Before I had my daughter I was a daily scale weigher. Every morning before I got into the shower I stepped on that scale hoping to see the same number as the day before. If it was more my heart would drop. If it were less my heart would soar. At the time I saw nothing wrong with this. I ate very healthy, I worked out, and I indulged in my cravings- I thought I was doing everything right! This pattern stopped during my pregnancy but started up again soon after I gave birth to my daughter Sophie. When she was about 1.5 she began mimicking me. And what do you know- she started stepping onto the scale spouting off random numbers. My heart did not soar- it stopped. I was devastated. Borderline disgusted with myself. How could I not have realized that as her role model, the way I viewed my body would be most likely how she would someday view her own. I began thinking about other ways my actions and body image views may soon have an effect on her impressionable mind.
-Every time I complained to my husband or friends that I ate too much and feel fat,
- Every time I looked in the mirror and pulled my skin tighter above my tired eyes,
-Each time I turned around and around in a dressing room mirror with a disgusted look on my face because the jeans weren’t fitting to my desire,
She was a witness
When I packed on the make-up or read fashion magazines, when I whined about dark circles or used words like gross, ugly, too big or not good enough,
My daughter was there.
While I may have had (have) my own body issues, I decided, when I saw my perfect baby girl playing on that scale that I would choose to love my body. Just as Jesus loves me, and just as I love my daughter. I promised myself that I would demonstrate with my actions that we are all beautiful. Our bodies are all made differently and each one is uniquely extraordinary. Sophie should never (ever!) worry about those things, especially at this young age. My desire for her is that she loves herself with everything she has. The scale should just be a platform to play on, make-up should be for Halloween, and negative words shouldn’t cross my lips in front of her precious ears. I decided that I would teach her that her body is in fact a temple, to love it, protect it, and stay healthy but not to obsess.
This is how I as a mother, as a woman, learned to love my own body- through the eyes of my daughter.