Yesterday was a long day. A beautiful, wonderful and fun day but a long day just the same.
Although, who am I to properly judge what qualifies as a long day? Normally by 9:00 am, I have already put in a full day and would easily put my pajamas back on and call it a night knowing I accomplished blog reading and writing, a decent amount of miles, enough interaction with my son and two meals (yes, I eat twice by 9:00am).
Yesterday was my son’s fifth grade class trip which took place at a beautiful local day camp which I used to call my own growing up. I even worked there for a bit too.
My son attends a different day camp during the summer but that is neither here nor there at the moment.
Anyway, the point of this post isn’t really about the trip or my memories as the camper who never wanted to go in the pool and get her hair wet, put her feet in the grass without a shoe on and certainly without a doubt would never climb this ladder in order to zip on a line.
My son is ten. Do you remember ten? Well ten today is more like twelve or thirteen when I was a kid.
I am convinced that modern technology has escalated the interests and knowledge of children today. I mean, I was still playing barbies at ten. And probably twelve (and thirteen, okay fourteen too).
Ten is that age where kids suddenly start noticing their bodies more. Noticing that they want to look a certain way, be a certain size – the perfect size.
A friend of mine recently informed me that some of the girls her daughter knows are beginning to not eat and my goodness – throw up.
As for the boys, I am hearing things about not wanting to show their stomachs when they put a bathing suit on because they feel they are too scrawny or too big.
It upsets me to hear these things.
Our innocent children are entering the world where puberty begins, kids are mean, body images become distorted and the media intervenes with all things weight loss and becoming as thin as possible.
Posing for selfies and constantly seeing themselves in a facetime camera cannot possible be helping here.
The child in me fears puberty for my son. The adult in me tries so hard without overdoing it when it comes to raising him to be active in sports and enjoy a balanced diet since I believe so strongly that those two things are the key to healthy life-long weight management success.
He is just like me – a good eater.
I never want to take that from him. It stresses me to read the ingredients sometimes in certain foods which I try not to bring into my house yet at the same time, I never want him to feel deprived.
I speak all of the time about filling up with unprocessed foods (fruits and vegetables!) yet he is a kid and kids eat processed foods.
I am not oblivious to this.
I even allowed this box of lemon ices which he requested by brand even though all I see when I look at the ices is the high fructose corn syrup listed second in the ingredients.
The one thing though that I won’t bring into my home is a scale.
As nutty as my son may find me for reading the labels on Gatorade, running a bazillion miles and trying to pass off bananas as ice cream, I am hoping that growing up without a scale makes some form of an impression on him that the number means nothing.
All of this just dawned on me the other day. There is no reference to numbers in our house. He has never once in his entire life seen me step on a scale or speak about gaining a pound or losing a pound or even discuss calories of the foods we consume.
When he mentions being weighed in school (which should be against the law) or discusses what he weighed when he stepped on a scale in someone else’s bathroom, I tell him that the number means nothing.
I explain my thoughts to him as to why the number means nothing and how every body is different. I dabble a bit into the world of muscle weighs more than fat, how some people naturally weigh more than others even though they may not look it.
I venture into the land of everything in moderation and fueling up properly to play ball most effectively. I use myself as an example in that as tiny as I am, I will always have shape to my legs and point out how much he sees me eat and how often I drag him for ice cream sundaes yet still look the way that I do without the use of a scale to monitor my size.
While sometimes I wonder if he understands what I am saying, I have decided that just being raised in a numberless environment may work like osmosis, subconsciously override the media and help to frame his future.
And perhaps, just perhaps, being raised in a house that forever smells of roasted vegetables will filter into his brain and taste buds to one day make them appealing.
Are you ready to call it a day by 9:00 am like me?
Did you attend summer camp as a kid? Day camp or sleep-away?
At what age do you recall worrying about your appearance?
What foods do you refuse to stop buying regardless of the ingredients?