A couple of days ago, I punched as ever-so-often the physical data (height and weight) into a unit converter (seriously, how long are the US sticking to the imperial measurements??) for the report to the State-side grandparents, when I happened to stumble upon this percentile calculator. Curious as I am, I checked their stats in comparison to their U.S. peers, and received back a quite infuriating result: according to this calculator, Lily is considered marginally overweight.
Let me be honest: yes, I am aware that both my girls have very different body types. Lily has already been showing signs of becoming curvy later in life as a toddler, while Violet has always been tall and rail-thin. To be honest, I've always seen her marginally underweight (to the point where my mom wants to know what she eats!), but according to this calculator, she's somewhere in the middle range.
Ok, dear doctors who drew up this chart: we are giving our kids healthy food to eat, little processed foods, as much whole grains as possible, fruit, vegetables, and yes, most days a treat after dinner, which is usually a small piece of chocolate, an individual sleeve of gummi-bears, and in summer orange juice popsicles. And both of our kids are active. If the weather is nice they spend the evenings outside until it's time for bed; we sing and dance, play catch around the coffee table, and sometimes (if Daddy is out for band practice) jump on the bed. I would like to know what exactly makes you believe that our daughter is "marginally overweight"? Do you have an idea what you can possibly do to a young girl's emotional state of mind with a completely unfounded opinion like that (this chart goes to the age of 12, and many 10 or 12-year olds may be able to figure their score out themselves)? What a I - as a "good parent" supposed to be doing with the information you kindly provided? Cut her portions? Make her work out? Cut her dessert? And how am I going to explain to her that her sister is still getting her treat while she doesn't? Am I telling her: "oh, sweetie, that's the thing, you're just a tad bit on the heavy side, so we need to fix that until you can have dessert again!"
She will remember it, and make it a part of herself. She'll watch other girls her age or older, or younger, and want to be like them even though there is a good chance she'll never look that way due to body shape and genes. She will start hating her body and put all her energy into it to conquer it; or she will give up and start eating up her frustration. Why do I know? Because I've been there. I have lost years of my life watching every single calory that entered my body. I ate and puked. I became tired, my skin dried out, I became weak, but not able to break the circle. Whenever I ate, I felt guilty, I felt like betraying the person I could be, until I realized that I can either accept the person I am and embrace her, or keep fighting her for as long as I can and still lose this war. The experience that helped me win the battle in the end was getting pregnant. I knew that I wanted a healthy baby and I knew that only a healthy me could ensure that; and once I held this beautiful little girl in my arms, I promised her to raise her a strong woman who will love who she is and enjoy every minute of her life. I know it won't be easy, but I'll do my best to fulfill this promise to both our daughters.
So what am I going to do now? Nothing. I will not change her eating habits, which are fine. I will not cut the treats from her diet and punish her for inheriting my genes. I will not chase her around more, because she is already a healthy, active, and beautiful little girl. Her pediatrician is happy with her, her speech therapist is happy with her, and her physical therapist is happy with her, and most of all, I am happy to have such a remarkable girl be my daughter!
|Not fat, not skinny, just having fun!|