Monday, April 16, 2012

The Skinny

Over the weekend I tracked my way to the softball fields so my daughter could go to her first practice of the season. I was sitting their enjoying the weather when I struck up a conversation with another parent. She started talking about how her daughter asked her if her thighs looked fat in a pair of leggings. These are 10 year olds mind you and this one in particular is a tall drink of water, athletic, and really beautiful inside and out. She went on to tell her daughter that she looked great and that her thighs did not look anywhere near fat in the leggings.

There is influences no matter where you look. It is not just the supermodels in the magazines (airbrushed obviously!) that children are getting this "perfect image" idea from. Even the government is pushing the obesity dilemma now. So, our kids get it from every angle. It is sad to say, but they are getting it at a younger and younger age now a days. When my daughter was in first grade and at school she would leave for school with a packed lunch and come home with the packed lunch. She would be starving by the time she got home and after about a month of asking what was going on I had enough. I was finally able to pry it out of her. One little girl at school was commenting on another little girls lunch just about every day. She was talking about how much food was in the girls lunch and how she was going to gain weight and be fat. So, my daughter took a mental note of that and decided to not eat to possibly spare herself ridicule over what she eats and what she weighs! I ended up at the principals office and ultimately took my child out of school everyday for lunch. I brought her home to eat and back to school for recess. This went on until our move a month later to a new school district. Our move was already planned before this incident so it was just good timing!

It made me stop and think about what I say and do in front of my kids, my daughter really. I had a baby in October and have been complaining about the weight that I am not shedding as fast as I would like. I found myself wanting to skip meals and then feel so miserably hungry that I would over indulge in the wrong foods. All while my kids are watching. So, the pressure of weight and eating can come from us as parents too. It may be unintentional but it can happen. It can come from what was happening in my house to something as simple as a parent telling a kid how skinny they are. It can be just talking about weight in general or talking to a child about how they eat to much.

I started thinking about what I can do to make it so that I can minimize the pressures of weight with my daughter. I am 33 and just now understanding the idea of healthy eating. It is all about moderation when it comes to food. Now because I do need to lose weight and don't want it to effect the way my daughter thinks, I have decided to make my life healthier and to help my kids understand what that means.  I want to be around to watch them grow up, go to college, get married, and have children of their own. I am not on a diet, I am just eating a healthy. It is no more or no less than that. I tell myself and only myself that the weight will come off in time with the healthy eating.  I do not say things that have to do with my weight in front of my daughter anymore. She will have enough pressure from her peers to deal with without my own issues of weight.

Children make metal notes of the things and actions that we take. It does not have to be a spoken word for something to be destructive to them! Remember to chose your actions wisely when it comes to this sensitive issue.