naomi wolf quote

“When I feel compelled to criticize my body, I imagine my daughter saying the same thing about herself.” I have always been sensitive to the way my children view my weight loss, particularly my daughter. I don’t want her to see me as always dieting or unhappy with my body.

“…It’s not the media or skinny, out-of-proportion Barbie dolls or even peer pressure that is the No. 1 cause of body issues for young girls.

It’s their mothers.

“Moms are probably the most important influence on a daughter’s body image,” said Dr. Leslie Sim, clinical director of Mayo Clinic’s eating disorders program and a child psychologist. “Even if a mom says to the daughter, ‘You look so beautiful, but I’m so fat,’ it can be detrimental.”

USA Today, Experts: Mom has biggest impact on girls’ body image

So what am I doing to help my children develop a healthy body image and self-esteem?

  1. I consider the word “diet” to be a four-letter word. I eat healthy. I try to eat clean, unprocessed foods as much as possible. I am not on a diet. No foods (or categories of foods) are off-limits. My family talks about the different types of foods, foods that help you become strong and healthy, sugar and why it is not as good for you, and so on. I am striving to help them learn why some foods make you feel better than other foods.
  2. I workout to be strong. I love my home workouts and going to the gym. Instead of viewing exercise as a means to lose weight or burn off whatever treat I have eaten recently, it’s just part of our daily routine. The day I heard my daughter say, “wow, mama, you are so strong!” – those words just made my day. My children want to learn to exercise like my husband and me, so I am teaching them how to use the TRX and inviting them to join me in my workouts.
  3. I have to capture my negative thoughts and remind myself of the truth. I went clothes shopping today and the dressing room experience was a little depressing. The mirrors in the dressing room did not reflect back the image I wanted to see. Rather than complain about my body, I redirected my thoughts to remind myself I AM happy with my body and my current size. Those clothes didn’t flatter me as much as I had hoped, but that made it easier to decide which items to buy.
  4. I write encouraging post-it notes for my children. I tell them often they are beautiful, God loves them, and I am proud of them for a certain skill/achievement.

    “Be careful how you speak to your children, one day it will become their inner voice.” ~ Peggy O’Mara

  5. I’m learning to love my own body. I am created in the image of God, capable of more than I ever realized and I’m grateful God has given me the ability to be active. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14) Rather than just focus on the parts of my body I would like to change, I am getting into a daily habit of reminding myself what I do like about myself.

 
Elastic Tits

1 Comment

  1. This a great reminder, especially for those of us with daughters! We are probably their biggest influence and need to create a positive environment for them to grow up in this department. They will be exposed to all the negative portrayals way too soon!

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