Friday, December 9, 2011

What I want my daughter to know.

It starts young.  I can remember the first time I realized I was skinnier than most of the girls in my class.  I was in first grade and we were outside at recess, my friend looked at me and told me something along the lines of "I wish I were as skinny as you"  I tried to play it off, but then they all started in on how nice and thin I was.  I had to concede I was pretty much skinnier than any of them were.

I was a busy active ranch girl and most of them were town girls.  I spent loads of time outside on weekends and after school, they knew what was going on with all the cool TV shows that I had never even seen. Before this I don't remember ever giving it much thought.   I don't remember my Mom ever making a big deal out of what diet she was on or her trying to lose weight. I know from having conversations with her since I have grown up and it was difficult for her to lose some weight after her FOURTH child.  She had Jane Fonda tapes and had a bike exerciser.  I remember as a kid thinking it was so much fun to do the Jane Fonda workouts.

I don't want my daughter or my son for that matter to be talking about going on a "diet" in the 6th grade like I remember some of my friends doing.  I don't want her worrying about her weight.  Weight is just a number.  If I weren't packing around all these muscles sure I could weigh less and wear the same size or smaller jeans, but then I couldn't run so far so fast and how fun would that be?



Sure I have had some ups and downs with my weight through the years. I know that I have the power to do something about that.  Instead of worrying about being skinny and concentrate on being fit and in great shape.

I try to emphasize to my kids that I run and I workout  
to be healthy,
to feel good, 
to be happier,
to be strong,
and to be fit.

 I do it for me.

Not to be skinny.
Not to look  like someone else 


I don't want to look like this                                                    or this
Source
Source

not even an option, this is just gross
source
and is it just me or has this beautiful women gotten a little too thin too?
I have muscles.  No, my body by Hollywood or modeling standards is not perfect, but it can run a 1:37 half marathon and a 5 mile race in under 34 minutes.  I can do 40 pushups without stopping to rest and power my way through Bodyrock.tv workouts like nobody's business. 


There is too much emphasis on skinny, thin, and being busty as the ideal body.  I want my daughter to know that a fit strong body is more perfect and more attractive than a bony one any day.

and that truly...

Nothing looks as good as healthy feels.

Love your body, take care of your body,   
feed it right,
and it will take care of you.

I titled this "What I want my daughter to know, but I do want my son to know it too.  I only really have my own perspective of this from a woman's viewpoint.  I always assume boys don't worry about it as much, but I bet I am wrong.

Thoughts?

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54 comments:

  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome post! :)

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  2. If I could give this more than two thumbs up, I would. Very well-said, and I like that you pointed out that it's important that boys understand this concept just as much as girls. While the pressure on males is probably different (more emphasis on bulk and muscle and to have a good "beach bod"), they, too, feel some sort of societal weight to appear a certain way.

    I want my daughter to know all of the same things (once she's here, of course)!

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  3. OH my goodness, this is an amazing post. It is so freaking true. The points in my life where I have been the happiest are when I took exercise seriously and took great care of my body. It's not about being skinny, it's about feeling good about your health. Sometimes those two things go hand in hand, but certainly that is not the rule.

    Thank you for writing this, I want to share it with my daughter (in the very far future, seeing as how I'm not even married yet haha.)

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  4. Thank you. This is absolutely perfect. Being fit is about feeling good and loving who you are and what you can do, not about a number on a scale or the inside of your jeans.
    Perfect, just perfect. Everyone should read this

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  5. Some of those girls up near the top were pretty gross looking- not attractive at all, to me anyway. The fit girls? Yeah, that's what's important- being fit. Right on with your post!

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  6. ahhh I love this so very much! You are such a great role model for your kiddos and they should have no problem realizing that healthy is way better than 'skinny'

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  7. Those pictures are disturbing. I hope the world will eventually realize that being healthy is so much more important than being skinny. I have 2 boys and they are body conscious too. Probably not as much as girls. One is tall and sturdy and the other is thin. Of course the thin one wants to be big like his bro. I would choos being able to run 13.1 miles over toothpick arms any day of the week!

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  8. i was just reading an article about little girls and being transformed into thinking that they have to be beautiful and thin at a young age. i don't have children yet, but the article brought up a very great point that our society tells little girls the same things "you are pretty" "you are cute" "oh so beautiful" and their minds become warped into thinking that their value is in their outward appearence. the article suggested that from a young age instilled into girls minds are the thoughts "you are smart, kind, and important". i liked that and thought that this is what little girls need.

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  9. Great post. To emphasize HEALTHY and HAPPY is sadly, very rare. Take heart that your kids will live this mantra because YOU do.

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  10. While I agree with everything in this post, posting pictures from pro-ana sites doesn't seem like a good call.

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  11. Nothing is more beautiful than a HEALTHY strong woman.. great post

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  12. You articulated this PERFECTLY! I love it, every. single. word. of it!!!! I want ALL children to know this :)

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  13. Great post. My 21-year old daughter is 30 lbs overweight and has high cholesterol. I've struggled with how to encourage her to lose weight without making her feel self-conscious. I told her she is a beautiful person, and I want her to be healthy. But it's a hard subject to take up with an adult child.

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  14. this is an amazing post! so powerful. i think for me i have always been "bigger" so to say. it was awesome when i started losing weight but i realized quickly how easy it was to obsess over food and where i could cut out more calories. i think in a way...running actually saved me. the more i read about thinking of food as fuel for my body the more i changed my attitude and realized the difference between strong and healthy vs. overweight or underweight and unhealthy

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  15. I like this. I was maybe 10 when I started comparing myself to other girls and it breaks my heart for anyone else to do the same!

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  16. Such a great post! I have 3 girls and more than anything I want them to love themselves and have a healthy body image. It's such a scary world we are in.
    I was just thinking the other day that Kate was starting to look TOO thin.

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  17. Great post! Couldn't agree with you more.

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  18. It is a problem for boys too. We have had a lot of articles on our local tv about anorexia lately due to a particular woman's case... and they mentioned how many boys in my province are affected each year too. I was shocked at the high number.

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  19. Great post!
    Those are all the things I hope to instill in my kids as well. I pray they all understand its about health, and being proud of yourself.

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  20. I like this post. a lot.
    I have boys but I still talk to them about that stuff. They have seen me go from over weight to under weight in a short amount of time, and I had to have a conversation with them.

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  21. You just put into words what I will be doing for my final photography assignment. Thank you for that. <3

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  22. I am so surprised that so many people think that those pictures are pretty, it just looks so sickly to me. I also think that Catherine is looking so thin and I am sure its the pressure and stress. What is wrong with us to instill that. Heck if anyone in fame isnt stick thin everyone says they are pregnant. So sad. Anyway I agree healthy is so much prettier and the one thing I want my kids to always be is happy with themselves and not change for anyone else.

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  23. I agree with your post, and want to add that it also can make someone feel a bit uncomfortable to be called "skinny" . It's not necessarily always a compliment.

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  24. Love this post, Christy!!!! My daughter does competitive cheerleading (all-star/travel team). She's only 8 years old, but, still old enough to notice what all of her friends' and other fellow cheerleaders' physique is like. She's pretty petite at this point, but, I hope she will forever remember to love her body, and TAKE CARE OF IT. It is actually very precious, and I think many people, especially girls, often forget that. :)

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  25. Resonates so much because I think about how I want my daughter to feel about her body. I struggled with weight and body image and it took me a long time to make peace with the fact that I would never be skinny. I don't want her to go through that. But she has issues not be able to gain weight so she might not have the same problems I had. But body image is not just something heavy girls struggle with. I try to never say anything negative about my body or obsess about what I eat in front of my kids. But they do hear about exercises and healthy food, it just isn't in the context of losing weight or being skinny. Great post Christy!

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  26. Well said! I totally agree with your thoughts on this. Love the look that fitness gives to us who choose it.

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  27. I love my body and I have some fat on me. I like it! I don't like that "too thin" look. My mom blames "twiggy" lol she does....she says "before that girl came along all models were real and curvy women" lol

    so twiggy, though she couldn't control what body type she had is apparently who's to blame according to my mom :)

    Although on the other side of things people like you, amylee and heck, even me though I'm not quite as small have it hard too....people always saying "I wish I was as skinny as you" it's hard to hear. Especially when I had to work so hard to get to where I am. I hate when people just assume I'm lucky or blessed - I work for this body!!!!!

    also, you are an awesome mom, a great role model and I know your daughter will grow up loving her body just as much as her mom ;) xo

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  28. My daughter is in middle school and it's so tough on them. The girls are just hard on each other. Mine gets teased all the time for eating lunch. How sad right?

    Healthy does feel great! :)

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  29. Excellent points! Short anecdote along these lines: I'm a fan of America's Next Top Model (I find the world of high fashion rather fascinating), and one of the things I remember most vividly happened in a recent season. One of the girls kept talking on and on about how she restricted her diet, counted calories, worked out all the time and was sooo healthy and fit and beautiful, yet she looked unhealthy because she was too thin. She was the first girl sent home because the judges unanimously decided that she WAS too thin and sent a very bad message to young girls and women about healthy vs. beautiful. Granted the modeling industry has its problems, but I really appreciated that message and the fact that overall the show emphasizes healthy eating, exercise and life habits.

    I have a friend who is heavier and whenever I happen to mention a race I'm signed up for or a new exercise goal I have, she always makes some comment about me already being as thin as a rail. It makes me really uncomfortable and I'm not sure how to broach the subject with her...I'm aiming for healthy and happy because I know that when I'm content inside my own skin, it shows on the outside.

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  30. It's so sad kids get these messages as young as first grade, probably even younger. It sounds like you are quite a role model! I have to say though, it seems like men have quite a bit of pressure as well, more than most people realize. I know my husband often is upset with his body and wishes he looked more like celebrities, and male friends seem to be under pressure to lose weight and look muscular, as well.

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  31. This is a great post. I also was very naturally thin growing up - but I never really worked out, so I wasn't strong. Now that I am a runner I am much more fit/stronger than I was before..but as I build muscle, I see the difference in my body. I agree that being strong/fit is much more important than fat/skinny!

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  32. Fabulous post! Body image is such a difficult topic. I was anorexic for 2 years and I never ever want to be that person again. Gaining weight was difficult for me but I am so incredibly proud of the person I have become and the strength I have aquired. When I was anorexic I was so weak and could have never accomplished what I have now.

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  33. Great post. I've always struggled with my body image and it wasn't until I had kids that I finally started to love my body and the incredible things it does for me.

    This is neither here nor there, but that third extremely skinny model photo is photoshopped. I saw it side-by-side with the original on some website - thank goodness she's not that thin in real life. But what's sad is it's photoshopped for "thinspiration" for girls (and boys) who strive to be underweight.

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  34. Great post! I think about this with my daughter, too... i was also a 'skinny' kid, and was kind of embarrassed by it actually. You can never win! I think boys need to learn these lessons too, I had a few college guy friends who were really sensitive to women-weight issues and I was so impressed by that.

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  35. This is a great post and your daughter is fortunate to have a mom like u. I grew up conscious of my body - started taking diet pills at 14, throwing up at 16, and didnt want to eat at 16. My mom (and pretty much my aunts and uncles and friends and friends' parents) think I'm fat. I'm 5'4" and 138lbs. I could stand to lose a few pounds so clothes for me better. But even when I was 100lbs, I was still too fat for their liking.Never mind I can run a half marathon. Never mind I can hike for hours. Never mind that I'm eating well instead of starving myself.
    When I have children of my own, I want to strive to be a mom like you. :)

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  36. this is lovely and so important!!! i would rather have muscles and talent any day than fit into size 0 pants!

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  37. Very well said Christy!! This is such important information to share with our girls!! Thank you for posting this!!

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  38. Absolutely loved this post! our daughters, neices and other young women around us watch our behavior and mimic what they see - thank you for being such a good role model!

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  39. I LOVE THIS POST. Thank you. I needed this so much - especially right now.

    I personally place too much emphasis on being skinny. And, sometimes it dominates my whole life. My parents never made me think this way - I think it is the media and me feeling like I do not "look like I should." I don't want to live in this thought all the time of I need to "be skinnier" or "prettier" or "have smaller breasts." I want to be HEALTHY and happy with THAT, no matter what the scale says.

    Thank you, even as an adult, I needed this. And I am going to pass this on too.

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  40. I love this--it's something that I struggle with every day, so thank you for the excellent reminder. Fit not skinny!

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  41. How did I miss this? what a GREAT post!!! I ALWAYS tell my girls, I don't run to be skinny, I run to be HEALTHY and strong! skinny doesn't matter as long as we're healthy! you are such a great example to your kids Christy!! xx Happy New Year friend!

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  42. I somehow missed this post, too, but I really like it. Strong rocks! And I want my little girl to know it too (and I want my little boy to know how a healthy woman should be).

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