Society is stuck on dieting and our poor children are suffering as a consequence. Their spongy little brains pick up on the slightest insinuation of what foods are “good” or “bad”, “healthy” or “unhealthy;” whether you think you need to lose weight or hate your thighs. Since dieting has been proven time and time again NOT to work, how do we learn to feed ourselves, body, mind, and soul, so our children can learn to have a healthy relationship with food and a healthy body image?
It starts with you
As moms we work so hard to teach our children right from wrong. To teach them manners and how to respect authority; to be compassionate and loving, and so many other worthy characteristics. What we often fail to do is to teach our children to love themselves unconditionally. They see how we diet, or refuse to eat certain foods. They hear how we talk to ourselves and shame our body for the way it looks; yet we expect our children to fully and completely accept themselves.
Monkey see, monkey do
I grew up in a house where my mom struggled with her weight, and self esteem. The cabbage soup diet, Weight Watchers, and endless others became common household names. I would see my mom gain and lose weight, and buy multiple sizes of wardrobes. At the end of the day, regardless of her size, I would watch her avoid looking at herself in mirror. I never understood what she, the woman I loved and admired, saw when she looked in the mirror.
Even though I never heard my mom once utter the words “fat,” “ugly,” or “self conscious” I picked up on every detail. I began looking deeper in the mirror only to find my own lumps and bumps; stretch marks on my thighs from growing hips, beauty spots everywhere, and large “saucer” eyes that were the butt of many jokes.
Now as a mother, the list of lumps and bumps grows even longer, but WHEN DOES IT END? When do we learn to love ourselves wholly and stop allowing our lumps and bumps define us? The lumps that prevent us from doing what we want? That stop us as we wonder if someone saw our belly jiggling when we chased our child. Or if people noticed the dimples on our thighs when we dared to wear anything but long shorts?
I’m no exception
Now ladies, I have to be completely honest with you…
I am far from the point of wholly and truly accepting my body, but for my boy’s sake and my own personal well being I NEED TO LOVE MY BODY NOW!
Not a year from now when I shed those last five pounds, but right now! I need to love myself as I am, in this form, post-baby body, bumps, lumps and all. My children deserve a mother who loves herself first, so they can learn to love themselves too.
So what can we do to change?
Ditch the diets
Diets are like a bad boyfriend; they use up all your energy and leave you worse off than you were before you met them.
When you first embrace the idea of going on a diet you’re on cloud 9 thinking of all the cute new outfits you’ll wear when you reach your goal weight, all the newfound confidence you’ll have. Believe it or not, your subconscious mind deals with diets differently; diets confirm the belief that you’re not enough. As you stand right now…. YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH!!
Listen up ladies and listen closely….. YOU ARE ENOUGH!
You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are enough.
Lumps, bumps, scars, saggy boobs, droopy butt, messy bun hair, haven’t showered in days and all!
Stop 21-Day Dieting Fixing yourself; setting unrealistic expectations you compare yourself against. Stop will-powering your way be a thinner, trimmer you; especially if the habits you use to lose weight are not maintainable. You’re better off ditching the diet, cutting the string to the yo-yo you’vee been off and on over the years, and start working on loving yourself as you are now.
It’s time to detox… to cleanse yourself of dieting. To rid yourself of the notion that food is either “good” or “bad,” and by eating those foods that you are either good or bad too. Cleanse yourself of the idea that food is meant to be burnt off by enduring grueling sessions at the gym.
The only thing you need to burn is the diet books, magazines and other garbage you are filling your head with.
Rid yourself of the negative self talk; the hurtful, degrading words you use to describe your body.
Instead, let’s start to eat and move with intention. Eat to enjoy food, to satisfy your taste buds. Eat foods that give you lasting energy to live your life each day to the fullest. Move in a way that pleases your body; that helps you feel strong, agile, graceful. Find the enjoyment in challenging your body to move in ways it hasn’t for years, allow your kids to be your guide.
If you’re not convinced yet answer one question for me, have the diets of your past given you the long lasting results you want? If not, then why not try a new way of doing things? Ditch the diets, detox your mind and start eating, moving, and living with intention.
Try seeing yourself through your children’s eyes. A perfect, admirable, woman full of love, life, and laughter who loves food and loves to move. Maybe then you will finally let go of all the negative thoughts that hold you back. Your children will thank you one day for embracing you, because it means they can one day do the same with no strings attached.
If you take nothing else away from reading this today please let it be that your are enough! You are worthy, you are beautiful, and you are loved!
Now, I leave you with a song, “Scars To Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara, that makes me ugly cry. Something about this song hits me deep; deep down where my subconscious mind hides all those ugly thoughts. Remember, “you’re beautiful just the way you are!”