life.***
Me - day after the birth of the minions.
How Do I feel About this as an Adult and Parent?
I'm obviously a HUGE advocate of fat shaming as described above. As an adult I'm a weight fluctuator. I generally range in size between a 10-14 depending on how vigilant I am on watching what I eat and exercising. When we decided that we wanted to try to have babies "soon" I decided that I wanted to take my health and weight seriously. There have been a number of people in my family who suffered from complications because of weight gain in pregnancy and had trouble losing the weight that they had gained and I wanted to avoid this. I began working with a nutritionist and meeting biweekly to assess my weight, eating habits and help me make my food a way of life with the goal of losing 5-10% of my body weight before I started trying to get pregnant. During the course of my year with my nutritionist I succeeded and managed to undo some of my feelings about food as the enemy. I managed to lose 9% of my body weight and had a plan in place for healthy weight gain during pregnancy. I learned BMI does not work for people with a combination of any of the following factors: significant muscle mass or bone density. This obviously makes me question the validity of the BMI assessment in general.
Right now Molly is blessed with a high metabolism from Chris's side and Jack has the brute strength of a rugby player. Even if they would fit into the "normal range" either way on this scale they would be opted out by their parents. No questions asked. I can't protect my kids from playground bullies, but I can protect them from inaccurate fat shaming.
Want Multiple Momstrosity updates on Facebook click here
*Yeah thanks for that. That really helped with the name calling. I loved it when the overweight mom picked on my 12 year old chubbiness as I topped the scales at 80lbs.
**"Wedgie Woman walking down the street, Wedgie Woman had too much to eat, Wedgie Woman please don't sit on me!" - the wedgie was because my pants were too tight (obviously).
***Only they would have been called something weird like Jazz Cookies because my mother refused to buy us name brand cookies.