October 4th

theresa albert - my friend in food


A Mother’s Heartbreak


My journey through Ace Your Health – the Ace of Diamonds.

It is amazing. I have just entered the last quarter of my journey through Ace Your Health. This week, I spent my time reflecting on what the last three suits have taught me. They have taught me to eat better, to live healthier and to treat my body with respect. However, while I was mulling this over, I was hit smack in the face with the a cold hard reality. I still use the word fat when I talk about myself. As in “honey, does this make me look fat” or “wow, I am getting fat again”. And the way I learned this broke my heart.

Just the other morning, I was helping my daughter get dressed for the day. It was a big day as we were celebrating my dad’s birthday with a family reunion. My daughter had spent weeks deciding what she was going to wear and was all excited about putting on her special party dress. Once she was fully clothed and her hair brushed, I brought her into our room to look at herself in the mirror. Folks, what she said next tore me apart. My darling four year old looked at me and said “mommy, I look fat”.

At that precise moment, everything stopped. The word FAT rang in my ears. My daughter’s sad face burned in my eyes. And it took every ounce of resolve to not break down in tears. I hated myself and my battle with my belly. But none of that showed on my face, instead I mustered up every spec of courage I had, and quietly told her “I think you look beautiful”. With those words, she beamed pride and waltzed out of my room.

Look it, I am one of those moms who tells my daughter I think she is beautiful. I also tell her she is smart, happy, loving and a joy to be with. In fact every night, before bed, we have a ritual where I tell her 10 things I love about her. Some nights I say her smile and others her eyes. I tell her how I love her adventurous spirit and her zest for life. I love her quest for knowledge and her determination to do it her way.  I hope and I pray these little nightly affirmations will stay with her for life.

We also always play a game called – fill up the meatball. The meatball is her tummy and she loves it when it “grows”. She is the one to say, “mommy I must be growing into spaghetti as my meatball is gone.” She tells me her meatball is empty and needs food now. We poke her meatball to find the empty spaces and then she chooses her healthy foods to eat for snack.

So, how did this darling come to say “I look fat”.


She has heard me utter these words to my husband. And she mimicked my response when he always says, “you look beautiful”. I have tried to limited these comments, but obviously not enough.

My heart broke the other day, as I realized so much is learned so quickly. I made a vow to stop asking those fate questions. I hope I have learned my lesson.

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert

As a Toronto Nutritionist, I love food, try to watch my weight, know more than I want to about healthy living (sometimes I wish I knew less so I wouldn’t feel so guilty when I stumble), am a daughter, sister, friend, mom and wife who worries and scurries the meals onto the table. It is for all these reasons that I completed my nutrition, RNCP designation, wrote my book, hosted my Food Network show, consult with food companies to urge them to get it right (or at least better), constantly write about it, research it, all of this so I can cut through the nutrition and food “news” clutter. Happy to share with friends!

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6 Responses

    nadia frost
    November 16, 2011 at 4:51 pm Reply


    November 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm Reply

    You are both beautiful!

    November 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm Reply

    great blog heather, yes, let’s stop asking that ill fated question and move forward focusing on the healthy living part as that is what the kids will remember. you’re an awesome mum, we miss you on wednesday mornings @ mumvet.

    November 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm Reply

    Great post!

    December 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm Reply

    Yes. Great post. Thanks for sharing this honest and heartfelt confession.

    December 8, 2011 at 12:08 am Reply

    Such honest writing.

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