Striking the Healthy Balance with Kids

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One of my goals when I started losing weight, changing my life and getting into shape was to be a positive role model for my daughter and my son. Along the way there’s been some hand wringing about how this is going, if we’re having a negative or positive effect on our kids… You know, we don’t want kids who are hyper-aware of their health and appearance to the point of narcissism or unhealthy choices like steroids or starving, but we also don’t want to guilt or shame them into submission! I would hate for them to hear me calling them ugly or fat when I’m really offering them opportunities! Or to be under the impression that we don’t think they are already just amazing people.
That said, though, both Bradley and I see the benefit of encouraging healthy habits now and truthful living from the get-go. We talk about reasonable servings and how much exercise is a good idea. Our kids know this stuff because we talk about it a lot in reference to me. It’s my reality and therefore it’s theirs too, just like when my whole family went on Weight Watchers when I was a kid because my mom did! It just happens to your family culture! 🙂

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{my family and ten-year-old me}
Anyhow, I have talked before about strongisthenewskinny94– the Instagram girl I follow who is a health food chica, moderate exerciser and inspirational meme provider (love them or hate them? I happen to love them) and several days ago she posted her makeup-free face. I never realized how much makeup she usually wore and I started talking about how proud I was of her to my husband about her courage to post her makeup free face. I remarked that all of these young women look up to her and idolize her; if you read her comments they are so often a young girl referring to how ‘perfect’ or ‘incredibly beautiful’ the girls think Becky is (that’s Strongisthenewskinny94’s street name), but she has pimples, too! She’s insecure, too! Gigi, who is every bit the 11 year old I remember being, complete with a few pimples to complete the transformation into tweenager, honed in on our conversation and needed to inspect Becky’s pimples. Then she had many questions about Becky, what she does, how she makes a living and why it follow her so I showed her Becky’s profile. Gi was riveted, looking at this woman, only nine years her senior, so wise, so beautiful and, also, relatable. Gigi wants to emulate Becky, now. She asked to go running out in the sunshine and wants to grow up to be a personal trainer and professional runner more than ever now. 🙂
I hope we are on the right track. I hope we are guiding her in a good direction. And I thank Becky, now, for doing a way better job of being a role model for her than so many others she could look to.

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