Someone is Listening


I read an article a few months back that really made me think.  The gist of the article was “Moms, watch the way you talk about your body because your body image will shape your daughters body image.”  There was more to it than that, but that was gist.  It seemed like wise advice, so I tucked it away.

And man, I’ve had to practice it a few times and wow is it humbling.  I was changing in the closet with my oldest daughter.  She was picking out my outfit for some reason.  And while changing she looked at my legs and said, “Mom why do your legs jiggle?” 


Oh boy.   The article came to mind right away.

“Well, because my legs aren’t strong there.”  I decided to go with matter of fact truth minus elaborating or apologizing.  She accepted it and we both moved on.

Last week I started a fitness challenge and part of the challenge required getting weighed and measured at the beginning of the challenge.  My kids were all in the waiting room and when it was time for me to go back and get weighed and measured my 6 year old daughter begged to come.

OK.  Ladies, we know that stepping on a scale and getting weighed is one of the most humbling things a gal can do.  And I personally don’t like to do it with an audience.  It was humbling enough to do with the totally fit instructor taking my measurements.   My instinct was no.  But, then that article came to mind and I decided to let her come back. “Sure come on back sweetie.”  She stood and excitedly watched while I stepped on the scale and was measured.  I made no remark about my feelings over the numbers recorded.  And hopefully, she learned that stepping on a scale is not an exercise in self loathing. 

Anyway, I share these experiences with you because that article really made me think and thought perhaps some of you parents of girls might appreciate that perspective as well.  Our girls are watching and listening to us and I read just today that the number one factor in a girls body image is her mom.  That’s a lot of pressure, but you know what, it is also a lot of power.  I remember when I was in high school, I wanted to go on a diet.  I wasn’t super fat or anything, but wanted to be skinnier.  My mom took me to weight watchers.  She said, “If you want to lose weight, there is a healthy way to do it.”  Not with fad diets like the cabbage diet I remember my friends all doing.  I learned to journal my food, to make sure to eat healthy options from all food groups.  It might sound extreme going to weight watchers to lose 5 pounds, but you know what, it truly shaped my viewpoint on dieting.  Even now, 20 years later, if I want to lose a little weight, I go back to that discipline of food journaling and eating more fruits and veggies and less carbs and sugar.   I start exercising and drinking more water.  Because I remember it is more healthy and effective to make lifestyle changes over short term fad diets.  I really think my moms input and modeling shaped my perspective.  And I hope I can have a similar effect on my own girls as they grow.  Above all, I hope they remember and take to heart the verse we put on their wall…



  1. WOW!!! I truly did not expect this post to go where it ended. I was thinking of how poorly I thought of my image. Glad that the "good advice" is all that you remember. Best wishes for your fitness work out over the next few months


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