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Friday, February 18, 2011

Sports Illustrated and Food Issues.

Let me start by saying I am in no way making light of eating disorders. I don't have one but I do have an unhealthy relationship with food(with 4 sisters, no one wants to be the fat one)and it is a serious concern of mine that I will be able to ignore my own issues and overcome the ones with Nico and Tommy having CF in order to help my girls grow to have positive body images.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition showed up at my house yesterday. I thought Nico with his raging hormones would jump at the chance to look at it but all he said was, "If this is the swimsuit one, why are some of the girls not wearing tops or anything?" That was the same thing I asked myself. I felt a little dirty looking at it. This morning Tommy saw the cover and said, "Mom, there are boobs on this magazine." "I know, Tommy. It's the swimsuit one." "Why are her boobs saggy and her top so low?" Hmmm...I have no answer to that other than if he thinks that is saggy, he is going to be very disappointed after being married for 15 years and his wife has given him four children.

I can handle the questions and comments from the boys. Isabella's were tougher. "Wow, they are so pretty. Is this why girls want big boobs? I hope I look like her when I get older." I told her that they are pretty because they had a professional do their hair and make-up, not all girls want big boobs (my sisters and myself included) and most of the ones in the magazines aren't real and in real life, even she doesn't look like the one in the picture. They have people that change the pictures before they print them. I told her that she is prettier than the girls in the magazine and I hope she always remembers that the girls in the magazines are not realistic of what women look like. She looked at me like I had two heads, rolled her eyes and said, "Mom, you have to say I'm pretty. I'm your daughter." She then promptly looked at her Cream of Wheat in disgust, pushed it away and went to fix her hair. Keeping her self-image healthy is going to be a full-time job.

One of the hardest parts of raising two children with cystic fibrosis and children without it is the food issue. Nico and Tommy have to eat all the time. They have to eat high calorie foods in order to just maintain a normal weight. If they want three Big Macs, they get three Big Macs. If they eat dinner at 6:00 and then at 8:00 they want a sandwich and at 10:00 a bowl of cereal, they get it. I can NEVER say the kitchen is closed (another reason for chaos). Nico is a good eater. Tommy takes a little bit of work. Leo will try and get Tommy to have seconds of what we are eating and he'll say no and Belle pipes up that she wants seconds. At 8:00 on his way home from practice, Leo will call and say he's picking up McDonalds for Nico, does Tommy want something? Tommy says yes and Belle yells what she wants. She cries when Tommy gets Oreos and milk for snack and she gets apples and peanut butter. I can offer Tommy what she is having too but he wants the Oreos and they are more fattening than the apples so I can't say no. I have explained to her the difference in what is healthy for the boys and what is healthy for the rest of our family but all she does is cry that she wishes she had CF. That breaks my heart and though I tell her all the reasons why she doesn't really want CF, she is 9 so all she sees is that the boys get to eat whatever they want all the time.

Added to the CF issue is the fact that she and Tommy are twins. I have Tommy crying that he is smaller than Belle and I have Belle crying because she "feels fat" because she is bigger than Tommy. She is in no way overweight but she does weigh more than Tommy and doesn't understand that girls are bigger than boys right now and he has a hard time gaining weight. Thinking she might need to talk to someone down the line regarding eating issues is never far from my mind.

Before she saw the Sports Illustrated magazine, we were making progress. Her favorite show was The Biggest Loser (she became so obsessed with it, she isn't allowed to watch it this season) and though I didn't like the focus on weight loss (for her), I did like how they stressed living healthy. She and I joined forces to keep each other in check on whether we were making good choices and it was ALWAYS about health, not looks. I am 40 and I can't pass up certain foods even if it is 10:00 at night, so how can I can't expect it to be easy for a 9 year old? I am just going to continue to tell her how beautiful she is...inside and out until she knows I am not only saying it because she is my daughter.

4 Comments:

At March 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM , Blogger Maria said...

“Vanity is my favorite sin.” Again, wisdom from Al Pacino.

But truly I don't understand why she is so concerned. She looks thin and beautiful in your family picture. And her mom is holding her own. Really after 4 kids and all these strawberries with chocolate :) She should count her lucky stars that she inherited some of these genes. I can sympathize though, it's hard to raise girls. All these deep emotions that tear your heart.

 
At March 13, 2011 at 2:47 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Thanks, Maria for the kind words (and I do love my strawberries and chocolate). I think the thing with Belle is that she is not overweight at all but since she is bigger than Tommy who has obstacles in his way to gaining weight, she thinks she is. Just something else as siblings, and twins no less, to compare themselves to.

 
At April 25, 2011 at 8:31 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

"Why are her boobs saggy and her top so low?"

What in the heck is he comparing her, no doubt, perky boobs to, anyway!? LOL! He's in for a world of disappointment if he finds a Sports Illustrated model's boobs saggy!

 
At April 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

They actually weren't saggy...just enormously big and hung a little lower than natural. :) The top was a super low cut (to the point where only what had to be was covered).

 

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