Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Body, Your Body, Everybody: Protect Your Girls

Google, "Mommy body".

No, really. Go Google it. I'll wait.

hmmm ta-tum-tum-tum....

Did you do it? No? That's cool. I'll make it really easy and just tell you what I found.

You know how Google runs a string of common possibilities while you type in the search box? These were the suggestions they gave me:
"mommy body makeover"
"mommy body pillow"
"mommy body workout"

The first search result after hitting the enter bar? A blog created by a beautiful woman who needed to talk herself through the reasons why her body looks the way it does. The next results? More blogs about losing weight and "inspiring moms to achieve their best life" by fitting into a bikini.

How does this relate to me? I'm coming clean now. Prepare yourselves.

I grew up in an accepting home. We accepted and forgave and complemented each other regularly. Still, pop culture influences and my own weakness caused me to commit (again and again) a cardinal parenting sin.

I complained about my weight in front of my daughters. I didn't realize how much my insecurity was affecting my 7-year-old until I heard her shout one day, "Mommy, my stomach is too fat!" My sweet baby. My gorgeous 7 year old.

Now I've messed up quite a bit with this first kid. I've broken many promises to myself about how I would raise her and to what standard I would base my parenting decisions. I have many, many regrets, but this one is thankfully one I am on my way to rectifying.

I needed to lose weight. I was close to 200lbs and my youngest one was nearing the 9-month mark. Time was ticking. Plus BeyoncĂ© had her baby and was still smokin hott, right? NO, JEN.

I needed to break the cycle. I felt fat, I felt ugly, and I felt unworthy....but damned if I was going to let my girls feel the same way five years down the road.

So I changed. My big girl, as smart as she is, caught on immediately. She wanted to know why I was working out and not eating as much at dinner. Now here's where I faked it.  I told her the baby changed things about my body and I needed to eat good foods and exercise so my body could go back to normal. Simple. She accepted this answer without question. She even cheered me on during workouts. Amazing, considering I was lying at the time. I didn't want to be healthy. I wanted to be sexy and skinny and not afraid to see pictures of myself tagged on Facebook.

As time went by, I continued to explain my decision to "get healthy" (kids never ask once). The weight came off slowly. It was cool. I was happy.

....but that's not the best part. No, the best part is that with all that lying, I found myself unconsciously repeating a mantra of health and strength...yes, I initially started the viewpoint so I could protect my budding babies....but after time? After time I started. To. Believe it.

I didn't know how to set this flaw of mine straight. I mean, who really likes to be negative about their body all the time. If it were so easy to be positive, we would all be happy in our own skin. What worked for me, though, was faking it for my kids. They are innocent souls left in my care for only a fleeting moment in time. How could I justify setting them up for body-image failure when I could potentially create in them a diamond against the rough world.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, fake it till you make it..........and you will make it. Maybe not fast, and certainly not with ease, but it will happen. And when it's all said and done, you will have created an example worth remembering, blogging about, and heck, maybe even finding through a Google search.

1 comment:

  1. You have an inspiring mindset. As a mother of my little munchkin I really think about how my body image affects her. Thank you for helping to see a positive side on this issue.