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Five minute body image convos

I recently asked a child what his favorite part of the weekend had been.

He paused and said, “I didn’t have a favorite part. I had favorite people. I miss Cousin (NameIForget) a lot. He’s sooo tall and strong and an architect! I want to be like him when I grow up.”

Then, amongst him listing all if the reasons why he wants to be like Cousin Architect when he grows up, he said something that stuck with me. He said, “I hope I don’t grow up to be fat. That would be bad. Cousin Architect is so tall and strong. What if I grow up to be fat?”

He was genuinely concerned. In those 12 seconds it took me to respond, I knew my answer could make or break his bright smile.

“Well,” I replied, “people come in all sorts of skin colors, heights, and sizes. Some people are super skinny, and others have more weight or bigger bones. People have different amounts of muscles too.”

“Yea! I’m super skinny now. When I hold my breath, you can see my bones! And (the boy’s sister) isn’t super skinny or fat. She’s in the middle and PERFECT!” he reasoned.

“Exactly. Different people are different body types. But if you continue to eat healthy and exercise at the different sports you play you can stay healthy and get muscles,” I added.

“Cool! Maybe I won’t get fat then!” he grinned before running off.

The convo made me wonder what body type he thought I had. I’ve been eating healthier and trying to live a healthier life. Would my sort-of dieting cause me to fall into the category of “fat” in his eyes?

Then I remembered my own words of wisdom to him and went for a walk in the woods. People come in all sorts of skin colors, heights, and sizes.