‘I did something horrible. I broke all my rules. I told my son not to eat too much crap or he will get fat.’

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“I did something horrible. I broke all my rules. I told my son not to eat too much crap otherwise he will get fat.

I can’t believe I said it. The words rolled out of my mouth and I immediately regretted it.

I was transported back to childhood instantly. The words my mother had said to me echoed: ‘Don’t eat too much or you’ll get fat’. Or sitting with her at a Weight Watchers weigh-in. Or watching her go on these quick-fix diets. Watching her hate her body and desperately try to change it. It wasn’t her fault, it came from her mother, and her mother’s mother… and society. A place where it’s all or nothing. You either eat kale or you binge. Where food was considered evil but also brought all of us together. Where the unhealthy relationship began. Where the confusion began. A place I swore I’d never be when I grew up.

I did that to my son. A few words thrown away and he used them again. They imprinted.

It’s my insecurities projected onto him. I held that mindset for so many years and I was so thin at one stage, people referred to me as a lollipop. (It was a compliment).

I try every day to love my body. To love the changes babies have made. To love the weight gained from being on anti-depressants (a side effect that’s been proven) and to manage my binge eating disorder. I try really hard, but sometimes it creeps up. Sometimes the insecurities win.

I explained to him after that, that mommy was wrong. That food is his friend and he can eat what he likes but eating healthy is important for him to grow. I told him I was sorry. More sorry than he will ever know.

We scrolled through our photos and came across this one. I saw my stomach and said out loud, ‘Oh deleting that one’ … and my little man looked at me and said, ‘You and me are happy mommy. You look so happy mommy. You are beautiful’. I hugged him and cried. I was so happy. Look how far life has taken me.

When an innocent child can see how perfect you are, you realize it’s time to change the mindset.

Start loving what you got today. They are always watching and listening, waiting for you to pave the way for them… and honestly, in their eyes, you are beautiful and perfect. I hope you can see yourself that way too.”

Mother who told her son not to eat crap or he'll get fat sits on driveway by car with son sitting in her lap
Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run, where it originally appeared. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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