Monday, June 2, 2014

the story

Here's the story,
Of a lovely lady,
Who was bringing up two very lovely girls.
One of them had hair of gold,
Like her mother,
The youngest one...just a bit darker.

Okay, so we may not be the Brady Bunch - but we do have our own story to tell. For me, as a mother, it's been a big struggle these days in many ways with some of the things we have been dealing with. But the one thing I want to talk about today is body image.

Whoa. Big topic.

As most of you know, 5 years ago I was quite overweight, and took the long journey to try to remedy that by losing 70 pounds in 15 months. I still struggle with my own body image every single day - especially over the course of the past year as I have put back on 10 pounds that I have not been able to shake.

And now that my daughters are growing up - they will be turning 9 and 11 this fall - they are already showing signs of having issues with body image themselves.

One daughter has mentioned numerous times over the past year or two how happy she is that she's skinny and she hopes she will always be skinny. The other daughter has started asking her sister if she's fat.

This is a HUGE wake-up call for me, as I try to get a handle on the way I look at my own body. How am I portraying the body image attitude to my girls? How much emphasis do I put on the scale? How many times do I hog-wash my hubby's comments of how beautiful I am if I'm feeling down on myself about my weight?

It's all about a healthy balance. I know this; I've always known this. It's how I lost my weight to begin with. No fad diets, no eliminations, no hard-core over-the-top work-out programs. All just simple moderation with everything I do. That's the way it worked for me.

And that's how I want my daughters to see things too. And if I struggle with these 10 pounds for the rest of my life - then so be it. As long as I am eating foods in moderation and keeping up with regular exercise. THAT'S what it's about. Keeping my body healthy, not about being a certain size or weight. Otherwise I'm being a hypocrite when I tell my girls that "God made us all different shapes and sizes, and the important thing is keeping your body healthy."

I know kids observe way more about us than we even realize, starting at a very young age - but as my girls continue to grow up, their eyes will be fixed on me with even more scrutiny as they look for a role model in this, and many other areas. I want them to know that you can be happy in your own skin, regardless of size, if you take care of yourself. Life is not about being skinny. 

And will they learn that if I don't personally claim that myself? Nope. Not likely.

So, bathroom scale, we won't be meeting very often anymore. You have been a helpful tool over the course of the last several years - and sometimes you have had a very legitimate place in my life. But you cannot be a regular visitor anymore.

And to my hubby - I will accept your compliments much more graciously, regardless of whether our girls are around to hear it or not.

Healthy body image begins at home. And my girls deserve to have the best teacher they can get.


4 comments:

LaughingLady said...

Amen.

Alicia said...

Your daughter's comment about being skinny and hoping she will always be is very familiar to my ears. It's always a challenge to direct them to their true beauty while allowing them to delight in the outside beauty that God also made. It's hard being a mom to these girls! I just try to reaffirm proper image in all the small everyday ways. I want them to feel beautiful, but not just because of what's on the outside. Blessings to you, as you keep encouraging your girls.

TammyIsBlessed said...

All so very very true!

Jackie Klassen said...

Good thoughts! It's tough having girls!