Before You Say “I’m Fat,” Consider This
by Sharon Jaynes
What will little girls think about their bodies? Their beauty? Their worth? So much depends on us.
One of the most important statement I make in my book, The Power of a Woman’s Words is this: “Our words become the mirrors in which other people see themselves.” That is a daunting thought.
My niece, Anna, posted about a poignant moment with her eight year old daughter on Facebook, and I just had to share it with you. It’s that important. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s welcome Anna to the table…
I love myself but…
…I hate my thighs. I do. I also hate my post-baby, three-times-c-sectioned tummy. No matter how many planks, sit-ups or miles I run, it will never be like it was when I was in college.
And that makes me sad, frustrated, and sometimes angry.
When my sweet husband tells me I look beautiful, instead of just thanking him, I answer back with a caveat: “Thanks, but I look fat.”
I do this in front of my kids sometimes without realizing it. My boys always come back with, “No way mom, you look awesome” or “We think you’re beautiful!”
But my daughter, she’s just quiet. Watching. Listening.
Later she’ll come up to me, hug me, and whisper, “I love you so much, mommy.”
A couple of months ago when she was all dressed up, I saw her looking at herself in the mirror. I stopped and said “Lillian, you look absolutely stunning!” She turned around and said to me, very matter of fact, “No I don’t. I look fat.”
I gasped! Doesn’t she know how precious she is? Doesn’t she know how beautiful she is? What a blessing she is? Doesn’t she know what a miracle her very existence is?
And then I remembered all the times I answered her dad with the very same words.
I was sad, ashamed, and most of all heartbroken. Lillian is 8 years old. She understood that “fat” was how I felt about myself, so she decided she should feel that way too.
Lillian and I had a long talk that day. I told her what a blessing her life is, and how God made her special, unique, and beautiful.
I also apologized to her, my two sons, and my husband for not loving myself like I should.
Lately, I’ve been saying “thank you” when I get compliments–something new to me–and it’s made all the difference.
Now when I tell Lillian how gorgeous she is (which is all of the time) she looks at me with her bright hazel eyes and says, “Thanks mommy! I think you’re really beautiful too!”
After reading Anna’s words, I’m more careful with my words about myself. After all, you never know what little ears are listening, what little eyes are watching, what little minds are processing what they see in the mirror each day.
And don’t forget…you are God’s masterpiece!
Sharon Jaynes is a speaker at women’s conferences and the author of 20 books, including The Power of a Woman’s Words, Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids, and Becoming the Woman of His Dreams: Seven Qualities Every Man Longs For. To learn more, visit www.sharonjaynes.com