I have body image on my mind and how others perceive it. At the Early Childhood Clinic they do a 4 year check before your little ones start school in the new year. This gives them an indication of their eye sight, their balance, their motor skills and their body mass index.
The body mass index; who ever invented such a thing, especially a formula to be used on small children? I know childhood obesity is high. There is no doubt it is, but there is also no doubt eating disorders are very high at a young age. So what is a mother to do who gets told her daughter is in the high range for her BMI?
A bit of background about myself as a person when it comes to weight issues. I have an eating disorder. I have had one for most of my teenage years and I can say I still fight it today. It is a battle I face every time I put something in my mouth. I started to have bulimia when I was a teenager. I was told it was my way of dealing with my child abuse. It was something I could control. The only thing I could control.
When you tell a mother who has been fighting an eating disorder that her daughter is in the high range for her height then of course I am going to be concerned. (Wouldn't any parent be concerned, eating disorder or no eating disorder)? I am not concerned because I want to have a "skinny" daughter. I am concerned as I would not want her to ever face such a disease. I think any mother or father that has a little girl never wants them to go through an eating disorder. Keely is gorgeous. I think she is perfect. Yes she struggles with her eating and she is a classic fussy eater. But I would never say she was overweight. She is not super skinny, but she is no way fat.
The ladies at the clinic also rolled their eyes and said they believed that a 4 year old should not be judged on the BMI. They did tell me that I had nothing to be concerned about and the way I was trying to get Keely to eat different foods was spot on. I don't want a daughter with an eating disorder, especially an eating disorder brought on by someone telling her she is overweight. (Not that they were saying she was overweight I am talking in general).
I know it will be hard when she is a teenager and body image is a big issue for the girls around her and herself. I just didn't think it would be hard for her now. I will be her mum and step it up. I am not going to even let this become an issue for her. Teaching her healthy eating, which I already do and have always done, and shaping her into someone that loves herself is going to be a good start. If she loves herself and she is happy, then so am I; whatever shape or size she is.