"I lost 15 pounds already," says the girl who's only four... and my daughter.
I wanted to puke.
For the past couple of months I have been exercising every day and eating healthy. I want to be healthy... or so I thought.
Hearing my daughter say she "lost 15 pounds" made me question my motives. Are the changes I've made truly about living a healthy lifestyle or are they about appearances?
I realized that I've been lying to myself, lying to others, and lying to my daughter. However, the bright little monkey that she is, she saw through my tricks and smokescreens and called me out on it. My objective has been weight loss.
Living in the age of blogs, media, and an abundance of social networking sites adds a subtle pressure to one's self-worth. I regularly see Facebook status updates, blog postings, and twitter feeds that put the pressure on to lose weight and look good.
- "Yay, I fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes again."
- "Not only did I lose my pre-pregnancy weight but this is the lowest weight I've been in over 10 years!"
- "No more fat panties for me... LOL."
- "I'm one of the lucky ones. No stretchmarks!"
Nothing is necessarily wrong with these remarks. It's me, the interpreter of these statements who has let them undermine my own self-esteem. I can't compare myself to someone else's Facebook or Twitter feed; that's their journey.
The reality is I don't like to look at myself in front of a full length mirror. The anxiety from doing so is compounded when I'm stripped down to my underwear. I have many stretchmarks and my belly which once housed children on two separate occasions, kind of looks like an ass (sorry about the language but I have no other way to describe it). That's my body. That is what I see every single day. That's me... or is it?
When I gave birth to my daughter, I knew immediately that she was a beautiful gift from God and I also knew that's the way I wanted her to see herself. So why do I desire that for her but I can't do it for myself?
"I lost 15 pounds already...."
"You don't need to lose 15 pounds. You're a little girl. You need to grow."
What else could I say? I know she really didn't lose 15 pounds but I quickly realized that I can't talk myself out of this one. My actions need to speak louder than words.
Starting today my language is changing, but more importantly, my attitude is changing. It's not going to be about pounds and inches... it's going to be about a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise. It's not going to be about calorie counting, it's going to be about making healthy choices and enjoying a chocolate bar and a glass of wine every once and a while. It's not going to be about the clothes I would love to wear or sporting a bikini this summer, it's going to be about a positive sense of self-worth and a desire to live a long and fulfilling life.
She's watching me... and I have no doubt that how I proceed will have a lifelong impact on her.