Posted By Lisa Meade
I have raised 3 daughters and 2 sons. I believe I have done my best as a mom. Was I perfect? No. Are there things I have learned over time that changed my ways from child to child? Yes. Still, I am aware of so many things that have positively impacted my children's lives. For the sake of this blog post, I want to focus on my daughters. All three are quite unique and amazing! (Ok, so I have an opinion and a bias, but they truly are!)
I was a fat mom. I was fat before I had my kids and afterwards. My weight, for various reasons, had served me in my youth. Weight can do that. It creates a buffer, security, a source of comfort and a place to hide. That is how it served me. As I got older and no longer needed my weight to serve me with its protective gifts, I was ready to release it. For all kinds of reasons; from health to ease in movement, to thinking it was just a matter of time before all my healthy bloodwork would begin to fail me. To date, over 150 pounds of it had to be released. Easier said than done! But instead of placing my focus on a "diet" I began doing things for me, listening to my body's messages and faking it until I "made" it.
What does all that mean? Well, first let me say, even at my heaviest, I saw myself beautiful, sexy and vibrant. I truly believed I was an amazing being. I certainly did not fit the beauty standards of our society, but I loved my body...maybe because I felt differently about my fat or maybe because that was just who I was. Regardless, I think this message got passed on to my girls. As I began the journey of releasing the weight I spoke about what I was doing with my girls. I shared how my body was teaching me about what it needed. I shared about what I deemed as amazing success; which had little to do with the number on the scale, but more about the way I could move my body, the new found stamina I had or the newly found flexibility I was experiencing.
I also shared with them how I was learning that my newly evolving body was requiring me to eat certain foods and not to eat others. I shared how when I listened to these messages, my body responded with great energy, clear thinking, restful sleep and more.
It was not always easy and it did not happen over night, and I still everyday explore this relationship with my body. I talk openly with my daughters about body image, beauty definition, body acceptance and honoring. Together we share our celebrations and our frustrations. Each of my daughter's has a different body shape, each has their own unique body messages, each has their own insecurities and their strengths. All of them know they are beautiful, just as they are!
How we share our body perspective with our daughters does have a huge impact on their relationship with their body. The way we appreciate our body as mothers, will be witnessed by our children. The way we accept it for what it is, not for what it is not, sends huge messages. It is not always easy. We all have our moments, our days, our vulnerabilities and our frustrations. But where we place our focus and how we find the beauty that is not defined by the size, nor by the number is incredibly important. Redefining beauty for ourselves as moms gives our daughters a model to follow that won't be found on the pages of the fashion magazine, but it will be one that is realistic, achievable and empowering.