It’s the word no one likes to use. Except for my 3 year old daughter.
At a family gathering, she walked up to my mother in law with a few simple words.
“Grandma, you’re fat.” She responded quickly. “Yes, and you’re skinny.”
End of discussion.
No judgment. No euphemisms. No excuses.
There might have been 20 adults that were present for that interchange. I sat mortified in the corner, wondering about the right time to have sensitivity training for a toddler.
She was right, of course. No one in the room had much to say. I took my MIL aside and apologized. She smiled nervously and changed the subject.
My own mother was fat. She died years before my children arrived. I wonder what her reaction would have been to the same candor ?
We watched her lifelong struggle with weight. She married “Jack Sprat”, gave birth to 6 thin children, which made it so much worse. She used to encourage us to eat more, saying in a joking voice “I don’t want people to think that I’m eating all your food”.
She was frustrated that she always weighed more than our dad. When they married, she was a healthy 5 ft. 8 in. and 140 lbs. He was 6 ft. 2 in. and 138 lbs.
She also smoked to lose weight. It was the 1960’s. After all, the advertising wouldn’t lie. Sadly, it did work for her. But not for long.
Along came Metrecal, developed first as baby formula, then a supplement for folks who could not digest whole foods.
It soon became the meal replacement shake of its time.
Her most significant weight loss came with periods of mania, which were not properly diagnosed, went untreated, and were always followed by the weight gain of deep depression. The vicious cycle.
She never got to that goal weight. Not even with the cancer that took her life at age 53.
My own weight obsession was the polar opposite of hers. I was borderline anorexic, a term that was not used then.
I’ve been wanting to address the issue for some time. I’ll no doubt call it “Skinny”.
To be continued….