I woke up this morning and consciously decided to speak nicely to myself. You know, manifesting good things by thinking good things. Tapping into that kind and forgiving inner voice that I know is in there somewhere. Turning the volume of my Devil down and telling my Angel to speak up. Flipping the negative talk into positive language. Slapping the bitch in me to give the belle of the ball a second to stand up and curtsy... You get what I mean.
So I showered and let positivity rain down on me. Cleansing the negative thoughts away as well as showering to be all hygiene and shit -- seems as though some people skipped that memo from 'The Universe'. I let the water warm my body and my soul on the cold autumn morning but, of course, I'm a mother so I'm doing the whole showering thing while parenting at the same time. I call it Shower-Parenting.
'Shower-Parenting', better known as yelling from the shower to a bunch of minors who know you're not really going to get out of your nice warm shower to follow through with any of your threats so they continue to completely ignore you. Arseholes. Just wait til I'm outta here.
So I'm yelling and I'm showering and I'm washing negativity away. I know, I know, I've totally got this shit sorted, huh? I'm just about done when my six-year-old son wanders into the bathroom because mothers, as we all know, never shower or shit in peace.
He plonks himself on the toilet and begins his morning cleansing process. First, the passing of gas, then the smile and then me screeching "Are you doing a poo?" To which he sleepily replies: "Mm-hmm." Affirmative confirmation. I try to stay in my positive state while the hot air and gases combine.
Eventually, I admit defeat with the hot stench being too much to bear. I drag myself out of the shower and begin the drying process. Continuing with the positivity, I thank each body part as I go.
I dry my legs and thank them for doing their job. Thank them for functioning properly. How lucky am I to have legs that work, I say to myself. I wipe my rounded tummy and my voluptuous hips and thank them for carrying five children into the world. I thank my gluteus maximus for all the jobs that it does which I don't even know about. Then, in between my positive self-talk and my six-year-old's stinking plops, he sweetly says:
"You're fat, Mum."
It was matter of fact.
Three words from a child who doesn't have a filter but he doesn't need one because he's just calling a spade a spade.
I felt the need to clarify his judgement (or maybe for further punishment) so I asked "What makes you say that?" while thinking, praying, it must have been the way I bent over. Maybe the angle I was standing at? It definitely wasn't my outfit -- well, actually, thinking about it now I guess it was because there's nothing more honest than a birthday suit.
He looks me up and down, confused by my confusion, and reaffirms: "Cause you are. You're just fat, Mum."
Bam! Right next to my reflux pain I feel something... Oh, yep that would be my heart shattering into tiny pieces.
I'm fat. My kid thinks I'm fat.
He's being honest, not mean. He's using a word I hate to hear as a description of how he sees my physical body. It's a word he knows and understands that he can relate in describing me. Yes, I know I've put on weight and yes, I confidently tell everyone that I have while really hoping people don't actually notice that it's there and all the while praying to the Universe, God, and the Weightloss Fairies that it will just disappear overnight.
But it won't, because it's not bloating or fluid retention or 'just a good shit'. It is actual fat caused by over-eating.
Clever clothes may hide my rolls, I can paint my face pretty and I can do positive affirmations the f**k to death, but underneath it all the Pope is still Catholic and I am still fat. It is what it is. I get to either be okay with it or do something about it. But first of all I'll cry. That'll help. Foetal position, on the floor and cry.
Really?! Aww hell no! You ain't gonna let a little three letter word bring you to your knees. Bitch, really?
While temporarily in the foetal position, memories from only a few days before of my teenager informing me that I'm known as the 'mean mum' to his mates, came to mind. So with these flashbacks rolling and from the comfort of the floor I define myself as the fat, mean mum. Damn girl. You used to be the hot, fun mum. What the f**k happened to you?
Seriously. What happened to me, my body, my care factor? And, more importantly, what am I going to do about it? I took myself off the rollercoaster -- or so I've said. The cycle of diet-eat-starve-eat-diet-eat-starve-eat... you know what I mean. I'm out of that cycle, aren't I? I'm happy with who I am? So why did those three little letters bring me to my knees?
In all honesty, and with a little bit of dignity remaining, I can say that I actually didn't curl up in the foetal position. I just said that for the benefit of my internal breakdown. I didn't even cry. Almost, but I didn't. Why? Because of two things.
1) Fat doesn't define me. I know that. I am not less of a person, mother, friend, stylist, lover, life-giver just because I carry 10kg more than I should and,
2) I do not want to teach my son that the word 'fat' is another f-word that he can't say. You have fat and sometimes too much of it but you are not defined by fat and no this isn't an excuse to be carrying extra fat either -- maybe I will pull my finger out, maybe I won't. It just doesn't define the person I am -- unless I let it.
I did give my six-year-old some life advice, though, about using that f -word because, let's be realistic, he is going to be somebody's husband one day and I'd like my son to live beyond their first year of marriage.
Honesty here can take a back seat. I really tried to make sure he didn't feel bad about saying it but unfortunately, either my face gave it away or he can read me well energetically because for the rest of the morning he was all like: "Hey, Mum, can you help me put the toothpaste on my brush because you're so strong." And "Can you help me put my shoes on because you're so clever." So he may see me as fat but he also sees me as strong and clever.
I'm happy to take that on.
This post first appeared on June 16, 2016.