8.17.2014

Body Image

Obviously another goal I've set for myself is to get back to prepregnancy weight. It's only been a couple months but I've learned so much already through this journey. Maybe someday I'll blog about the huge changes our family has made in our diet and emphasizing the importance of not just watching TV but being active and laughing and playing together, but I don't want to get into it too much right now.

I want to get back into shape for me and my personal reasons, but I've also had the example I'm setting for my girls in the back of my mind throughout this.

Kennedy watches me like a hawk and absorbs and copies just about everything I do. She learns the majority of her life-education through me and it won't be long before Brynlie joins the party. What lessons am I teaching them? What are they learning through their mother about body image and self worth?

The world is full of horrible examples of what a woman should look like in order to feel good about herself. Society crams down our throat that we need to look like Victoria's secret models in order to be sexy and desired. Our self-worth is tied way too much into how we look. I was reading a conference talk last night before bed that was talking about the influence of mothers on their children. One paragraph really stuck out to me:

"It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens- all while being celebrated by the world. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of "perilous times" that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: "silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts". Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction - easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves."

There was also another line that read, "they also perpetuate in their own minds the fallacy that a woman's value is dependent solely upon her sensual appeal. This never has been nor will it ever be within the righteous definition of a faithful daughter of God."

My girls will grow up being bombarded by these messages just like I was. It will be my job to teach them otherwise. I will have to teach them that their self-esteem should NOT be tied up in what size jeans they wear, but in how they treat others, how they serve those around them, and how they use their education to strengthen their relationship with God. Am I living what I will be teaching them?

I believe there is a fine line between desiring to be in shape and healthy and letting it consume how we view ourselves and who we are. I want my girls to know that being healthy and active is important to me, but it's not THE most important thing to me. I make sure to never put myself down in front of them. I never want them to hear their mother put someone else down for any reason. I want them to know that eating healthy is a lifestyle we've adopted and continue in order to better our health and avoid illnesses and cancers but they don't need to beat themselves up for having birthday cake or a donut every once in a while.

Most importantly I want them to know that they are daughters of God who will love them regardless of what they look like. That's something I've come to learn for myself and wish to emulate for them. I want my daughter's to have a confident mother to look up to. I'm obviously not perfect at it, but I'm really, really trying. I hope they can watch me overcome my imperfections and accept myself and better myself so they will know how to do it with themselves when the time comes.

Being a mom is so, so scary. There's so many things to teach and 90% of those lessons are by example. It's a daunting task but it's also my greatest blessing. I have so much to teach them but at the same time, they are teaching me so many things as well. I want to continue being a good example for them and helping them understand where their true worth lies and how to feel good about who they are. I want to raise happy, confident children. Here's to hoping I can be successful.

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