While enjoying my daily travels not too long ago I saw a mom harping on a little girl about being fat. I’d guess that this little girl was roughly seven years old. The mother was not exactly what I would call a thin woman, but she wasn’t overly obese either. In their cart I saw lots of diet foods, and low calorie snacks. I have absolutely no doubt that this mother had her daughter’s best interest at hart. She wasn’t being mean or hurtful, just saying things like, “No you can’t have that, eating it will make you fat.” We all know that it’s not the foods fault, it’s portion sizes and over indulgence that actually make you fat.
The whole situation got me thinking about my own daughter, and how I plan to raise her healthy, and in such a way that she won’t be constantly worried about what is going to make her fat or not. I never want her to feel like she is at war with food, or with her body. Therefore we came up with new rules. I don’t mention my body issues (whether real or imagined) in front of her. I do everything within my power to show her that I am confident in my skin, we never discuss weight. We exercise together but always with the goal of staying healthy. I never mention that I want to lose weight, or look better, or whatever. I just tell her I want to be healthy. She wants to be healthy too. I don’t stress out if I miss a day exercising, I don’t want her to stress either. I know that she is super receptive and bases her expectations on my actions. We never comment about other people’s appearance. After all, people come in all sizes.
I hope that with these adjustments to my attitude, my daughter will grow up understanding that she is beautiful, and that she doesn’t need to focus on her weight or appearance. Instead she needs to focus on remaining healthy. I do my fair share of telling her that she is beautiful, but also mention how smart, charming, funny, and sweet she is too. Her defining feature is not that she is adorable. Although, let us face it, she is pretty stinking cute. And while she is so young, and impressionable it is my responsibility to keep her healthy and show her how to stay that way. We don’t watch TV all day, and make a point to move and exercise as often as possible. Here is hoping I got it right, and she can grow up as confident as she deserves to be!