Confession: I don't want Eve to have any memories of me being fat.
I don't ever want my daughter to be ashamed of her mother. And I am afraid that if I don't lose weight, she would be.
(Now, okay. Let's be real. By the time Eve turns 11, she will be embarrassed of me because of how I breathe. Or, you know, how I blink. I remember being 11 and I remember that my parents were utterly mortifying simply because they had the nerve to exist. But that's not what I'm talking about exactly.)
I don't want Eve to have to deal with other kids making fun of her because of something I am entirely responsible for and can entirely control.
But I'm not sure I'm right. I'm not sure that's a good reason to lose weight.
I KNOW that Eve's own body image will be based less on what I tell her and more on what I show her. I want to be healthy, I want to maintain a healthy weight, and I want to eat good foods because I want to show-by-example great eating habits that she will hopefully employ throughout her life.
On the other hand, I do not want to teach Eve that being fat is inherently bad. I don't think growing up with a "fear of fat" is a healthy approach to living. (Case in point: Me.) Isn't body acceptance -- at any weight (or appearance, for that matter) -- the ultimate goal?
I have noticed this: in my life, the people who are kindest and most accepting of my size are generally those who aren't overweight themselves but who have someone in their immediate family who is. Maybe if I never lost weight, Eve would be one of those kind people.
But then, maybe if I never lost weight and also never seemed unhappy about, diminished by, apologetic for, or embarrassed of my body, my daughter wouldn't have to be, either. And maybe that's the healthiest goal of all.
Except...how do I do that? How do I want to be totally not weight-conscious and totally weight-conscious at the same time? How do you encourage "health" without encouraging "fear of fat"? How do you make one good without making the other bad?
And I mean, it's not like my losing weight will suddenly make Eve not have body issues. I'm just having trouble reconciling the notions that:
a) I am not happy as an overweight person and do not like being identified as fat. The idea of being someone's "fat mom" is horrifying to me;
b) I don't want Eve to ever feel horrified for how she looks, however she looks.
How do you do it? How did you do it? How do you wish you could have done it?