My Son’s Friends Made Fun of Him Because I am Fat

I remember listening to the kids in my class tell “Yo mama so fat” jokes when I was younger. Back then I never would have guessed that I would grow up to be the butt of those jokes. As a teenager, I was always fit. I am 5’7″ and I weighed about 125lbs and was a cheerleader. After the birth of my first son, I was about 145lbs. After I had my second son, I got an IUD put in. I quickly started gaining weight. The doctor said the IUD was messing with my hormones and suggested that I have it removed. I had the IUD removed, but the weight just kept packing on. My current weight is around 200lbs. For the past few years, I have started one diet and exercise program after another. I have tried both over the counter diet pills and ones prescribed by my doctor. The battle with my weight gain has been painful, frustrating, and honestly exhausting. I hate to have my picture taken, go clothes shopping, or even use the pool in my backyard, because I find my appearance embarrassing. I’m ashamed that I let myself go. However, nothing could prepare me for the realization that my son was being picked on because of my body.

My oldest has always made friends easily. Our house is constantly filled with his friends. He is athletic, attractive, and funny. I have never had to worry about him being bullied. Until one day when we were sitting at dinner. I was discussing his upcoming class party and he stopped eating and asked me if Dad could help with his class party instead of me. I didn’t find this strange at first, because my husband has a reputation for being the “cool dad”. I explained to my son that his father was busy and couldn’t do it. He asked me why I couldn’t just let another mom do it. I asked him why he didn’t want me to help with his class party. My feelings were starting to get hurt. He told me he just didn’t want me to go to his school. I asked him if he had been getting in trouble at school. I assumed he didn’t want me talking to his teacher. He told me that he hadn’t been getting in trouble and that he just didn’t want me helping with the party. I demanded to know why. He started crying. Tears were streaming down the face of my tough little man who never cries. (He didn’t even cry when he got hit by a car riding his bike) He shook his head violently and asked me to drop it. I told him he needed to tell me right now exactly what was going on. He begged me to drop the conversation. I threatened to ground him if he didn’t immediately tell me what was going on. That is when he blurted it out, “Mom, I don’t want you to come to my classroom, because the other kid’s make fun of you for being fat!”

I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I hugged him and then went to sit in my room for a while. My husband came in and told me that he told our son that he never should have said that to me. He tried to reassure me that “Yo Mamma so fat” jokes are a normal part of boys socializing. He admitted that his own friends tease him about my weight, but he just ignores it. As I listened to him try to comfort me, it became very clear that I wasn’t the only person in my house that was ashamed I was overweight. My husband and my boys carried the burden too.

I would like to tell you that this moment was the wakeup call that I needed. I wish that I could say that I started a healthy lifestyle the very next day and now I am back down to my pre-baby weight. However, this experience was over a year ago and I am still clinically obese. A few weeks ago, another writer challenged me to let one of my kids pick out my outfit and send her a picture of myself wearing it for an article she was doing. I was watching my three year old nephew and let him pick out my outfit for the day. I had my husband take a picture of me wearing it. For the next six hours, I stressed about how disgusting and fat I looked in the picture. I compared myself to the other moms who were doing the challenge. They all looked so skinny and fit. I decided not to send the picture. I will share it with you here.

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I realized that my biggest problem is that I have so many responsibilities as a wife, mother, and business woman that I’ve been putting myself last. I would go hours without eating and then get so hungry I would binge eat on snack foods. I would go weeks without exercising. I barely drank any water and my sleep schedule was erratic. To be brutally honest, sometimes I would go days without bathing. For the past five days I have been making self-care a priority. I decided to make my situation public, because I figured that if I have been dealing with weight issues that maybe other people in the boy mom community might be dealing with them too. I’ve decided that every Friday we are going to do ‘Fitness Friday’ on our blog. I’ll check in and let you know how my lifestyle changes are going and we will feature a boy mom in the fitness industry who will give us advice and tips. Hopefully, together we can make some positive changes so that we can start being healthy and fit. Both for ourselves and for the boys who love us.

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Tiffany O’Connor is a mom to two amazing, energetic, and fearless boys. She is married to her high school sweet heart and has three college degrees. Her hobbies include watching TV shows about zombies, hiding in her hot tub with a bottle of champagne, and writing all about her misadventures parenting in a “man cave” at #Lifewithboys.

Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

 

 

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15 thoughts on “My Son’s Friends Made Fun of Him Because I am Fat

  • April 8, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    Thank you for sharing this. I can really relate. I can’t wait to see the Fitness Friday posts. I really need help loosing weight.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm
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    Sharing this story was incredibly brave of you! I am actually crying here. Partly because I feel for the pain you and you son are having, and partly because I recognize so much of what you say. I am obese too. I have felt like you for many years; ashamed to show myself in public, I even didn’t meet my friends I hadn’t seen for a long time because I was afraid of what they’d think of me. My FRIENDS. Losing weight has been a real struggle. It still is, to be honest, although I’m taking small steps in the right direction now. What HAS made a huge leap forward though, is the way I feel about myself. Over the past few years I’ve slowly come to see my strengths and my good qualities. Some of them are even body-related! A great part of that last thing is that 1.5 years ago I decided to take monthly selfies. It made me see I CAN look good and sparkly, despite my weight. I blog about my weight loss journey (and struggles) too. I also recently posted a story about these selfies and how they changed my way of thinking about myself. Maybe my story will help you too, to start seeing the incredible person that you are.

    And thank you so much for sharing your picture! Not only is it super brave, but now I can also tell you that you look absolutely gorgeous! You may not have the magazine style weight we all desire, but your shapes are amazing! Your three-year old nephew is a great stylist! He picked out a dress that totally accentuates your waistline. Which is a good thing, because you still have one! I do too and it’s the thing I’m most grateful for with my body. So many overweight people lose their waistline and their womanly curves. You have both! You definitely have got a body to be proud of, NOT ashamed. I really hope you will be able to see that in the near future as well.

    Oh, yes, I will subscribe to your blog so I can read your future updates. Maybe we can help each other stay motivated in this tough journey! 🙂

    Many hugs, Tanya

    Reply
    • April 8, 2016 at 12:48 pm
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      Thank you so much!!! I appreciate the kind words & I totally get the not meeting old friends…I’ve done that before too. Here is to both of us succeeding in our journey to be fit & healthy. 🙂

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  • April 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm
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    It makes me so sad that we are judged so often based purely on our weight. I think you look absolutely fabulous!!! Self care is so wonderful. I hope you find the happiness you are searching for.
    Hugs and Love

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  • April 8, 2016 at 5:28 pm
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    For what it’s worth, I think you look great!! Sorry for the hurt you have but seriously, you look happy and healthy.

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  • April 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm
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    This breaks my heart on so many levels and makes me angry at the same time. I know that must have been devastating when you had your son tell you that. And I’m not saying this just to be nice, but I think you look beautiful in that picture. I am shocked that anyone makes fun of your weight because I don’t see someone who’s overweight when I look at that picture.

    On another note… have you ever had your hormones checked? (I think you’d have to go to an Endocrinologist to have it done correctly). I recently did because things just didn’t feel “right” and I had started to gain weight. Turns out my estrogen levels were sky high and progesterone was low. Which can lead to weight gain and thyroid issues. It might be something you would want to look in to. Especially since your weight gain started because of hormones in the first place.

    I think it’s so brave of you to write this…

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  • April 9, 2016 at 12:12 am
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    Thank you for sharing this. I think you are setting a great example for your family by working to become the woman you want to be and on your own terms.

    Reply
  • April 9, 2016 at 2:19 am
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    You are beautiful if you ask me, inside and out. If you are happy with your size and healthy don’t let anyone tell you that you are not beautiful. There is just more of you to be awesome.

    Reply
  • April 10, 2016 at 1:30 am
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    Thank you for sharing. Im sure it was hard to share alll of this with the world. I am in the same situation and am working on changing my habits too.

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  • April 15, 2016 at 8:14 pm
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    Tiffany, Thank you. You are so incredibly brave! Women need to see this and know they are not alone.
    Robin

    Reply

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