J and I come from big stock. My mom is one of 8 and she at the short end of the group at 6'. And J, well, J is 6'7. He towers over me by 10 inches (making me 5'9, of course). We are most often the tallest couple in the room. And we are definitely not "skinny" tall. We are "thick" tall or "built like a brick house" tall. I mean, seriously, have you seen my quads? Well, J has them too.
Because of this, I have always had a fear about my girls' future size. It's pretty much a given that they are going to be tall and naturally muscular. I'm cool with that. But I was built that way too, and I know how easy it is to go from tall and muscular to tall and muscular with a thick layer of fat.
I like to think that I have a pretty good body image. No, it's not perfect, but I have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. A relationship I try to show on a daily basis to my children. I do my best not to be judgmental of anyone's appearance. And for the most part, they get it. We don't eat a lot of junk in this house (cupcakes are not junk, they are an indulgence). They like to run. They love to play soccer. They dance. Basically, healthy habits are shoved in their faces (in a positive manner).
But the other day, I did something I swore I'd never do. I yelled at Dizzle about food and exercise. The conversation went like this ...
Me: Dizzle and Doodle, you have to get ready to go to ballet.
Dizzle: I don't want to go to ballet anymore.
Me: Why? Don't you like it?
Me: Well, that's unfortunate. But, Mommy and Daddy spent a lot on your dance class and you made a commitment. You have to finish the year. If you don't want to dance in the fall, we won't sign you up.
Dizzle: (crying) But, I don't want to go. And I don't want to play soccer either.
Me: (starting to get worked up): What?!?! You have to go to dance. I already told you that. And you love soccer. Why wouldn't you want to play?
Dizzle: I just don't want to. I want to watch TV and eat.
And that's when it happened ...
Me: WHAT?!?! You want to watch TV and eat? Why? So you can get fat? Did you see all those people at the restaurant last night? They sit around and eat. And look at them? Do you want to be like that?
I instantly regretted it. I never ever wanted to share those thoughts with my kids. But in that moment, my fear that she would go down that road had such an effect on me that I couldn't hold back. It wasn't pretty. And it was definitely a moment of bad parenting ...