What My Son Taught Me About Fear Of Getting Fat

Sometimes parents have to realize that even though kids are afraid to be fat, eating a lot of sugar will give them fatter bodies. If they try to avoid the problem by telling their kids they’re going to look like the Hulk, they may be doing them a disservice by not allowing their kids to feel more comfortable with themselves.

I used to look in at my little brother as he sat on the couch at my house, watching a cartoon on the television. That’s how I learned some of the most important lessons of my life. There’s someone in the world who is bigger, stronger, and smarter than me. At first I was afraid. What if he sees me, and he tries to kill me? But he was the only one watching, who would want to cause conflict between us at our age? As he turned his head the direction he was looking at me I saw the shape of a fat human being. He’s scared of being fat. The more he looked at me, the more terrified he got. “Just look at me. I’m so very fat,” he said. “I hate it!” I answered. “You hate it too, because you’re not comfortable with yourself. You wish that you could not be as fat, and that you would have a smaller belly. You want to be skinny. If you would like to be as big as a man, you need to lose a little bit of weight. But remember you can’t do it alone.” I explained. At first he was very embarrassed. A few months later he was walking around the house barefoot because he wanted to show me his size. If you’re a guy, it’s your body. But if you’re a girl, it’s also your soul.

I learned to love myself the way that I truly am, not how society has taught me to look. I took the steps they had told me to take. I went for a long walk every time I was feeling a bit sad and lonely. I tried wearing tight jeans or even a corset, but I just couldn’t keep up. It wasn’t that wearing tight pants would make me feel better or more comfortable. As I walked I just felt that something inside of me just gave up. But my friends would still say, You look great, you look so pretty. I still felt a bit down and ashamed. The truth was I was fat. But maybe I was okay with it, maybe I just needed to let my soul feel the way that it truly was. And I didn’t just let the soul of my body out, I let my love for my soul out.

Sometimes it pays to be honest. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit uncomfortable when my child tells me a lie. And my children don’t lie around me, they say everything they think. They tell me everything they think, even when I don’t want to hear it. If I tell my son and daughter to stop talking lies, I might hurt their emotional state if they’ve been telling lies for a while, and I’m also afraid that they will hurt me by not telling the truth. I don’t know if they know that their behavior is wrong. They may be lying not because they are afraid or scared, but because they don’t actually hate the fact that they are fat. But I also don’t want to be the bad father. I don’t want to give them excuses that they can use to lie to me. I don’t want to try to convince their friends that they are thin by telling my children that they are fat.

So I started to try to be truthful. I stopped giving them excuses. Instead of letting them tell me that they were afraid of being too big or too skinny, I told them that I was too fat for them. I told them that I needed to let my love for myself out, that my body just wasn’t big enough to love me back. I told them that they were already big enough for all the things in life that my body wasn’t capable of doing.

That’s when it hit me, that my son wasn’t afraid of being fat, he was afraid of growing up. He was afraid of not having enough love to love himself in this body, to be true to himself. He was afraid that no one would love him. I told him I loved him anyway, and that I was going to make sure that I told the truth to everyone else. My kids were so young when we had that conversation, but they understood it. I could see them in their eyes how they were reacting, that they didn’t want to be big. I could see them not wanting to be skinny either. They knew that they had things that they weren’t big for. I said to the boys, I know it’s hard to accept, but you can change that. You can always be smaller.