Friday, August 17, 2007

How Obesity Affects Lives

Notice: the title is not, "How Obesity Affects MY Life" but how it affects LIVES. Not just yours and mine. Not just the obese person. But like it or not, our obesity affects other people as well.

It pains me to express this, but my weight has deeply affected my children's lives as well. When my kids were little, I was not fat. Every night I would go and lay with them on their beds, each child in their own room, for some one-on-one time with them. That is so important when you have several kids (and probably when you have one, too). I would go in, sit with them, read stories together, and we would talk. They would tell me about their day, how school was, what bothered them that day, what they enjoyed. I treasured those times so much. Then I would sing them a song or two, or turn off the lights and tell a little story I would make up. Then give them a big hug and kiss and say goodnight.

Now, you may be thinking, "What the heck? How could being obese affect that?" Well, there came a point when I could no longer sit on their little beds. I remember getting fatter and then when I would sit on the bed, it would creak or lurch and make noises like it was going to break. The bed frames were not designed to hold 200-250 pounds, they were meant for a little kid. I also got too big to comfortably lay in a little kids bed and read with them. So I stopped laying down on the bed, and I stopped sitting on the bed with them. Sometimes I would bring in a chair, but there was not always room with the toys and such (small rooms), and it was a hassle. I started just going in and standing by the bed, talking a bit, and one song and then go. Our talks got shorter. Who wants to stand there with aching knees and feet for 20 minutes X 4 kids = 80 minutes? I couldn't. So I ended up taking maybe 5 minutes per child. It really cut back on our quality time together. Sometimes they would get talking and I would have to cut it short because I was in pain. I couldn't sit on the floor because I could not get back up! My kids got much less time with me each night. Then I got so fat I could no longer easily go up and down stairs, and since half my kids have their bedrooms downstairs, those kids got a bum deal. No more Mommy time. It was too hard on the knees. Instead, I would call them to the living room and give them a hug and kiss and say goodnight. That was it. And the time with the kids upstairs got shorter too. And before I knew it, I got to where I am today. Sometimes, I don't even get to say goodnight to my older kids. They are teens, and they just go on to bed without me, without a thought to come and say goodnight. I did this to myself. They are good sweet kids, but they deserved more of their Mother all these years. It makes me sad.

I won't even go into the other ways my weight affected my kids: being unable to play with them, practice sports with them, take walks or bike or fish with them, being embarrassed to go swimming with them, not going to school to have lunch with them, being too tired or cranky to be an enjoyable Mom. I am not going to beat myself up over it, but please, if you are an obese mom or mom-to-be, please do not let this happen to you. Lose weight now, before it hurts your kids. I hope and pray that one day I will be out there roller blading with my children, before they grow up and move away. It is not too late. I am going to succeed.


Anonymous said...

I came over from 3FC website. I love the honesty you portray in your journal. We have a few things in common and similar goals. I wish you much success in your weightloss journey.
Your welcome to check out my blog too...


Mahla said...

I had never thought of these aspects of carrying around so much extra weight. So glad you're doing something positive for yourself and your family.

Anonymous said...

Your blog speaks to me in so many ways on so many levels. I just have to tell you that while you are doing this part therapeutically for yourself and partly to help others...I just had to let you know that you are doing a massive service to me in helping me not to feel alone in all of this. You are so honest and genuine. You are a great writer too and should really consider writing a book!