As we start the New Year, it’s always a time to leave old habits behind and start fresh ones.
There is no other bad habit I want to leave behind more than the words used around my body and health. Many of us grew up with a diet heavy culture with low fat drinks to diet fads. This led many of us, myself included, to see the flaws in my body and not the beauty. The steady diet of words such as fat, calories, exercise, heavy, big boned, overweight created the opposite of health. In fact, it created an unhealthy relationship and many young boys and girls no longer saw the beauty in who we individually are.
I want my daughter to be healthy without using these toxic words.
- Role Model: You are probably the single most impactful influence over your children. They watch, ingest and mimic you. If you talk bad about your body, they will talk bad about your body. Changing your words will change theirs.
- Change the words: I can still have the goal for my daughter to be healthy, but I can achieve it by empowering her with the words I use. Trade in the word Exercise for Movement and make it fun. A bike ride, jump rope competition or walk the dog together. Instead of using the word diet, talk about food choices and how that food impacts the body.
- Rewards: Don’t reward kids with only food. I am very guilty of this one! Instead of ice cream after school, I took her to a paint studio. Another time we went on a bike ride, just the two of us. I focus on the two of us having a special date doing something, not eating something.
- Affirmations: I ask my daughter what she loves about her body and why. It’s refreshing to talk about why we love our body vs hate our bodies. I participate and share as well.
- Cooking: I am a huge advocate of including my daughter in the kitchen and menu planning. She is way more apt to eat dinner and try new things when she is involved. She doesn’t always love the new food, but at least she gave it a taste.
Here is to new habits and the new you!