You can read the original story here
In case you didn't stop to pop over and read it, basically it's about how the adults in the lives of children can make them feel about their bodies, how it's not good enough or perfect enough. Too fat, too tall, too skinny and so on. You get the point. My cousin thanked her mom for never making them feel bad about their appearance and always loving her body for what it was. I figure this must come down the line from the women in our family, because my mom was always the same and my grandmother too....good stalk I tell ya!
I have been fat as long as I remember, I've shared that before. Never though did my mom make me feel bad about that. I remember her doing Jenny Craig or something like that once as a child, but it was not a big deal, she just ate a different meal then dad and I. It is ONE small memory, but not negative. She NEVER expressed shame over her body and my dad continued to pinch, grab and kiss her every chance he could, still does in fact. My mom has battle scars FOR SURE and while she will never wear a bikini or probably even a bathing suit out in public, she accepts it for what it is.
I have been struggling to lose weight for the entire time I have been a parent. I never use the word diet in our house, because I am not on one, and never say anything in regards to negative body image. I never call myself fat to my children or berate myself in the mirror for my appearance. They know I go to a "meeting" every week, but they don't know the purpose of that meeting.
Never do I give them a treat and say "now only one, because too many cookies make you fat!"
I do however worry about my appearance in regards to how the peers of my children will react. Comes from a long history of being teased I suppose. I remember picking my son up from daycare when he was about 4 1/2 and he gives me a big hug and while I am getting his stuff together, he says to me "you're not fat, right mom?" I asked him where he heard that from and he told me one of his friends said I was fat. For me, that was a teaching moment. I didn't confirm what he said, I spun it and said, "you know buddy, everyone is different and that is just fine. We all love each other just the same and it doesn't matter. It's not nice to say things like that to others, because it would hurt their feelings" It's come up a few other times since then, but I treat it the same way each time.
I encourage my kids to be accepting of others, no matter their differences. It will only make them better people and I wish other parents had done that to their own children, perhaps if they had, my own childhood would not be so scarred.
Children are innocent and a pure product of their environment, I am 100% positive of that. I really do believe that their is no such thing as a bad child.
There is a difference between living a healthy lifestyle and "dieting" and negative body talk. We talk about healthy food choices versus unhealthy ones. My kids know that carrots are better for your than cookies. They also know that treats are not a bad thing, but too many of them is not what is best for your body.
Thank you mom, for making me confident, despite the flaws of my "cage". Thanks to my cousin for giving me the inspiration for this post.
To the mom's out there with children, be watchful of what you say, you have little ears around that listen, even when you think they don't. Love yourself for who you are and the skin you are in. You are wonderful and perfect despite your flaws, accept that, no matter how hard it may be. My body might be big, but my heart is just as large!
I'm linking this up as my non-scale victory, because I am proud of the job I am doing raising children that love themselves and others for the person inside, not the shell outside.
Thanks to Laurie Haughton of Epona Photograpy for these great pics.
Last year I did a photo shoot with my kids and have never felt more beautiful!