"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

I said this to my daughter: "I feel fat"

I was having a water-retention day, just an unconfident and unenergetic day.  My 13-year old daughter was watching me get ready, waiting for me.  I put on a pants and a shirt, and the words just slipped out of my mouth: "I feel fat".

The moment I felt the words slip away, I regreted it.  I wished I never said it.

I am physically able and fit.  I have the privilege to be strong and the privilege to have time to dedicate to running, biking, and yoga.  I am not fat.

I never want my girls to feel like we are judged by our shapes.  It was the wrong statement for me to make; it is a class of statement I often try to refrain from making.  It gives my girls the wrong message.

This is my mama regret of the moment.


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Don't beat yourself up about this! Sounds like you generally try to be a positive role model and focus on health and strength, not weight and size. Even healthy fit people have bad days sometimes! Plus, if you're modeling healthy behavior on a regular basis, one slip of a comment won't permanently scar your kid!

Hi anon, I'm definitely not beating myself up. But, it was a slip-up that I am really sensitive about, and I don't want to do it again! Thanks for reading & thanks for your note.

As someone who was fairly thin for most of her life then put on a lot of weight (definitely fat by Portland standards), I'm curious what you think the "wrong message" was? That you mischaracterized yourself as fat? That you used fat as a pejorative? That you were judging your own appearance?

Saying you "feel fat" is a neutral statement -- it does feel weird to carry more weight than you're used to, and if you are skinny and are retaining water, that might feel "fat" to you, even if it is hyperbole. If you had said "I feel fat and look like s--t" or "I look fat" and then frowned, those statements communicate something more significant and potentially more hurtful. The judgement -- rather than the description -- is what is damaging.

Just as an aside, people act like saying "fat" is the same as using the "f"-word, and it really isn't. I hear so many parents say they tell their kids not to use "fat" because it is a bad word, but really we should be teaching our kids that it is just not polite to talk about people's appearances in general.

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