Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Healthy Mama!

Friday morning the girls were in the bathroom with me while I was getting ready for the day. I don't always do this, but I believe it's important for them to see me taking care of myself. (And it warms my heart a little bit to see them mimic the motions I use to wash my face, put on lotion, etc.).

Something they love to do, while they wait for me to get ready, is to weigh themselves on our digital scale. They know to press on the scale, wait till it reads "0.0" and then to stand on it and wait for their weight to be registered.

Even though the girls have no idea what the numbers mean, they take delight in me telling them what the scales says. I always answer,  
30.5 pounds (or whatever the numbers read)---a healthy, growing girl!
Then, I see their faces explode into a big grin with that news.

On Friday, after the girls weighed themselves, they told me they wanted me to get on the scale.

I took a deep breath.

I realized in that moment, as I was waiting for the "0.0", that my reaction was important. The way I view myself, the way they see me viewing myself is important. My reaction to my numbers on the scale will influence the way they react their numbers on the scale, now, and for years to come.

They would mimic my reaction, just as they mimic me putting on lotion and washing my face.

So, as my numbers registered on the scale, with a big smile, I said,
145.5 pounds---a healthy mama!
Smiles all around.

I want to give my daughters the gift of having a mama who can demonstrate what it looks like to love and care for the body God gave me. A mama who truly believes that my worth and value is greater than what I look like, or what the scale says.

That's a tall order in this culture, but I think it's oh so important. I'm reminded of just how important each time I see my girls pretend to dust their faces with my make-up brush.


Jessica said...

Awesome!! I love how intentional your being with your girls, and that your starting at such a young age. Definitely something for me to remember when talking to my little girls!

Emily said...

I was just thinking about this the other day! I was really active before the girls were born and I'm trying to get back there (slowly, but surely) so that they have a good role model for being healthy and strong. Thanks for reminding me how important this is, Julia! Wouldn't be nice if our little girls could be the only teenage girls without body image issues? :-)

Emily said...

Not the ONLY teenage girls. Sorry, not enough coffee. I would rather no girls have body image issues (including myself).

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

This is awesome, Julia! Our girls love to get on the scale, too. I'd never thought about getting on in front of them, as well.

Thank you for the point to ponder.

Maybe I'm feeling a bit emotional this morning for some reason, but I'm typing this with moist eyes. :)

Olusola said...

I love the intentional parenting and giving our girls a positive example of body image. These days my girls like to wake up 30 mins earlier so they can watch me get ready for the day in the bathroom.

Michele {A Life Surrendered} said...

Wow.. what an example you are showing! I threw our scale out, because with 3 daughters it just became such habit to watch the number... but I loved how you handled it here :)

Coming over from SDG :)

Joan said...

Hi Julia:

Very wise. In today's society, it's easy for young girls to fall into eating disorders and starve themselves. You handled this in a very wise way.

Visiting from SDG.


Corinne Ritz said...

Such a perfect experience, thanks for sharing with us! I realized once, when I overheard my daughter saying very horrible things about herself, that I was not very nice to myself. This was years ago, thankfully, I have had time to reverse the effects.
I can just imagine your sweet girls faces when you excitedly announced, "A Healthy Mama!" So cute!

Miss Megan said...

What a brilliant idea! You handled the situation so perfectly...I don't know that I would have thought to do the same. Thanks for the tip!
I get such great ideas from you - from discipline to craft ideas to body image - thanks so much for posting about your life!

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

I love that "outlook" and appraoch on body image! Very smart! Girls need to love the body they have and as long as they are healthy they don't need to conform to society's totally "off the chart" view of beauty!

Bravo Healthy Mama!! Bravo!