July 25, 2011

be a healthy role model

While happily wasting time on pinterest recently, this image stopped me in my tracks.

All along I've been saying I'm working towards a healthier lifestyle.  And I am.  But the lure of being 'thin' and 'pretty' and wearing all the cute clothes has been my underlying motivation as well.  I wanted (want) to lose weight.  I want to be smaller.  I have a bad habit of measuring my worth by the number on the scale or the size on my tags.  But it absolutely has to stop.

Because that is not how I want Ryann to feel about herself.

I've made great changes in my life with both my eating and exercise.  Those changes will allow me to have a better life with my daughter.  That is wonderful.  But I need to remind myself WHY I am living this way.  Not for the body I see in the mirror.  But for a healthy and happy future.

A couple months ago I read a mcfatty post via the list of those linking up that struck a chord with me.  I hope you have a moment to read it.  Children don't grow up and decide to hate their bodies.  We teach them to do it.  Every time I remark about how I hate my thighs, or how my butt is huge or how this or that body part isn't the way I want it to be, I'm teaching Ryann that it is ok to say those things about herself.  And it isn't.

My body may not be perfect.  I may not love the number on the scale, or the size of my jeans.  But this body created another life.  A little life that I want to see grow up happy, healthy and confident in herself.  I want her to be proud of who she is.

So I will be proud of who I am.  A wife.  A mother.  A daughter.  A sister.  A friend.  An artist.  A dreamer.

What makes you proud of yourself?


Stephanie said...

Ashley- What a great post.. that is amazing insight.. it is what we should all remember in every aspect! Children watch what we do and learn it, good or bad!

Meredith said...

I agree with you that we should definitely be mindful of what we say in front of our kids about our bodies because they DO learn from us.

However, I don't think that the Pinterest photo is as disturbing as a lot of people think. I have nieces and nephews that age, and they love to step on the scale--because it's something they do at the doctor's office, and they equate GAINING weight with growing and getting to be bigger kids who are able to do more things, not with getting fat, you know?

Ashley said...


I think that is a very good point. I guess my point is, not that I want her to swear off all scales and things like that, but just be aware of how I speak about my body, my weight, eating, etc. All of that. But you are so very right, kids do equate gaining weight with growing at the doctor's.

Me said...

Love this.

I think about this when I see my students, who are still SO YOUNG, talking about being fat, skinny, etc. I wish this idea you talk about was a societial and cultural perception. Everyone could use a positive persepctive on what being healthy looks like. We are their role models.

Ryann will most definitely benefit from your positive body image. :)

payettestork said...

If I thought too hard about what might happen to Shelby's body image as she becomes a teenager, I would probably freak out. We're years away from it, but if I can help foster a positive body image from the start, all the better. The alternative is awful to think about. Take a look/listen: http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201102172000

Sharstin said...

this is so true girly~ it is something that we can definitely have an impact on--thanks for the post!

Katie said...

Thanks for linking my post. I think one of the biggest challenges of parenting in general (not just when it comes to our bodies) is to make sure your own actions and words meet the standards you hold your children to. It's a lifelong learning curve, for sure, but I think just by being more aware we can help our daughters grow to be confident women who hopefully don't have the same scale obsession we do! :)

wallacefamilyblog said...

what a great post and great reminder! I so needed to read this!

Vivian said...

Completely agree. Just today I was looking at pictures of myself from a few years back and I kept saying how skinny I used to be, all that while my daughter was there. Then we went to the pool and my daughter made the remark that I was FAT...IT hurt and couldn't figure out where she was coming from until I realized it was all because of me all along. Great post!

Mrs. Ronso said...

Thanks for the great post. It inspired me to write one of my own. Maybe if more mamas start thinking about these things we can raise a generation of strong, empowered, beautiful girls!


BA said...

I LOVE this post. Love it.

What I'm proud of?? hm. I'm proud that I can hold my own at Zumba. I'm proud that I can write stories from the heart. I'm proud that my kiddo started saying "momma" for real this week. :)