As you may know, even prior to Baby T I struggled with my weight–and while I am working on it, I have to continuously remind myself to watch what I say about myself because this kid is A SPONGE. I constantly catch myself walking by a mirror and making a face, or remarking to my husband about how fat I look and it’s GOT TO STOP. I need to remember that Baby T is soaking it all up. Here’s the problem. If I don’t start to change the way I view myself, my son may start to believe that beauty and weight go hand-in-hand along with weight and self-worth: and that is simply not true.
Since I do not have a crystal ball and cannot see into the future to determine whether or not Baby T will have a weight problem–I need to watch my mouth. Since I cannot see into the future and figure out what he will find beautiful and attractive (physically)–I need to watch my mouth. Because I do not want him to correlate beauty and self-worth with weight–I need to watch my mouth. Because I want him to be confident in who he is and his own body–I need to watch my mouth.
I want him to now that weight doesn’t define a person. I want him to be a compassionate person and a gentleman who KNOWS that beauty is not solely determined by appearances. I want him to be confident and LOVE himself–no matter what.
Well–we all know that leading by example is the most effective way to teach our children. If I want him to know that his mama is beautiful inside and out (regardless of my dress size)–I better start acting that way. When I look in the mirror and feel down on myself I need to respond by saying “Hey stretch marks, I love you” “Hey scale, you don’t own me. I’m still beautiful.” If I want him to believe those things, I need to believe those things.
Note: I am sure my struggle with weight will continue (for a bit anyways) and I am not saying that I will stuff my face with cake, get heavier and keep telling myself I am beautiful–because I want my son to learn and follow healthy habits–but certainly my struggle can teach him something more about perseverance and self-love in the face of adversity.
So here’s the plan. Each morning I’ve been trying to take a good hard look at myself in the mirror and say the following: “You are beautiful and you are AWESOME.” So far–it’s working.
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