So, here are some tips from this mommy’s mouth on learning to promote healthy body image.
Keep negative body image talk down, or erase these thoughts entirely.
Everyone is beautiful, and no one is the same. So, why do you doubt your image in the mirror? What beliefs make you doubt your own beauty?
Typically, we arrive at these conclusions, based deep within society’s views, which manifest through envy.
If you are unhappy with your body, don’t inflict your views on your child. Instead, figure out how to love yourself. How can you cherish your body the way it is, right now? If you want to lose weight, do so to become healthy, not to become skinny. The same problems you hold, right now, will remain long after thirty pounds are lost.
Here’s a secret: losing weight does not make you happy. Learning to love yourself, and embolden your mind with the fact that you are beautiful, despite the weight, will make you happy.
If you’re going to diet, don’t call it a diet.
Do you know what happens when you decide to diet? You decide to restrict food.
Do you know what your mind does when you decide to restrict certain foods? It feels deprived.
Then you begin cheating on your diet. Your mood changes as a direct result of whether you stuck to that plan throughout the week, or whether you allowed yourself to cheat. But, it is not only you who becomes affected by your crazy diet schemes. Your family is affected by your moods, as well. Unfortunately, they are often forced to follow whatever diet you have started. Or, if you are the only one following the plan, you become angry at everyone else for not seeing, or supporting, your struggles in dieting.
Basically, no one is happy until you lose a few pounds, and start going back to eating “normal.”
But, what would happen if normal was just everyday healthy eating? What would that look like?
Throw out the scale.
I am a firm believer that scales meant to weigh humans are inherently evil. People base their feelings, their emotions, and their psyche on some silly number displayed on its screen.
Think about it.
How do you feel when you see you have gained five pounds? How do you feel when you see that you have lost five pounds? How do you feel when the number on the scale refuses to budge, and you are desperately wishing for it to go down? How do you feel when you are weighed, fully clothed–with shoes on–at the doctor’s office?
As humans, we are ruled by that tiny, little device. We go on to teach our children to base their happiness around those insignificant numbers.
Do you know how long I have lived without a scale in my home? Ten years. Do you know how many times my day has been ruined because the scale said I gained a pound?
I can feel the mental freak-outs from here. But, how will you weigh yourself, or know your weight? Um, why do you need to know your weight? Do your clothes fit?
Oh, and as a side note, either look away from the scale at a doctor’s office, turn around and have the nurse weigh you backwards, or tell the nurse to keep that information to herself.