I remember the first time someone told me I was fat.  And for me, that’s saying something.  As those close to me will tell you, my memory is pretty poor when it comes to everything, specifically my early childhood years.  Yet there are some memories that stick with you for all the wrong reasons.  This is one of them.

My sister and I had gone to our pediatrician for a physical so that we could attend church camp, I guess.  We couldn’t have been more than 7-9 years old.  After the exam was complete, I specifically remember the harsh female doctor looking straight at my sister and I and telling my mom we were fat and should lay off the sandwich meat at lunch time.

Now, let me clarify something here for all those going, “well, she was probably right, it’s her job to point out childhood obesity.”  I am the first to admit that I am not in the BMI range that one would consider average.  However, at the tender age of 7, I can assure you I was far from overweight.  In fact, that was the only time in my life I probably have been the proper weight.

I’m not saying the doctor shouldn’t have shared her opinions with my mom about our health.  That’s what doctors are for.  However, when you have two seven year-old twins standing in the room, I think there are better ways to handle it, such as, “Mrs. Bastek, can I speak with you in private?”.  Every time I drive by the place where that doctor’s office used to be, those words hang in the air as if it were yesterday:  “You’re fat.  Change.”  Needless to say, my mom was enraged about how the doctor handled that situation and never took us back to her again.

I’ve struggled with body image all of my life, most likely ever since that moment.  All of us have a memory like that, one that causes us to stop in our tracks and say, “There.  That’s when I started behaving like this.”  All those times I’ve sat alone, crying over the scale, I think about that moment, trying to use it as an impulse to change.  However, for some of us, it just isn’t that simple.

Our society is obsessed with how women look.  It’s part of our nature to behave like this, and it’s part of others’ nature to think that if we are overweight we are therefore lazy and don’t care about our appearance.  In a series of posts every Tuesday, I’ll be chronicling some honest insights I’ve learned from my own struggles with food and weight.  These insights will be real, shocking, and may surprise a lot of people.  These posts are not meant to be a pity party so everyone can tell me how “good” I look.  That’s not the point.  The point is to be honest about the way we, as women, talk about our bodies, and to find solutions that are healthy and help us improve our self-image.

I know that not too many people may read this, but I hope that some of these insights will speak to those that do.  The only way we can stop ourselves from the hatred we attach to our bodies is by talking honestly with others that do the same.

Stay tuned for next week’s Tuesday Truth!

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