Friday, 18 December 2009

Girls & Body Image

I'm trying so hard for my girls not to see me with a "diet mentality." But no matter what I do, they are imagining it anyway!

I still eat chocolate. I believe in allowing for treats, but limiting them, so that I don't feel deprived. And the kids have seen me eating chocolate and other treats.

Yet today, as I carved up some brownies to give to them, Gabby kept saying, "You can't have it, Mommy, because you're not allowed to have chocolate." I have never said anything like it around her. If I am not letting myself have a treat when everyone else is, I just say I will be having it later.

I want my girls to be confident about themselves and their bodies no matter what size they end up being, and I want them to have healthy attitudes towards food, not the messed up attitude I had for so many years.

It's such a difficult line to tread when you're trying to lose weight!

I'm trying to lead my daughters by example. I don't talk about my "diet." (I believe that diet is just a word, and one that refers to whatever food we happen to be eating, not any special "plan.") I talk about eating foods that will keep me healthy and strong.

I don't talk about my body in a negative way in front of my kids. How can I expect them to feel confident about their own bodies if I let them see me being insecure about my own?

I fit a reasonable amount of exercise into my day, and I eat large, healthy meals. I snack on fruits and vegetables. Occasionally, I even have chocolate, because I really, really enjoy eating chocolate. And when I have it, my kids see me eating it. They see me eating all kinds of food.

I don't center any occasions around food. Sometimes I provide snacks and meals for guest when we have visitors. Sometimes I just have drinks ready. I don't want the kids to think that every social occasion requires food to complete it.

There are other small things I do to try and lead by example. It doesn't always seem to be working though.

So hit me up in the comments with what you do to try and instill body image confidence in your kids and a healthy attitude towards food. And if you don't have kids, how would you do this if you did?


  1. I dont have kids, i would still consider myself only just out of being one at 20. All my life my parents have been overweight and my mum has been on weightwatchers many times. Thats how i know about weightwatchers, how i know it can work and how i know its hard and hard to remain at goal as now my mum weighs more than ever. I dont think my attitude towards food is unhealthy due to this, yes i do eat too much sometimes and yes sometimes i eat crap hence why i am a few stone overweight. I think this is such a hard thing to do if you have children. All i would say is you seem to be doing everything right and you sounds like a wonderfull mother for trying to build healthy foundations for them. All i would do is have a small portion of whateva they have so that they know you can eat what you want in moderation. Also i think that there isnt alot you can do to stop them gettin bad body image. In my experiance it was just something i felt, more caused by my friends, magazines etc not my mum. Just carry on as you are, showing them a postive attitude that you can achieve anything!

  2. I shant hijack yer comments and make mine a post :)

    I yammer too much about this as it is but its all here.

    feel free to DELETE this!


  3. Oh man, I do my best. I have an 18 year old son, a 13 year old daughter and a seven year old. It is tough. I have a deplorable wish to tweak their bodies a bit as they are kind of my life's work, you know? Of course I sit on those impulses. I try to keep good stuff in the house. I don't stock chips or poptarts or junky cereals, but we do have chocolate on hand at all times and once a week I bake or let the kids do it.

  4. I struggle with this. I have a son who is overweight, and is struggling with this. It is really hard to deal with because I want him to be happy with who he is, but I want to encourage him to be the best he can be. There is a fine line there.

  5. I can totally relate to what you are going through. I have two daughters (2.5 & 5.5) and I try really hard to help them have a healthy relationship with food - by seeing me with one. I struggle. But I try. One day, my daughter said, "mommy, you aren't as skinny as your friends... you are kind of a little fat". I almost died. It was all I could do not to freak out. But I used it as a teaching opporunity and told her, "Oh honey, i don't care too much about being skinny really. What matters to me is that my body is healthy and strong. I feel great about myself even if I'm not as small as my friend". Another time she told my smaller daughter that she had better not eat that because she'll grow up to be fat, while she'll still be skinny. What?!!!! It kills me to hear these things. Especially when this 5 yr old only weighs 38 lbs. It's like she's anorexic at 5 yrs old!? Anyway, I hear ya girl. If I think of better examples, I'll pass them on.

  6. I do think it is all about radiating a positive self image so that they pick up on it. And never speak badly about your appearance in front of them (or at all!)
    BODA weight loss


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