What I Learned When My Five Year Old Called Me Fat

There is a real need for better body image for moms and women everywhere.
Comments (80)
  1. Royanne says:

    You look incredible! Don’t let anyone tell you different!

  2. Dana says:

    What an awesome way of looking at things. Those boys of yours deserve a mama who is strong and confident. Great job!

  3. Someone says:

    Being overweight isn’t a great example to set to children, but I admire you showing them that you are working toward a better life and a HEALTHIER body. You don’t have to be stick thin to be okay. I too believe that confidence is important – as long as we are also realizing that it isn’t as important as being healthy.

    1. Someone else says:

      You believe that confidence is important, yet when trolling a post with a condemning comment, you don’t have enough confidence to actually leave your real name?? Nice comment “someone”.

    2. Sarah Olivier says:

      I don’t think she’s trying to encourage her children that being overweight is ok. She’s trying to show her children to embrace Who You Are in hopes that this type of comment isn’t made to anybody else ever in their lifetime. she’s already explained that there were extnuating circumstances in the last year and she was very brave to make a post about this.

      1. Katie Reed says:

        <3 Thank you, Sarah.

    3. Katie Reed says:

      I absolutely agree. Health is the most important thing. Though I know some very overweight/obese people who are extremely healthy. Weight is not the only indicator of health.

  4. Yourlynne says:

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS! Life is too short to worry about how we look. We only have one life. Enjoy it!

  5. Laura says:

    I can’t see that much improvement in your photoshopped photos. You are a vibrant young mummy, and I think you look great – ESPECIALLY considering you have had three kids close together. You’re doing fine, and your kids are going to grow up with a wonderful example of a beautiful woman.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Aw, thank you. Photoshopping the photos was actually really upsetting. As I watched my body change so drastically, I couldn’t help but wonder why I thought this was so much better?

  6. Julie Crowther says:

    This took so much courage…. I applaud you for that. I can totally relate to your story, as can many mamas… I too have gained a bunch of weight and refuse to wear a swimsuit… It’s hard to get those health things sorted out when you are constantly caring for the health of so many others. Keep it up and be beautiful.. I too have decided that it’s time to put my health on my top priorities…feeling healthy and strong and full of energy is where I want to be….

    Lets be in this together …. LOVE

    1. Katie Reed says:

      I’m in it to win it, Julie, and I totally want us all to be healthy and happy. My energy levels have been terrible for SO long, and I wouldn’t care how big my body was if I could just FEEL good. While I am trying to accept myself as I am now, I also am working toward being a better VERSION of myself. Rock on, lady.

      1. Sherri says:

        “…if I could just FEEL good”.

        Ah yes,…. That’s where I’m at. I’m not so much concerned with my fat & cellulite as I am with my lack of energy and aches where I never had them before. Ugh.

        And Katie, I can’t express how much I appreciate your honestly in this blog – that alone nudges the rest of us to be honest with ourselves. BTW you really do look fabulous and don’t let anyone tell you differently. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Katie Reed says:

          <3 <3 Thank you Sherri. I am glad that I can help others in some small way.

  7. Jane Holladay says:

    Bravo lady! You have brought attention to a much needed cause. I wish all women would learn to love themselves and all men would realize that the women in magazines and pornos aren’t as glam as they appear!

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Thank you! And yes – even the most beautiful women in the world are photoshopped to “look better.” We ALL need to remember that!

  8. Angel Juarez says:

    I am a counselor for teens with eating disorders. I can tell you that this is a breath of fresh air. I just wish it did not take so long for women to learn to love their bodies. It seems to come with age, though for some it doesn’t come at all!

    1. Katie Reed says:

      That’s an amazing line of work, and I applaud you, Angel. And I agree – it seems the older we get, the more happy we are just being ourselves and letting it all hang out. I wish it came easier to all.

  9. Emily says:

    This is such a difficult topic to talk about, and you handled it with grace and dignity! I’m really inspired by your determination to teach your kids about how to treat people no matter what they look like. Also, I can totally relate to not recognizing your body after having babies. Cheering you on!
    Emily recently posted…friday favorites #5My Profile

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Thank you, Emily! <3 I hope I can make a difference in their lives and in the lives of anyone they may come across as they grow.

  10. Heidi says:

    You are Beautiful <3 You are Courageous <3 I had 4 kids in 8 years. I have gained and lost over 200 pounds between them all. Babies sure do make their marks on a MaMa :-/ I am sorry to hear about your health struggles but I hope you start feeling better ASAP ((HUGS)) I suffer from anxiety & depression. It is not an easy to find time to care for yourself. But we have to make time. I have started walking. It is a small step but I am moving and every step is a step in the right direction <3 !! I have never had good self body image even when I had a great body as a teen. Forget about what others think. We all have lumps and bumps we try to hide. You grew humans. Be Proud & Stand Strong of the Beautiful Person & Great Mom You Are <3
    Heidi recently posted…12 Facts about Red Headsโ€ฆMy Profile

    1. Katie Reed says:

      <3 <3 <3 Thank you, Heidi. Having babies truly does mess with your body in SO many ways. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but it is a hard transition from pre-baby to post-baby. And that's awesome about the walking. I, too, have started walking on my treadmill. I try to get 10,000 steps a day as a minimum, which has been hard with my low energy. But something is better than nothing!

  11. Natalia V says:

    Never let anyone tell you you are anything less than beautiful and amazing. Those boys are lucky to have you as their mama. And from the mama of three little girls, I thank you for helping me to remember that we have to teach them to NEVER worry about what their bodies look like. Women are not there to look good for men. If they cannot love us for who we are, they could never appreciate us just for our banging bodies.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Too right! And big props to you for raising three girls! I hope they grow up in a better, more accepting world.

  12. My Name is KIDDD says:

    Are you kidding me? Attention whore. You are too ugly to go viral. Save it for folks better than you.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t feed the trolls…

    2. Rebecca says:

      And YET she has a video about her taking a weight loss drug…contradiction much Katie?

  13. Luella Banks says:

    My 8 year old niece was bullied by her third grade classmates because she got boobs really early. She wore bulky clothing to hide it, and some of the boys started going after her for being “fat and lumpy.” My sister came home to find her with a cord around her neck trying to commit suicide. I mean….. she’s 8. And she’s beautiful. And these kids made her feel like SHIT for having curves.

    Thank you for sharing this. I hope people take notice.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Oh my gosh, Luella, that is terrible! I’m so sorry for what she and your family had to go through. I got boobs earlier than my classmates, and I definitely got noticed and bullied for it. But nothing like that. I don’t even have words. I pray that my boys will grow up to be better than that. ๐Ÿ™

  14. Jessica Henley says:

    What I think is so amazing is that you were able to amateur photoshop yourself to look so different without it looking super fake. And yet there are pros out there working for magazines and other media who do it so flawlessly that men think it’s total reality. EVERYTHING is a glamour! I wish people understood that. I’ve even met YouTube stars and beauty bloggers who look NOTHING like their photos because they are SO shopped. I literally would not recognize them in public without a nametag or something. Thank you for being real.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Haha. I didn’t even use Photoshop. I actually used PicMonkey, so I’m actually amazed at what I was able to do. But you know what sucks? PicMonkey has options for weight loss, Nip/Tuck (with melt, reduce and fill), airbrush, spray tan, etc. So enough people must think they need those things that PicMonkey has actually added them as standard. ๐Ÿ™ That breaks my heart.

  15. Demna says:

    I seriously love you. That is all.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Well nice to meet you, and I love you, too.

  16. Julie says:

    Your smile is the best thing about you. Keep doing that, and no one will ever even look at your body!

    Congrats on this post. It is AMAZING.

  17. Diane says:

    Good for you! I just had a really bad day at the mall- Victoria Secret doesnt carry a Woman-size and then some dude tried to sell me face-cream cause I wasn’t wearing makeup and I felt like I couldn’t buy myself a Pretzel for lunch cause I would be judged for being a chunky gal at the Pretzel stand…. I am 20 years older than you.. and probably look worse in a bathing suit (haven’t worn one since i was 16! and I was model-thin till i was in my 30s) … Thank you for being so brave- (why should THIS be a brave thing?) but for giving us all a reality check…. I have (mostly) accepted my average-body-… it carries my soul.. but somedays the world is tough to walk in….

    1. Katie Reed says:

      I’m sorry you had a tough day. ๐Ÿ™ But I agree – why should this be brave? I truly wish that this sort of thing was standard rather than an exception. I totally know how you feel, though – sometimes it feels like the whole world is trying to sell us products and services that reiterate the message that we are NEVER good enough. ๐Ÿ™

  18. Jonathan Meyer says:

    I wish women would stop worrying about how fat you are. Men like meat. Or more specificaly we like anything that will cuddle us, smiel at us and let us in your pants. Dont sweat it.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Lol. I’m not sure how to react to this. I appreciate the support, though.

  19. Mia says:

    All I can say about your story you are great example for everyone and don’t forget beauty comes in every size. Its all about prospective. Don’t let anyone put you down or control your happiness. Always smile you got a beautiful smile :)..

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Thank you, Mia. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great advice!

  20. liz says:

    Thank you, thank you and thank you – you truly are a beautiful person inside and out.

  21. Debbie says:

    You are a beautiful woman, inside and out! Congratulations on being brave – you are a warrior princess!!

  22. Elizabeth says:

    A few comments from a 51 year old mom of twoโ€ฆfirst of all, though many women have great bodies before children some do not. I was never model thin and I’ve actually been thinner (and paid more attention to my looks) since having kids. Secondly, as you get older all sorts of things change and they aren’t changing to make you look hotter! Sun damage, wrinkles, grey hairs, Yippee! But even though I’m presently a size 12 (and I would really prefer to be a 10) and my middle is ridiculously squishy, I’m about to leave on a two week backpacking trip (something I’ve never done before) with my 14 year old son. I’m a little worried about getting blisters on my bunion. I’m a little worried about my 51 year old right knee. And I’m a little worried about getting eaten by a mountain lion but the ten or fifteen extra pounds I’m carrying are low on the list of things to worry about. I mostly want to enjoy my adventure with my son. I want to appreciate being healthy enough and strong enough to go. And I want to enjoy every day I have on this earth. I think what you are doing as a mother is admirable. Parenting is about teaching and setting good examples. Wear a bikini if you want to, don’t if you don’t want to. But always play outside with your kids, don’t hate yourself, love your family and I’m pretty sure that all will be o.k.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      You are my hero! Honestly, I totally agree. I’ve NEVER been particularly thin in my life. In fact, I was 260 lbs at one point. Once puberty hit, I just kept putting it on. I’ve had two big weight losses in my life, but at my very lowest adult weight, I was 145. And I didn’t even appreciate it, as I still wanted to be thinner. What a waste of time! Now my philosophy is just to do what makes me happy, because that should truly be the end goal. x

  23. Aw what a great post. I so feel your pain. I grew up at the beach and wearing a bikini was a must do. I have since moved up north and it was literally liberating to not have to go on a super diet binge to feel acceptable or feel like everyone was snickering behind your back. I can be me. I too have in my head what I think I look like. Then someone gets a pic of me at a party and boom there is all is. I do use a delete and untag button on those. Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on FB! Have a great week!
    Kim~madeinaday recently posted…Merry Monday Linky Party #111My Profile

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Thanks Kim! I do love living far away from beaches now, as it is a LOT less difficult to go out in a bikini here than where I used to live in Florida! lol

  24. Krista says:

    That was very encouraging. I am a bit order (with grown children) and a bit heavier more like an 18 at the moment. But it is summer and I like to wear shorts and not short down to my knees. More like mid-thigh (maybe a little shorter ;)). I know I don’t “look” the best but I feel comfortable.

    I also tried to teach my two boys to be kind and not judge a woman/girl by her weight. I think they turned out well – – Keep up the good work! You are a fantastic and beautiful mom!
    Krista recently posted…Mission Impossible to FinishedMy Profile

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Comfort is more important than looking good for other people. Do you, girlie! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope we can all teach our boys not to judge. The world would be far nicer place to live!

  25. You go girl!! Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  26. amanda says:

    Darlin’, a can of spray tan would give you the “after” look you prefer. You look damn good for having young kids.

  27. Becky says:

    Hi Katie, This is an amazing post I love it and I would like to say you are beautiful because beauty doesn’t mean just appearance beauty is how and what we think. From your blog I can say you are caring and friendly person, Thanks for sharing

    1. Katie Reed says:

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Becky. That is lovely of you to say.

  28. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Nice post. Though, I have to agree with Jonathan Meyer. It is actually only a very tiny proportion of men that actually care about fat/cellulite/lumps etc! It’s actually us women (+/- the media) that ruin it (body image/self confidence etc) for ourselves, and for future generations. The way I’ve always seen it: if I’m in my bikini/nude and I’m not the “hottest” or “sexiest” babe on the beach/at the pool, you won’t bother spending another second to look at/judge/fantasize about me, or any of the naughty things I’d like to do with you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m fine with that – you’re the one that misses out! (This applies both ways, to both males and females. In case you’re wondering, I’m 33yo pregnant, size 12, BMI 25, married to a 182cm male with a BMI of 19 that doesn’t care about our matching stretch marks/cellulite/pimples/gassey tummies etc!)
    It may be interesting to know that, the female obsession with body image etc, actually pressures males into having the same baseless insecurities, which in turn, affect their own ability to impress/approach women. In some cases, this results in worse health outcomes (male anorexia/depression/anxiety/excessive body building which can result in heart failure etc).
    If we’re looking for motivation to be healthy and lose weight it should stem from a desire for an increased lifespan to spend with our loved ones and an improved quality of life during our twilight years, rather than body shaming or guilt tripping ourselves.
    Lastly, children are young and naive and their brains (frontal lobes, responsible for inhibition) are under developed. I’m certain your son didn’t intend to judge you by his comment, and I doubt he would know or have any perception of what a “hotter” version of you would look like, let alone what pasty skin/cellulite/small boobs looks like! Irrespective of how you look, you are his special girl (even after he marries his wife)! Besides, his wife may even end up being a size 20! Who cares, so long as everyone is happy?
    Carolyn recently posted…When You Don’t Know What to Say, Say it AnywayMy Profile

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Women are definitely harder on themselves/each other than men are. I totally believe that. And I agree with what you say about our own obsessions with body informing men’s perspectives. I guess that’s why I am trying to show confidence and self-acceptance for my boys – so they don’t form those judgmental attitudes. Thank you for your thoughts. x

  29. You are so courageous and absolutely gorgeous. I admire you and I love you!

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Mwah! Thanks lady.

  30. Woman, you look AMAZING!! I wish I was a size 14 again. I’m a size 24. I have gained well over a hundred pounds with my first born and haven’t been able to lose it. I have major hormone issues that have prevented me from losing weight. PLUS, I do have an emotional eating issue too. It’s a terrible combination!!

    This is an inspirational post! I feel all women should read it!

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Aw, thank you. I have been a size 8 and a size 30, and its’ only now that I really feel like my attitude makes a difference in how I feel. I’m so sorry for all you have gone through, and I hope you can see your own beauty through it all.

  31. Heleen says:

    The only thing I want to write all over the non-photoshopped photos is ‘incredible, loving, respectable mommy’ and don’t let anyone tell you anything different!

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Dawww. Thank you Heleen. That is really lovely. x

  32. JP says:

    Love it! You created humans from scratch! That in and of itself is amazing. That’s why we celebrate the mother in our #momtomodel program. We believe all next door mom’s should be made to feel sexy regardless of their body type. Out of all the women I’ve photographed, very very few and ok with their body – but that comes as no surprise. What does come as a surprise is when the women see our photographs and we get the tears…”I didn’t know I could look like that”…If there’s a possibility of doing a write up on our program (we travel nationally), I’d be most grateful.

    1. Katie Reed says:

      I absolutely love your program, JP. Thanks for sharing it. I definitely want to learn more about it, as I’m sure most of the moms I know would!

  33. Bruce Walkden says:

    Just a note to say thanks, for the courage to post and talk about one of the issues in our society and as an adult male, sexy is an attitude not a shape!
    Have a super day!!

    1. Katie Reed says:

      I love that you think that way, Bruce. Thanks for chiming in!

  34. Bee says:

    You know what, it is not the size of the person that matters, its the beauty that radiates from the inside that counts. I know what you are thinking, I heard this 100 times before, got it. Here is a little something to try. Go to your closet or to a cheap store, buy an outfit that fits and makes you feel special, get it home, take the tags off, that’s right cut them off. Put it in the closet for a couple of days or a week, then take it out, get ready, hair, make up, etc. Wear that outfit and watch with your self confidence how many people take notice, how many people look at you, why because you look great, you feel great and that is because you are great! see size meant nothing to anyone around you and it shouldn’t to you either. People notice you, not what the number said. With new self confidence that you look great, all the rest will fall into place. From someone who has been on both sides…..

    1. Katie Reed says:

      This is such great advice. A number on a piece of clothing doesn’t tell you anything about who you are, how you look or how you come across to others. It is literally just a way of helping you choose the right piece. Thank you for that. x

  35. Rebecca says:

    Being fat is not a :mom: thing.I have 5 kids and at 52 I am not fat.Stop making excuses for yourself and loose the weight to be healthy for your kids!

    Body acceptance is not a license to go overboard and eat anything you want…it means that WITH exercise and a good diet,you are doing all you can to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    Be a decent role model for your kids and show them that exercise and healthy eating are a life long plan, instead of filling their heads that being fat is “good”

    You feel bad about yourself because you KNOW that you are overweight and need to do something about it,instead of trying to convince other people that being obese is a good thing

    1. Katie Reed says:

      Of course it’s not a mom thing. I was fat before I had kids, and I have gained and lost weight over and over again. It’s a struggle for me and for many women. But having children can make it harder to lose weight for many. If that’s not something you can relate to, then fair play to you!

      No one said body acceptance/confidence means you can just give up on being healthy. If you read the post at all, you’d see that I’m working toward losing weight to be healthier, but I am damn sure going to be forgiving of myself as I get there.

      I’m sorry you seem to have missed the point of the post.

  36. Julie Briggs says:

    Really, really enjoyed your post and can definitely relate. As someone who has fluctuated between size 6 and 18 her whole life, I get infuriated with myself for devoting so much brain power to the size of my thighs – but’s it’s tough to break that negative self talk, isn’t it? Sigh…

    Thank you for sharing at #HomeMattersParty
    Julie Briggs recently posted…Funky & Fun Boho LoungeMy Profile

  37. Jason Voorhees says:

    Not even photoshop could make her look slim

  38. Katya T. says:

    I think the key point here was that, when the boys took your photos,you were surprised at the image you have. In our heads,we see ourselves one way,but how we look in reality is different. It’s important to be able to see yourself as is,and then you decide whether that image is what you want to keep or change.So it’s like comparing yourself to yourself,not others. I’m personally for trying to keep a good healthy image and not keeping extra weight, while I realize with kids and age this is harder…We are not teens…it’s just harder to keep a good shape but also rewarding. I’m pregnant with 2nd and I watch my weight because being too overweight doesn’t suit me at all. And it’s so hard to lose after. I don’t have time to spend alone working out the way I used to.

  39. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for sharing your pics and story, its inspired me. It’s so important we teach our children what’s real as they are bombarded with fake imagery and messages everywhere. Every. Single. Day. We need to break that spell. They need us to teach them and show them whats real and what’s not. Your real self is beautiful, lumps, bumps and all. And as you said so well ‘I GREW HUMANS! From SCRATCH!’ What is more amazing and beautiful than that?! All that aside, having had babies or not, every person deserves love no matter what the package looks like. Your body is just amazing, and there is so much beauty in your energy and spirit that it just makes you physically radiant.
    Thank you for making me smile and warming my heart. I’m glad there are people like you in the world.

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