Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Deja Vu

Yesterday, the kids had their annual doctor's appointments.  For the most part, visits to the doctor are pretty stress-free, the occasional fear that there will be shot (mostly from the 17 year old), a few uncomfortable moments when the doctor has to look at private parts.  But yesterday, we had something brand new. 

Body image issues.  

It seems that the daughter put on some weight.  I won't say how much, but it was enough to set her over the edge.  See, apparently, the Wii Fit (see my post from yesterday) was NOT just being maniacal and causing trouble.  No, apparently, sonny boy lied when he said Wii Fit had weighed him 15 pounds heavier, so the weight that my daughter fretted about throughout the day was actually correct by the doctor's scale as well.  And THAT was a problem.  
I hate you!  I hate you!  I hate you!

I have often said that my daughter is way more level-headed than I was as a teen.  She is not super boy-crazy.  She is confident in herself.  She has good judgment.  I guess I got cocky.  I guess I figured she was immune to those nagging and often paralyzing blows to self-confidence that plagued my teenagehood.

I guess I was wrong.

One stupid number on a scale ruined her entire day.  She refused to eat.  She went to bed at 8.  She told me that she is "unlikable" and that she didn't need this kind of stress (I believe the stress of watching what she eats).  I tried to be supportive.  I tried to tell her that if her clothes didn't fit differently, she was probably fine.  I tried to tell her that she was still well within the range of healthy.  It didn't matter.

It hadn't mattered with me either.

So, my fear is that she will end up like me...on an endless barrage of diets and exercise regimes...constantly feeling bad about what I eat and what I look like.  I have tried not to show that dark side to her.  I have not overtly complained about my weight or the way I look.  But maybe I sent nonverbal signals.  Maybe I modeled something I didn't intend.  Or maybe she's fallen into the all-too-typical teen girl angst of poor self-image like so many of her friends.  I know of at least 1 who is always on a diet.

So how do I teach her to love herself?  How do I make her see that a number on a scale doesn't define who you are when I often find myself thinking that it does?  It's deja vu all over again, and it's a roller coaster ride I really wish she could skip.  

Here we go again

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