What My Journey Has Taught My Daughter
The other night we were at a family members house and Extra was on the television. It talked about these young girls that were starving themselves and how bad things had gotten for them. My daughter looked at me and said " Mom, why would these girls do this to themselves?" and then she said "If they only knew the right way of doing things". I said "what would that be?" and she said "working out and eating healthy, besides everybody's body is suppose to look different." I realized right then and there, one of my goals were met. Even though thru her whole life, I have always been very careful about not criticizing myself around her, she is still exposed to so many things that could affect her body image. The things she sees on TV, hears on the radio or even worst are the things that girls have said to her. My daughter is very healthy and very fit, unfortunately her self esteem was literally at a zero. It was mostly from the things girls would say to her like: Your legs are so fat, what size do you wear-it must be bigger than mine or even to the point where they pulled on her clothing to see her sizes(she was cutting her tags out of all her clothing). It didn't help that I was unhappy with myself and even though I didn't express it out loud, I think she knew. Whose fault is this? It was mine. I needed to set better examples. I can say as many things as I want to my children, but I needed to show them. Actions speak louder than words. In the past I would eat really good all day and then binge at night. I couldn't have a small cup of ice cream, I had to have the large- with all the toppings. We had dessert every single night (this was very hard to stop) and I was sabotaging myself daily with my food choices. I was also teaching them to celebrate everything with food and rewarding them all with food. These were not healthy habits I was teaching my children. I no longer do this anymore, which is a huge improvement. Right now my daughter sees how hard I am working, how I nourish my body, I still have treats (but in moderation) and even though I don't have societies perfect body image-I am proud of myself and my body. I am teaching her to love herself. You don't have to be a size 6, stick skinny to love yourself-you need to treat your body right with exercise and healthy foods. This would be a HUGE non-scale victory for me and for my daughter. This moment taught me that we do have the power to influence our children more than we think we do. We can influence them more then the TV, radio and their peers. We need to show our children that our body is a gift and to treat it that way. I want my daughter to love herself , nourish her body the right way and to know that in life hard work/consistency pays off. Although I wish I had stumbled upon this lifestyle many years ago, I am so blessed I am where I am and that what I am doing is spilling into my daughter's life. I know this is one less thing she will have to struggle with as an adult and also as a female, another reason why I will keep working hard and making better choices.