If you read my last blog about 80 Day Obsession, then you know that the meal plan has me eating what feels like a LOT of food. Well, my kids noticed.
As I was preparing a meal earlier this week our daughter, Marli, said this to me… “Mom, how are you going to lose weight if you are eating so much?”
That simple question stopped me in my tracks. At nine years old, she already thinks that not eating causes weight loss. Where did she learn that? Certainly, not at our house.
But then I thought to myself, WHAT IF…
What if she heard me talking to myself in the mirrors as I picked apart my flaws?
What if she overheard a conversation I was having with Danny where I said I looked fat?
What if she heard me say at the restaurant that I needed to go on a diet?
What if she saw me taking that selfie and looking at the photo with a disgusted look on my face?
What if she read a funny meme on my Instagram account about my body?
What if, at nine years old, she has already been programmed to think that being healthy is a chore, is hard, and is not fun. What have I done?
Likely, what most women across the world do. I have to think that I am not alone.
Our negative self-thoughts are being passed on to our kids.
Although many of us know what it takes to be healthy and fit, we still default to the thinking that starvation and deprivation are what you “do” to lose weight. Even though we know that negative self-talk serves no purpose and can cause damage to not only our mental state but those around us, we still do it. It’s in our DNA.
The good thing, though, is that we CAN change and we can teach good habits to our kids.
After processing all these thoughts quickly, my conversation with Marli ensued. I asked her to think about what Mom and Dad do daily to remain healthy. She responded, “You exercise, you drink Shakeology and you eat vegetables.” BINGO.
I went on to explain that while it is normal to think that NOT eating is the way to lose weight, that it’s not the healthy way. In fact, Mom and Dad are proof that eating more helps you be healthy and lose or maintain your weight. I explained that it’s not about how much you eat, it’s about what you eat. And then we committed to a plan to make sure she was healthy. Keep reading and I will share my plan!
We NEED to change how we THINK and TALK about ourselves.
It is important that we start making changes within ourselves before anything else. When I hear my sister share her story about growing up “fat” and the bullying and mental battles she had with herself about her body image, I’m sad for her. Certainly, she has been able to win that battle but she still, at 42, deals with the ramifications of that time in her life. It never goes away. The pain never leaves.
Even today, after knowing the damage that can be done, I find myself saying things to myself, and even to Marli, that I am not proud of. It’s a process to reprogram myself on the language I use with me and her. But one thing I know is that if we can make changes at home, this will trickle into all parts of our children’s life. And my hope is that it will somewhat shield them from what happens at school, what they watch on TV, and see on social media.
Parenting is the hardest job in the world. And I am not one that has anxiety, but THIS keeps me up at night.
Am I doing right by her? Will she grow up to have food and body issues? Am I doing the best I can? I don’t know about other parents, but this is HARD. So I am choosing to take small steps to improve the both of us (and my son, DJ, of course!).
Has anyone else had experiences like this with their kids? I cannot be the only one!
My 10-Part Plan to Keep my Kids Healthy & Promote Positivity
- Stop using words like fat, gross, or disgusting when talking about myself.
- Start using words like healthy, make healthy choices, and working to be healthier more often.
- Never criticize myself in front of my kids. Well, ever, but you know what I mean.
- Ask questions when Marli is going to make a bad food choice instead of reprimanding her. Ex. Is that the best option you can make? Can we try something a little healthier?
- Start moving towards a more active lifestyle with the kids.
- Make sure both kids are drinking lots of water each day.
- Incorporate a veggie/fruit/protein smoothie into their diet. Thankfully, we have Daily Sunshine now! (See more about Daily Sunshine below.)
- Encourage Marli and DJ participate in the cooking process and have them try a veggie each day.
- Let them BE KIDS. I am not perfect so it’s not feasible to hold them to such a high standard.
- And be consistent. Kids thrive off of structure, love to be praised, and follow our example. Rinse and repeat each day!
And What’s This “Daily Sunshine” I Mentioned?
It’s a blessing for parents, that’s what it is!
Pediatrician approved for kids 4 and up, Daily Sunshine is a 3-in-1 one nutritional smoothie designed for kids. What does 3-in-1 mean? It means that it has:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Plant based protein
- Healthy fats
These are three things we definitely struggle with in my house—especially the veggies!
Plus, it contains fiber, vitamin C & E, calcium, Vitamin D, and so much more. I love knowing that my kids are getting everything the need to grow healthy and strong without struggling to get them to eat healthy foods they don’t enjoy—although we’re still trying!) Just mix 1 scoop of Daily Sunshine with 8oz of water or other beverage, like almond milk.
Along with all the amazing benefits of Daily Sunshine, THESE are the reasons we switched to it from the big brand name store bought shakes:
Daily Sunshine is organic, non-GMO, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. AND it’s all natural with no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no fillers!
Plus, it’s kid-approved! Marli loves her new smoothie! And while we’re still making the switch with DJ, I can’t wait to keep making baby steps like this to continue to improve my kids’ nutrition and health as they grow.
Give Daily Sunshine a try!
There are two flavors: Chocolate and Strawberry Banana, and I can tell you myself, they’re BOTH delicious!