I started back at the gym this week. I’ll be honest, starting after a WHOLE Summer of not going? Well… It’s hard, but I walked in with my 4-yr-old son and it was like riding a bike, literally. Once you know how and when to workout, you’ll always know. It’s up to you to get there and encourage yourself to be consistent.
While I was jogging on the treadmill, I looked up and saw a talk show discussing how Moms can easily manage their daughter’s weight. Am I there? Is it MY job to manage my daughter’s weight? Well. Yeah. It is. I’m not only her Mom, but I HAVE to be her “Nutritionist” too if I want her to grow up healthy, active, and most importantly, happy. So, today, I’m bringing you guys another post on raising healthy girls and my personal struggles.
The relationship between Mother and Daughter is sacred, but when you throw in the curve ball of body image, weight, and eating practices, well… it gets complicated. As my daughter got ready for school the other day, I noticed the outfit she had on was somewhat unflattering for her body. Approaching it gently I told her, “Honey, why don’t we find something else to wear, something that will be easier to move in at gym class?”
She burst into tears.
Immediately a wave of shock crossed over me as I asked, “Honey, what’s wrong?” With hurt in her eyes she says, “YOU’RE MAKING FUN OF ME!!”
But…. But… I’m not. I’m trying to help. I’m trying to help you look your best.
I’ve struggled with my weight ever since I had my last child 4-yrs-ago. My eating habits have been thrown out the window and I, rarely, have time to workout. It didn’t seem to bother me, until I saw how it was affecting my children. So, I’m on a mission to spend quality time with my daughter, while teaching her healthy eating practices and ways to exercise. Before I do, I must examine myself inwardly. So, I asked myself six questions before I have the talk with my daughter about her weight:
1. Am I happy with my body? If not, then list your problem areas and research ways you can work on that, but most of all, remember your daughter’s attitude about her weight and body image will come straight from what she sees every day. Be positive about your curves, while taking action towards a healthy lifestyle.
2. What are some of my inner qualities? You know that saying You are what you eat. Well, it proves true when you look at the inside of your body. What are some inner qualities you posses that your daughter may emulate? Are you kind, giving, intelligent? Focus on those traits as and keep them close while you teach healthy eating.
3. How am I being active throughout the week? Exercise is very important in children, as well as adults. Are you actively exercising to maintain a healthy weight? If not, carve out 30 minutes twice a day, 3 days a week. It’ll get your heart pumping, calories burning, and boost you into a routine you can teach your daughter.
4. Do I make negative comments about my weight or other women’s weight? My daughter watches me like a hawk. While I understand I need to shed some pounds, I also know that having a negative attitude about weight and my body won’t do a bit of good, especially if my daughter sees that. I want her to embrace her body as the unique vessel God gave her. Be positive for your daughter and for yourself.
5. Do I focus more on my daughter’s weight than I do my son’s? I caught myself the other day telling my daughter she couldn’t have more chicken after she asked for seconds, but happily let my son’s eat more. It was an eye opener once I realized I am focusing more on her weight than I am on theirs. Keep a balance and focus on having a healthy family, not just a healthy daughter.
6. Do I hide my body in public? I’ve always been comfortable in my skin, until I gained weight. Although I’m bigger, I still feel comfortable wearing tanks and shorts, as well as a bathing suit in public. Clothing and fashion are a big factor in teaching your daughter about different shapes of bodies and how to look your best with the shape you have.
I’ll admit it. I’m a little scared to have “the talk” with my daughter. I’ve actively enrolled her in a sports class that will help her build her strength, endurance, and positive attitude, but I still need to take steps at home for her to understand being healthy is important and we can do it together. What about you? What kind of steps have you taken to teach a healthy body image to your daughter?
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