Self Image Struggles & Kids

 

Like so many women, I really can struggle with self image.  If you asked my husband it would probably be his number one complaint about me.  He gets so irritated when I say something about my stomach or weight, and will either walk away or just flat out ignore whatever I say.

Pregnancy made things worse for me

A very short 3 months before getting pregnant I hit my first goal of losing 25 pounds.  I felt amazing! I was loving the weight loss, I felt great and had a goal to lose another 25 pounds, then that didn’t happen because of pregnancy.  While I complain that I haven’t lost the baby weight after almost 19 months, I really shouldn’t complain much because my post-baby weight loss stopped right about where I was before I began the weight loss journey in 2014. For all this time I have remained right about where I was, all while not really doing much of anything to encourage the weight loss.

I just have to buckle down and do the work again and I will get back to that point, but it is frustrating to have to start from the beginning all over again.  I also keep putting off the workouts; I can always find a reason/ excuse as to why today isn’t a good day to begin.  I need to just get up and get my butt in gear.  In my head though, when I’m being extremely critical of myself it’s a twisted way that I can ‘motivate’ myself. No, it’s not healthy, and No I don’t want my daughter influenced by it, but it’s part of me.

keeping-self-image-issues-from-my-daughter

I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking about herself the way i feel about myself

I know that I don’t want my daughter (and any future kids) to grow up hearing her mom talk about how much she hates her body, and I don’t think that any mom would want that for her kids.  I definitely allow the internal dialogue become external way more than I should.  There’s enough pressure to look ‘perfect’ out there, she doesn’t need to hear her mom talk about imperfections.  I’m not looking for magazine perfect by any means, I’m looking for healthy, and to tighten up this mommy belly.

*Please, don’t take this as a sign to sell me your products, it will be treated as spam and blocked.  I know how I made it work last time, and I need to do it again.*

I’m becoming more and more conscious of how these words will shape Em’s views of herself.  I don’t want her to feel negatively towards her body.  I want her to be healthy, and to have a healthy role model in her mother.  I want her to see me working hard for what I want, in every aspect of life. I want her to feel comfortable in being who she is.

There are aspects to our society that are so critical of women. Just the other day was Super Bowl LI and now people are freaking out about Lady Gaga’s stomach because in one position she held her body, she had the tiniest bit of stomach out over the top of her shorts.  I did notice and I was happy. She works her behind off to be able to perform at that level, she works out, and yet there was that brief moment of ‘normalcy’ in her appearance.  She looked like any woman (or man) would.  Yet, she is criticized for her stomach, and is said to have a ‘gut,’ I mean really?!?!

How can we teach our kids about body image when the keyboard warriors are out there criticizing this beautiful and fit woman for her stomach?

I know that my actions and words about my appearance will be just as influential in my daughter’s life as what others say directly to her.  I need to filter those thoughts, to squash them down, because I really can’t be that critical of myself for the sake of my daughter and even my marriage (did I mention that he REALLY hates when I say anything critical of my body).

All the posts in the world telling me to embrace my poochy mommy belly because it grew a child will not erase how I really feel about my stomach. Yes, my body did the work, it was awesome, and it also almost killed me due to preeclampsia.  It endured a scary and emergency c-section.  It wasn’t easy on me, and the motivation to jump right back into working out was gone with the exhaustion of motherhood.

My next step

Now, the time to feel sorry for myself needs to be over.  The healthy view my daughter needs to see is one of mom working hard to change what she isn’t a fan of, but being happy in her body as it currently stands.  I don’t want her to see herself in the same way I see myself.  I want her to see what she wants and to (in a healthy manner) work for the results she is after.

Once spring comes to Michigan things will get easier for us, because we really spend a lot of time outside, especially on walks as a family.  I just don’t have the self-drive to be able to follow a video and push myself to the max.  I can always talk myself out of a burpee (haha).  Being active and embracing where my body currently is needs to be the image that my daughter sees of her parents.

We live in a society fascinated by bodies.  We praise the ultra fit & thin, and are extremely critical of those who are overweight by any measure, or anyone who doesn’t fit into the first category.   While the fit should be praised for their hard work, it shouldn’t be everyone’s goal.  I don’t think I will ever be a size 2, it’s just not my body.  It’s not being critical of anyone who is a 2 or more or less… on my body I don’t see it being me.   I could change my mind at some point, but as of today it isn’t what I strive for.

 

Goals

My goals are bigger than a number on a scale, it’s bigger than the number on the tag of my pants, and it’s bigger than anything anyone could ever say to me.  For me, while I will watch the numbers on the scale and my pants fall, the most important thing is to show my daughter that I can be a confident woman regardless of how I fit into some supposed ideal, that I can be confident in myself at whatever point I’m on, and that if there’s something I want to change about myself, that I can work towards improving it.

 

Do you worry about influencing your child with your self-image issues? How do you encourage your children to embrace the body they’re given?

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