Yesterday my children received their letters from Santa. They were so excited to hear all the wonderful things Santa had to say to them. I told the kids that Santa sent me a letter when I was a little girl too. My eight year old–the child who is most like me in many ways, including how he’s physically built–wanted to see my letter.
I went upstairs and dug under the bed to find the boot box full of old letters. I finally found it. I pulled it out and read that letter that I received when I was nine years old. It made me cry. Amongst the typical “be good, help your mother, do well in school and thank you for your letter” there was something else. Santa was proud of me for losing ten pounds and encouraged me to keep working to lose that other ten pounds that I need to lose. I couldn’t let my son see that letter. He’s already developing his own body image issues, without showing him something like that.
That letter made me so sad. That nine year old little girl believed that Santa thought she needed to lose weight.
Ever since I was seven years old, not a single day has gone by that I have not thought about my weight and how I was fat. It’s who I am. I don’t know how to be anything else. It’s no wonder I sabotage myself. It’s no wonder every time I make significant progress I stop and back track again. I don’t know any other way to be. It’s my story.
It’s time that story was re-written.