How can we build confidence in our daughters if we struggle with our own confidence?
As a young girl and woman, I was not confident in myself and had low self-esteem.
I constantly worried about how I looked, and always thought I was fat and stupid.
What a struggle it was and while I have learned so much and truly have gained so much confidence, there are times in my life and areas that I still struggle with it.
One thing I don’t want is for my daughter to go through what I did.
1. Never judge myself regarding my weight …ever.
I don’t weight myself obsessively and didn’t even keep a scale at home until recently
I don’t talk about my weight, but I also don’t hide it. If Audrey asks how much I weigh (because this stuff is important when you are little and in 5# you can ride the big rides at the amusement park!) I tell her.
2. I don’t hate on my body or look in mirrors grabbing my fat.
Just don’t do it…even if your child is NOT looking…Do NOT do it to yourself.
God made me and you and your daughter in his image and he made us the way he did on purpose.
3. Don’t skip an activity because of the way I look.
This one is a biggie for me. Audrey wants my time and attention, she doesn’t not care one bit that some muffin might be rolling over my shorts or the harness is squeezing the fat around my thighs when we rock climb.
Obviously, I still struggle with it internally, but so much less than when I was younger and I don’t let it stop me.
Do NOT let your lack of confidence in the way you look stop you from having fun with your daughter because THAT is what she will learn.
4. I try and set healthy examples without much discussion.
When it comes to food, I eat vegetables and fruit and protein even when Audrey doesn’t
I also eat ice cream (my favorite!) or cookies or other junk food when I really want to.
One thing you’ll NEVER hear me say is “I can’t eat that, I’m on a diet.”
I might be on a “No sugar challenge” sometimes and the whole family knows it!
My daughter knows how I feel about sugar – it’s not healthy, but it’s not completely off limits in my house and no one is a “bad” person for eating it – but you can’t eat too much because it can make you feel low energy, cranking and not hungry for “real” food.
5. I exercise regularly.
No surprise here, but I don’t feel guilty about the time I spend doing working out ( a lot of moms do.)
Most of the time when Audrey wakes up and I’m not home, it’s because I’m having much needed workout time.
“Where are you?” texts almost always get the response “exercising” – I’m not sure why she bothers to ask me anymore!
I feel really good about this because I think it’s teaching her to spend time on fitness. Audrey’s not big into team sports, but I think she’ll always be an active person.
What I DO is more important than what I tell my daughter to do, so some other things I do to hopefully lead Audrey to be a healthy adult:
1. Go to bed at a decent hour. Typically between 9-10.
2. Drink mostly water. I don’t drink soda, very limited coffee, sometimes tea, very limited alcohol.
3. I read the bible, listen to sermons on my phone, pray and go to church. I believe this contributes to your health and, at the very least, how you handle health setbacks.
4. I don’t watch a lot of TV (disclosure: I am on my phone or computer a lot)
5. I spend time with my friends…without the kids!
I’m am not writing to boast about my health “skills”.
I am writing this because I know there are moms out there who struggle with their physical appearance and are deeply concerned about the impact it is having on their daughters.
Your looks don’t matter…your actions do.
Make sure you put yourself on the list of “things-to-do”
Know that you are enough…you are smart enough, beautiful enough, kind enough, a good enough mom, thin enough/fat enough;), and whatever else you can think of.