It’s Sunday afternoon and I know we haven’t been around in a few days. We hope you missed us as much as we miss you! This week has sent both Ava and I quite a few challenges, but challenges conquered, we look forward to posting every day again!
Onto the post:
Longing for a break this week, I took my stepson Brenner to the beach late one afternoon. One swimming requirement he has whether at home or in public is that he wear a swim shirt. I don’t see the logic in it as it can neither be cool or comfortable. Here’s the skinny on Brenner, he’s 8 years old and unfortunately, he has a weight issue. He’s been overweight for a few years now. The long and the short of it is that through a nasty divorce, both parents unwittingly consoled him by indulging him in whatever he wanted. It’s not easy to undo those bad habits, but we’re working on it. The difficulty is that although we have a “clean” house, his mother does not and still rewards him with junk food, processed food & ice cream.
On this day, I realized the struggles he faces. As he’s sitting there with the sun beating down on him, I think to myself, he has to be hot. I ask, why do you wear that shirt to the beach? He replied, I’m fat, but I’m working on it. This is the first time I heard any inclination that he was uncomfortable with his body. Through all of our conversations about food being fuel for your body and how what we eat affects us, I assumed he was okay with his physique.
Armed with the knowledge that he was looking to change, I thought I would give him a little inspiration and self esteem. I think wearing the shirt only helps to avoid reality. If we get rid of the mask, we face what we’re trying to avoid. So I proceed to tell him that it’s okay to show your belly while you’re swimming and that he shouldn’t have to suffer because of his appearance. No one should feel inferior. In our conversation I explained to him that it’s not about the size or shape of his body, but what he does to take care of it. I told him that we would come to the beach another day at a busier time, sit back and watch all the imperfect bodies that walk by. This is something the girls and I have done for years. Yes, we work at being healthy, but having the perfect body…rarely such a thing! After our conversation, Brenner removed his shirt and was so happy when his dad arrived to share his new found freedom. I’m still amazed that someone so young is cognizant of their body image. I know we hear about it all the time with girls and magazines, but it just goes to show that gender and age don’t matter when it comes to how we feel about our appearance.
We’ll continue to work on his weight, but in the meantime, I’m so happy he now knows he doesn’t have to hide. I hope that all of you, no matter what your figure, you embrace it. Be the healthiest person you can be and be happy with your results. I do know that for some of us that’s a size 4 and for others it’s a 10, but there is no perfect body to be had, only your perfect body!