“You are just the right size”
This is a phrase I say to my four year old daughter. I happened upon it while we were cleaning out her closet full of clothes that she had outgrown. I watched her put on a nightgown that barely grazed her stomach. I said, “That shirt is too small” and thinking about all the articles I have read about mothers and daughters and how her relationship to her body starts with mine.. etc and added, “You are just the right size” because three years ago, people kept calling her chubby and chunky and it made me crazy and in some cases, it even made me cry.
I posted about it here and begged people to stop making comments to parents and their babies about weight. Full stop. Over or under— what do you know? How are you qualified to judge if a baby is too big or too small? You never know who had a weight problem growing up (hello, I did!) and what you might be triggering.
My love affair with my body started in 2014. Ironically enough, I planned to lose 75 pounds (actually wound up losing 50) and I planned a fabulous photo shoot to celebrate as my “reward” The photo shoot changed the way I look at my body, I felt glamorous and sexy, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Jessica Rabbit wrapped up in one package. Thank you, Lone Star Pinup!
The love affair grew with a show I did 3 years later called “My Big Fat Bahookie” a play all about loving your body EXACTLY as it is.
Note- This does NOT preclude the desire or action to change your current weight or look, as long as it’s because YOU desire a change, not because some bozo fat shames you on social media.
But back to my daughter and this phrase, “You are just the right size”
It’s easy for me to tell her this because I believe wholeheartedly she is just the right size.
It’s a little harder for me to apply that phrase to myself, despite the aforementioned body love journey. It’s so hard when something you think you have conquered sneaks up on you and you are still affected by it, you know?
I have recently started dancing in my living room and finding it satisfying (thanks Lizzo!!) but there has not been the intention of weight loss added to it. It would be easy to freak out and go hard on myself and take things way too far.
That slapped me right in the face when I stepped on the scale at the doctor two weeks ago and found out that I have gained 26 pounds since my last time on a scale which was 6 months ago. It’s not hard to suss out why… um, can you say “global pandemic”? which led to gyms being closed, which means no child care for me while I swam in the pool which means I stopped going regularly in April, which was six months ago. There you go, Easy math for all.
In the part, I might have beat myself up, and planned out a diet which would be no carbs, no sugar, no chocolate, get this weight DOWN, but because “the body is not an apology” per Sonya Renee Taylor, I am taking it easy on myself, and simply paying a little more attention to what I eat, which is sometimes chocolate and sometimes apples. Neither is “bad” or “good” they are food.
I implore you, start saying this phrase to yourself, “I am just the right size” and if you have people in your life who are bemoaning their weight, up or down, join me, won’t you? Let’s turn the tide on fat-shaming and body dysmorphia that plagues people of all genders. At the very least, say it to yourself, and say it loud, say it proud, “I am just the right size”
Think About It.
Now, go ahead and post your “just the right size” photo and share this!