Lately I've been thinking a lot about the importance of loving our bodies. I am no expert at this - it's something I have to work at every single day. It can be really challenging now that we are constantly presented with images of ourselves: I seem to always have my phone in my hand and take at least a dozen pictures a day. Most of the photos I take are of Daisy but on the days I do make it into the frame, I find myself immediately scrutinizing the images. Are the wrinkles on my forehead getting worse? Are my dark roots showing too much? Is my second chin coming through? Can you tell there are ten pounds of baby weight lingering around my midsection? Do my arms look flabby? ...And that's just the beginning of the list ☹
I have to work hard to stop and remind myself that while I am no longer the skinniest person in every room everywhere I go, I am the healthiest and happiest I have ever been in my life and THAT is what matters most. As I work to let that infiltrate my everyday inner dialog, I am also working to correct my outward behaviors that Daisy will eventually notice. Instead of lifting my shirt in the mirror to examine how (un-)flat my stomach looks or bemoaning the items in my closet that no longer fit or flatter, I need to be responsible with my actions and demonstrate self love. Everything I say and do - especially behaviors that are repeated - will have an affect on how Daisy views the world, and in this case, herself. I want her to always love herself from the inside out and have a role model who shows her how.
Here are some of the things I'm working on:
I am trying to spend less time in the mirror and if I do it at all in front of Daisy, I try to say something positive about what I see.
I resist the urge to weigh myself daily and am keeping the scale out of sight from Daisy.
Whenever I compliment Daisy, my words are related to things she has accomplished that day, her skills and intellect or other things I love about her personality.
I try to spend at least half the week with no makeup on so Daisy knows that I love who I am and how I look naturally. The message I want her to take away is that I sometimes wear makeup to mix things up and have fun, not to mask or alter what I look like.
I do my best to select clothes for Daisy that are comfortable before cute. At the end of the day, Daisy is learning to explore and is very active - I never want to hinder her exploration with an outfit.
Eating well and staying active as a family - learning about new and different ways to prepare healthy food and exploring the outdoors as much as possible will help us feel healthier and show our kids how to maintain balance in their lives.
The smiling face of someone who has no concept of the ideal body
Here are some other resources I'm finding useful as I continue my quest to right my own body image and alter my behaviors in time to raise a daughter who loves herself:
How to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body - from Real Simple
Ten Little Ways You Can Raise a Child Who Loves Their Body - from Romper
8 Ways to Raise Daughters Who Love Their Bodies from Mind Body Green
15 Tips for Raising Kids with a Positive Body Image
Love yourselves, readers! You are smart and kind and beautiful from the inside out ❤