Saturday, May 2

I believe, its all about choices

This is something I’ve been contemplating writing about for a few months now. My dear friend Lucrecia stirred my thoughts on this in a post she wrote about use of the word diet. Now that I’m away from home with a little more time to write I’ve been trying to work this out in my head. Ironically, this week, Shiela posted a very interesting link to a series on youtube called Skinny Kids. This was just the push I needed to finally put pen to paper ~ you know what I mean.

I have written posts already about my struggle with food and how it started for me at a very early age. I also have seen that I seem to have passed this genetic aptitude for all things wonderful to my daughter. My beautiful, kind, sweet, and loving daughter, she can no more resist a Reese’s peanut butter cup than deny her body oxygen …and that she got that from her momma!!

I cannot help what she sees, hears and experiences in the outside world but I can effect what she hears, sees and is offered to eat at home. Isn’t that where it all starts and matters? At home?! I prefer not to use the word diet but I am not a fanatic about it. I prefer to teach my children that it is not about denying ourselves but about healthy choices. I hope that the choices they make will not be made solely for the purpose of losing weight, to “get skinny” and that they are not temporary. The choices we make must be made for the purpose of getting or being fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I want to teach them, by example, that if the majority of the choices we make both in what we eat and how we act (move/exercise) are good wholesome and healthy choices that this will affect our overall well being and allow us to live healthier more fulfilling lives that are not restricted by the things we are not able to do because we are overweight or not fit enough to do.

My daughter is 11 and I’m not sure why I was surprised that even several years ago in Elementary school the girls were already picking on each other and some girls were on diets! Some felt it was acceptable for them to pass judgment on whether or not another’s clothes were cool or not. Those judgments have only escalated with age. The “cool” kids now pass judgment on who is or is not acceptable to be in their rankings, they give their opinions on others clothing and, well, of course on others weight.

Every parent wants to protect their children. Protect them from physical harm of course, but also from emotional pains. I hurt for my daughter when she tells me of the things others say. I know that I cannot protect her 24hrs a day but I can try to instill things in her that just might help her to make better choices, I can encourage her to be more active by allowing her to be active with me. I can promote physical activity over things that allow us to sit on our bums. (Except for blogging of course) :)

All in all I know the dictionary definition of the word diet but today’s culture has attached such negative connotations to it that I prefer not to use it. I hate that what someone weighs is such a big part of the media. Magazine covers that so boldly display non flattering pictures of celebrities and pass judgment on who is and is not the ideal physique. Who are “they” to decide?! I want my children to judge people for who they are on the inside not simply for how they look on the outside. I want them to love themselves like I have not always loved myself. I know that I cannot keep the outside world’s images and influences from my children but I can show them how they should act, and live. Teach them of God’s love and nurture their hearts so that maybe, just maybe, the outside world will not have the grip on them that it has on others. I want to teach my children how to make good choices.


Mrs. Sheila said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing your insight on this, and to be honest this is one thing that pushed me away from my low carb eating. I want to set the example by my own actions, not by what I say.

Mama Bear June said...

Very nice post, Melisa! Helping our children have a good attitude about healthy food and activity is one of the best things we can do for them. My son has a disease where his pancreas doesn't work well. He needs a high-fat, high calorie diet and requires about 4000 calories per day. So for him, meals are the total opposite of mine! :-) He needs the fat-loaded fast food, eats a lot of it, but is still dangerously under-weight. It's just as difficult a problem of those struggling with extra weight. And life threatening for him.

You are doing a wonderful thing for your daughter.

Lucrecia said...

Good points! You know I feel like calling a spade a spade - but I did realize that my kids think the word diet only has one meaning when Colton came home from school talking about some animal that was trying to lose weight by only eating leaves. We do talk mostly about dieting in terms of getting healthy since our kids are younger (well the oldest has a STRONG sense of himself as you know :-)

Have I told you lately how proud I am of you??

Annalisa201 said...

I agree. I am lucky to have young children, and dreading them getting any older. But lately it seems like this very same topic keeps coming up. I need to teach my kids how to be good decision makers now, and how to truly love themselves instead of pushing them into my decisions, which will only last when I am there to push them.

Very well said Melisa.

Thank you so so much for your encouragement. I hope your week is going well.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful post, your daughter is lucky to have such a caring mama!! My son is three years old, I can almost get away with unhealthy habits but I know he watches me closely and I need to start reevaluating my perspective on life. Thank you for sharing your story and I am blessed to have you as a friend :)

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