Some of my most detailed childhood memories of my mom were of her dieting. She is still dieting today. I remember her talking about the macrobiotic diet and how she had already lost ten pounds, I remember her using B12 "because it revs your metabolism". She was a phen phen user, swore off bread, and frequently did the cabbage soup diet. I remember my mom as beautiful and strong. I never understood, as child, why she was dieting. She'd use words like fat, chunky, and overweight to describe herself. "I feel disgusting," was a commonplace descriptor she'd use when referring to her body. I remember choosing Yoplait yogurt as a kid because I saw mom doing it, because it would help me be "skinny".
I was watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta the other day.
You are SO surprised at my taste in classy entertainment!
So I was watching the RHOA and it was the scene where Kim was getting a body wrap. She was waddling through the house with these wrappings on and saying she hated fitness but loved to lose weight. She made her way out to the pool where her daughter was sun bathing and shouted, "do I look skinny yet?"
This is the message she is sending to her daughter. Here you might be thinking, "oh Jasmine... here you come with your judgey attitude. Tsk Tsk!" To that I say: YOU bet your ass I am going to judge her! Children, even Kim Zolciak's children learn about their bodies and their value through there parental figures. This isn't the only source of identity formation but it is one of the most powerful ones. A young girl sorting out her value sees her mother ask, "am I skinny yet" as if skinny is the apex.
I am not saying the other extreme is doing kids any favors either. I saw my mom binge eat and lay around for years and it impacted me as deeply as her diet mentality did.
Kids overhear things, they observe things, and they integrate things from our lives into their own. It does impact how they see themselves in the world.
I want to give my kids the gift of health and wholeness. I want to show them that your size doesn't determine your quality of life, that healthy movement is the way to go. I want us to celebrate the beauty of food- not punish ourselves with it.
don't teach your daughters how to diet.