I don’t know anything about genetics, or diets, or the BMI. I don’t know what causes one person to never gain weight while another feels they can never lose it, and I have no idea what it is like to deal with either because the truth is, I’ve never had to deal with it.
But I adopted this beautiful little girl, and one day, back in grade 1 she came home and said that the other children had made fun of her. I wish I could say it stopped there but it didn’t. Her social workers said that it was genetics, our friends said, “that’s just kids”. People would kindly suggest that we encourage her to be more active, automatically assuming that we must just let her watch television and eat. That was the hardest one because she is an extremely active child, but no one believed it! Over the next few years we took many opportunities to talk to her, tell her she was beautiful and special – but as she grew a little older she became more and more fixated on the idea of being “skinny” and not healthy.
In and around all of this we discovered that she was gluten and lactose intolerant (hence the recipes). Once we removed these things from her diet she actually lost 12lbs, but again this was just something that happened, it wasn’t something that anyone planned. The whole time we encouraged her to think about health but all she could see was the weightloss.
Then last Sunday, I found her in her room crying. At first she wouldn’t tell me, but finally she confided that she had been going down to the downstairs bathroom and weighing herself, and that morning she saw she had gained weight. I sat there in disbelief. She’s only 9. She’s only 9. She’s only 9. Seriously it kept playing through my mind as I tried to talk to her about her beauty, loving the girl that God had created and talking to her about the huge successes she’s had in feeling healthier. But I knew it was no good because every word I was saying could not compete with the one toxic, poisonous thing that I was allowing in our home. That one thing that was destroying her self confidence behind my back – and I realized I suddenly had full blown hatred for that bathroom scale. Why did we even have it? What purpose did it even serve?
I gently told Jassy it was time for a change, and we were going to throw that thing away. Not only that, we would never allow one in our home again. She stopped crying and said “really?”. Really, I said back. We’ll do it in the morning when it’s just us at home, and we won’t have to explain it to anyone.
The next morning, we took the scale and threw it in a bag, then ceremoniously walked it out to the bin at the road (Monday is garbage day). We photographed it and had fun with it. And do you know what? She blossomed immediately and we made a pact. From now on we will ask ourselves, “Do I feel good today? Do I feel healthy?”. If the answer is no, we’ll address it and fix it. If the answer is yes then great! And we will leave the scale in the doctors office where it belongs, because from now on it has no place in our home and no place in her childhood.