Ten Year Olds Are Dieting

Luke said the other week that he was fat, and as we joke a lot in our family, I didn't realize at first that he was serious. When I did realize it, I was very quick to shoot down that fallacy. My word, the kid is 10 years old and is in a size 8/10. He and Micah wear the same size clothing, and Micah is 2 years younger, and small for his age. Luke is not much more than a twig. A healthy twig, mind you, but a twig nonetheless.

His reasoning for this fat belief was his tummy. You know, the tummy that every person has. And the fact that he just ate a meal and it was a tad more noticeable than usual made him think that he was fat. As if. But I let him know that he was actually on the skinny side of the equation and he came to realize that you are not judged by your tummy. (Unless you're a woman, of course, in which case you totally are. I'm disgusted by that fact, but it's truth nonetheless.)

So this morning when Luke said, "I think I'm going on a diet this summer," my ears pricked. My first thought was, "what the heck?! That's it, the kids are not watching TV and we're going back to homeschooling." And then I got hold of myself and realized that wasn't a viable solution to today's tragedy that kids are obsessed with body image at too young of an age.

Where are the days of childhood, when you gave no thought to what you looked like until you were a teen? Why does media have to focus so much on looks?

I asked Luke what he meant by "diet," because there was no way I was going to let a child of mine starve his healthy little self on a whim.

"Remember when Becky said yesterday that Micah eats healthier than I do?"


"Well, he does. But when I start my diet I'm going to eat super healthy and be like Micah."

I'll never discourage a kid of mine from eating healthier.