We all do it. We all stand in front of the mirror and pick ourselves apart. Whether you’re male or female, fit or not fit, old or young, at some point in our lives we do it. I know I do and as hard as I try not to, I’ll admit that I do it almost daily.
I used to obsess over my weight and appearance. So much so that when I was in middle school I battled with anorexia. The pressures of fitting in, looking good and my peers led me down a path that was dangerous and scary. I can remember at one point, standing in the shower pulling chunks of my hair out. Another time, I passed out in the bathroom and came within centimeters of smacking my head on the toilet.
Luckily, I got help. I had a teacher who reached out to me and divulged her secret that she too had battled an eating disorder and desperately wanted to help me. I learned how to eat healthy and stay active. While I’ve had my ups and downs with weight gain and loss over the past years, I have never allowed myself to get to the point of no return.
I have also learned to love my body. Is it perfect? Hell no! Especially since I had a baby and if you’re a mom, I’m sure you know how your body just changes. I’ve learned that as I get older I have to work harder to stay in shape. I’ve learned that while I might not be as skinny as I once was, I eat healthy. I workout. I have muscles. I’m in shape. And as I get older, my body will thank me.
Why am I bringing this up?
I read this article today that Janetha from Meals&Moves shared and was reminded of my past experiences and how society pushes you to look a certain way. Sure, we discuss this all the time. But what really got to me about the article was how her daughters were so concerned about their body image. This made me think about my own children (child now but hopefully children one day), and how I hope that they can feel confident in their own skin and disregard that image that society pushes on us. I hope that I can help them to live healthy, stay active and understand that as long as you do those things, you are doing good for your body. Even if you’re not that image that you see in the magazines or on T.V., but that being healthy is more than just looking good.
As a teacher, I know the power of modeling. Not modeling like runway modeling. Modeling like teaching by showing and leading by example. This means that, as hard as it is some days, as my children grow and watch my “modeling,” I need to not step on the scale everyday. I need to be okay if I skip a workout one day or eat a cupcake without running the next morning. I need to show them that, as the article states, I Am Not My Body. We are much more than what we look like on the outside. Even though I know how important it is to take care of our bodies, it’s also important to be happy with who we are. Inside and out.
I share this with you in hopes that you too will lead by example and work to show your children that We Are Not Our Bodies.