Momlogic: What do you say when your daughter asks, "Mom, am I fat?"
Jess Weiner: It's important to remember this question is more about wanting to connect and wanting validation than wanting a real answer. My biggest advice is never answer it like a real question. Try to conceal your frustration, and take a deep breath. Then, use a question to answer their question. "What would that mean if you were?" "What's going on for you?" "What would happen if you were fat? Would people tease you?"
Moms, do not engage in the fat talk -- circumvent it, but don't ignore it either. Pay attention. If she keeps asking it, it could be a precursor to a bigger problem. If we don't ask questions and dig a little deeper, we could miss an opportunity to get at the heart of what's going on.
ML: What if I just say, "No, you're not fat"?
JW: When you say "No," it's an empty response. When you hear it, it's code for something else going on.
There is a whole chapter in my book Do I Look Fat in This? that goes into detail on this question, and also gives a description of what guys should follow when answering the fat questions.
The message I would love moms to get is that it's not about weight, and it's not about a number. Let's start a conversation about health and not weight. Don't fully ignore the numbers (blood pressure and weight are important), but don't put all your eggs in a basket. No one can tell by looking at the outside of a person how fit or not fit they are.