I am not skinny and I don’t think I am big either.
My body is not considered unhealthy. Still I have body issues. I do believe I need to loose weight. My tummy is not as flat as it used to be b.k. (before kids) but I can also not entirely blame it on being a mom… I do love my food and for sure I do love a good glass of wine. Or two. Or sometimes even more…
For a loooong time now I found myself in the constant “I need to diet” cycle. Very tiring… And I decided to change that. I still do need to loose a couple more kilos. Well… I do want to loose them. But I want to do it with healthy eating and not cutting out certain foods. You know: A more relaxed approach to it. Not just for me but also for my kids.
And that brings me right to the point. I don’t want to talk about how successful my diets were so far. Rather focus on where the need for it comes from. What triggers that feeling in us? The feeling that our body is just not skinny enough, not toned enough, not pretty enough? I feel every woman, no matter how old, has a body issue. Crazy, right? And can we find a better, healthier approach to it?
I remember my mom trying all sort of different diets and never being really satisfied with the result. I also remember us teasing her because of her tummy. You know, although she felt she was too big, she actually never was. She had a bit of a tummy (seems to run in the family) but that was all. But she tried every diet on earth, I believe. And honestly, I think it affected me. As soon as I got to my teenage years I felt like I had to really watch my weight. And diet… Because, you know, it’s just what you do as a woman.
Looking back: I never really would have had to watch my weight until I hit my late 20ies… But I did. I jumped on the band wagon and felt like I had to join my mom. And she let me. Only every now and then I “let myself go” and just ate whatever I wanted to eat. And actually I could as I was so active and burned it right away. But those were also the moments when my mom reminded me to watch out. She would have never asked me to diet and I know, she only meant that I should not let it slip for good. But for me it sounded like: Stop eating all of that food and go back to your diet! As this was what I wanted to hear.
Our behavior has a massif influence on our kids. As a mom of a little girl I want her grow up as a confident young woman. I want her to look at all those magazines and realize what’s real and what’s not, what’s healthy and what is not. I want her to be happy with her body. And I do want the same things for my son.
But how? How do I make them realize that every body is different? That some boys have a six pack already at a young age and some have to work for it? That some girls are born skinny and will probably always be skinny whereas others have a different built and now matter what they eat (or don’t eat) will never be as skinny as their peeps? How do you get them to the point where they are confident enough in their bodies? Where they don’t get thrown off by a stupid comment?
Our kids grow up with even more pressure when it comes down to their looks. There is so much out there now. All those Photoshopped pictures, all the Silicon and Botox, the nose-jobs, the boob-jobs, the butt-jobs… Where will it end? And on top of it all: The dieting mom. In theory it is simple, right? Eat healthy, make the right choice, control your portion sizes and exercise. In theory…
So I decided not to use the word ‘diet’ anymore. I will choose the words ‘healthy food’, ‘portion size’ and ‘right choice’ instead. And I hope that those words and the action which comes along will manifest itself in their behavior, and together with all the activities they already do, set the base for an active and healthy life. I hope that like that they will end up having a healthy relationship with eating and will never ever end up with an eating disorder.
Happy and healthy kids. In the end this is all that matters. Right?