Numbers are Relative

Why is it we get so caught up with numbers? The number on the scale. The number on our clothing. The truth is it isn’t the number that really matters.

My sister-in-law and I have had this talk before. She is tall, about 5″7, I on the other hand am vertically challenged, I’m 5″2 at the very most. If she was 150lbs that would look just fine on her, but at 150lbs (which I have been) I look like a total cow.

While in high school she used to get upset when her short friends would complain that they were 110lbs. She thought if they thought they were fat at 110, then she must be HUGE. Not so because the number is relative.

The problem I’m having is how do I explain this to my 13 year old daughter who is absolutely mortified that she is 110lbs and 5ft 3. She looks great, she is a size 4 and beautiful. The problem is all her friends still shop in the kids section. This we all know is not a bad thing but how do I get that through to her.

I have always tried really REALLY hard to not pass my food and weight issues off on her, but maybe I have failed. So how do I explain to by 13 year old that she is beautiful the way she is, and that she is in no way fat. How do I get her to understand that the number doesn’t matter?


9 responses to “Numbers are Relative

  1. Pingback: TV is Sucking the Life Out of Me | Monica Buckles

  2. oh man, that is a hard one. I don’t know. HUGS

  3. I don’t have an answer for that… girlie is 4 and I am trying so hard not to say ‘diet’ in front of her….not to say ‘fat’…not to say ‘I’m fat’….

    She is still completely without modesty….completely at ease with her body and all of its parts….and I love watching that.

    I think you need to just keep telling her she’s perfect as she is, keep reminding her how the photos she sees in magazines are so photo-shopped and faked….keep pointing out role models of all shapes and sizes.

    Good luck….

  4. I just think that this is one of those thing every girl has to go through. And 10 years down the road, she’ll realize how wrong she was. But in the meantime, just love her and tell her she’s beautiful. I don’t really think there’s anything you can do beyond that…

  5. I’m coming up with some pretty wild ideas. Like showing her pictures of fabulous models who are a size four as well. Complimenting her frequently on her appearance so she gets used to the idea that yes, she deserves compliments. Maybe address her (likely) fear that if her mum has weight issues she will too? Impress upon her that it isn’t just about genetics…it’s about the attitude we have towards ourselves and the choices we make?

  6. I totally feel your pain Monica. I’m going through the same thing with my 12 year old, who is about the same dimensions as your daughter. Has she been to the doctor for a well-check lately? When we were there last year, the doctor showed my daughter her height/weight percintiles and told her “You know how some girls your age worry about being too fat? These numbers show that you’re perfect”. It’s something I reference whenever she starts talking about being fat. Good luck – it’s a tough age in general.

  7. I know we’ll go through the same thing soon enough. My girls are 7 and 9. My 9 year old has already asked me if she’s fat — she’s not, in fact she’s quite slender. The girls have never once heard me refer to my own weight/appearance. We also do not watch TV or ever see ads. So what they’re saying is clearly coming from peers at school. Here at home we talk about healthy foods and good choices, the body and brain’s need for regular physical activity, etc.

  8. Does she want to shop there because all her friends do, OR does she want to shop there because the clothes are cute? I’d say a shopping trip is in order! Introduce her to the Juniors section…Target, Old Navy and Gap are some cheaper alternatives, with nice young looking clothes. For some real fun, take her someplace like Pac Sun…someplace that specializes in tweens clothes. Justice for Girls is great, but sounds like it’s not quite her size profile. Take it from a girl who was able to steal her mother’s clothes in 6th grade – don’t give her your old stuff, and DON’T let her shop in the lady’s section. That will do things to her head!

  9. You guys are amazing! All your advice is really helping. It is good to see that I’m not alone in this, that everyone has to walk this road.

    Teah I think you are right a shopping trip is always in order ;0) She really likes Aeropostale, and some American Eagle and the Gap. Her friends still shop at places like Limited Too. She does think that there clothes are trashy looking for little girls but still it bugs her that she can’t fit into the things that she does like from that store.

    I think your right about showing her people she looks up to and helping her realize that they are the same size as her. We have a neighbor who is INCREDIBLY thin. She is 6ft 4 and probably a size 2. I asked my daughter if she thought that this lady was fat, of course she said no. Then I told her that she weighs about 170lbs., my daughter couldn’t believe it. I think that she started to get the idea.

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