The Day A “FAT”Label Was Put On Me – At 5 Years Old

As I go through this process of leaving the diets behind (and I have been on MANY of them) in lieu of learning how to listen to what my body requires for fuel and eating for hunger vs. eating for emotional reasons, many things flash back through my mind.  I am feeling so blessed to have gone through everything I did regarding food issues and yo-yo dieting because it has led me to where I am today and not only am I helping myself, but I am helping others as well.  I want to share my insights in the hopes that it reaches those that can relate to my own struggles so they can know they are not alone and there is hope.

What is on my mind today is I am wondering if we realize what putting labels on children does to their self esteem?  You see, when I was 5 I definitely was a chubby girl but I was happy and had plenty of energy.  I remember playing outside constantly, playing hopscotch, making forts in the woods, climbing the ladder to our hayloft to jump all over the bails of hay, etc.  Life was all about going to kindergarten and coming home to play.  So, what happened?  An adult happened.  Now, I don’t blame this person as she felt she was doing my mother a favor by telling her, but it put a label on me and I remember because I was right there.  This adult told my Mom that the last time she saw me I was chubby but this time I was down right fat and I needed to lose weight.  Yes, those are her words verbatim.  They are forever carved in my brain.  Well, no doubt as to what happened next.  My Mom kicked the woman out of our house and told her to never come back and I haven’t seen her ever again.  My Mom consoled me because I was crying. You see, you think kids don’t understand things but we know that being called fat is not a nice thing and it made me feel different from other kids; like I wasn’t as good because I wasn’t thin.

My wish for all adults out there that when dealing with overweight children is to choose your words and actions carefully.  What adults say and do can truly impact a child’s life.  I have struggled through a life of obesity, dieting and eating disorders and maybe would have anyway, even if it wasn’t for that day.  I will never know and that’s ok.  I am where I am now and I’m good with it because it made me who I am today.  I know I am more than a label; we ALL are!

If you find yourself struggling with eating issues or yo-yo dieting and you truly want to break free of it all, reach out to me.  I’m here to help!

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