A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

“Why” can be a powerful question

on July 23, 2015

O is going through a phase where he’s fascinated with my belly:

I have a feeling I'm going to look a little pregnant for the rest of my life.

I have a feeling I’m going to look a little pregnant for the rest of my life.

Between losing 110 pounds and then regaining 10-15 of it, I have this squidgy flap of a belly. Oliver is in a phase where he’s constantly grabbing and jiggling it. He’s particularly fascinated with the way it hangs down when I do planks. Every time I ask him to stop I get caught by this mental stumbling block when he asks “why.”

Obviously, you should respect other people’s personal space and we’ve talked about not touching other people in ways that might make them uncomfortable. In his defense, I should point out he has stopped since I explained it that way and he has thankfully NEVER done this to anyone else. What gives me pause is how long it took me to come up with a good answer to this particular “why?” My honest answer is that it makes me feel uncomfortable because I’m self-conscious about my belly. It hangs out there as a reminder of my failures, at least in my mind, and yet I have this little voice in my head that reminds me that I absolutely CANNOT say that to Oliver because I want him to have a healthy self-image and relationship with his body.

If I’m not willing to say that kind of thing out loud for him to hear, why am I saying it in my own head? This bump doesn’t make me a lesser mom, a worse wife or less effective in my job. It doesn’t make me a bad person. It’s occasionally annoying when I run but it hasn’t kept me from running 5 half marathons in the last 18 months (HOLY COW – Is that right?).

We had our first cooking lesson this week: Scrambled eggs. He'll tell you that eggs have protein for your muscles so you can run and play.

We had our first cooking lesson this week: Scrambled eggs. He’ll tell you that eggs have protein for your muscles so you can run and play.

I talk a lot about what a motivation Oliver is in my food choices and in my exercise. Maybe it’s time I start using him as a motivation for upping my mental game as well. When I find myself in those negative mind spaces, I have to ask myself if I’d ever want him to hear me talking out loud like that. Whether we say those things out loud or not, kids pick up on it and for his sake and mine I need to come to peace with my belly.

I have a pool party to go to this weekend, so making peace with my belly is especially important. 🙂 There are definitely more awkward body parts he could be fascinated by, so I should be glad it was just my belly and thankfully this mostly occurred at home! Kids can be so odd. He truly didn’t understand why it made me feel bad. He liked that I was “soft” and wanted to know if my “skin stuck to my muscles like [his] when [I] was a kid.”

Anybody have any other tips for short circuiting negative self talk?

 

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6 responses to ““Why” can be a powerful question

  1. Marissa says:

    Oh kids. I’m hyper aware of what I say aloud about food, body, and exercise, too. It’s much harder to do it in my head, though. :/

  2. Ryan loves to jiggle my belly when I’m laying down. He gets such a kick out of watching my skin move back and forth! Why is it that the parts we dislike the most, they seem to zero right in on? You’re right, though… if we wouldn’t say it to our kids for fear of damaging their self-image, then we definitely shouldn’t be saying it to ourselves.

  3. d20girl says:

    I love the idea of not saying things like that to ourselves silently if we wouldn’t want our child to feel that way or to hear us talking out loud to ourselves.

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