I don’t know a single person who wants their child to diet. Sure, I know people who want their kids to eat well, which is pretty much most of us! But I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who wanted their child to grow up and be a dieter. It’s something I think most of us want to prevent.
It’s because we want better for them than we have for ourselves! We know the challenges that dieting brings… the mental angst that comes along with overthinking every food decision, the stress of counting calories, the emotional highs and lows that come from stepping on the scale. And we don’t want that for them. We want them to keep their carefree innocence, free from all the dieting drama.
Yet, kids learn from our example. They watch us diet. They watch how we interact with food. And they pick things up along the way.
There are many things we don’t want to pass onto our kids when it comes to food and eating.
We don’t want them to diet or count calories.
We don’t want them to hate their bodies.
We don’t want them to measure their worth by the scale
We don’t want them to think foods are bad, or that they are bad for eating them.
We don’t want them to eat in secret or feel guilty about what they eat.
We don’t want them to think about food ALL the time.
And yet we do all of these things ourselves. It seems like a bizarre double standard doesn’t it? It’s as if it’s totally okay for us to be miserable in our relationship with food, but not them. It’s okay for us to dislike our bodies, but not them. They are perfect after all, so why on earth would they ever want to change themselves?
Let me ask a question: Do you think your own mom would have wanted this for you?
Do you think your mom wanted her precious child to diet, and count calories, and obsess about food, and hate her body, and feel guilty over everything she ate that wasn’t a steamed vegetable?
I don’t know your mom, but I’m willing to bet that she did NOT want that for you, just like you don’t want it for your own kids.
It’s amazing how a simple switch in viewpoint can make us see things a little bit differently isn’t it?
We tend to go along our adult existence feeling like we’re just an individual, a fully grown adult who is making their own choices and doing things in a way that only truly matters to ourselves. But we are not just an individual out here in a vacuum. We are someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, someone’s sister, someone’s mom. And while I certainly don’t want to suggest that our identity is dependent on these things, they are part of who we are.
What I mean is: We matter to someone. To MANY someones. And those people who care about us wouldn’t want those things for us, just as we don’t want them for the people WE care about!
Just as you hope to prevent your own children from dieting and the other “stuff” that comes along with it, so too do all the people you care about want to prevent you from that negativity as well!
If we want to prevent our kids from dieting, the first step is to stop dieting ourselves. Not only do our kids deserve that, but WE deserve that! We deserve to be at peace with food, eating in a way that makes us truly happy and nourishes our body and soul.
We don’t simply escape that diet mindset at the flip of a switch though. Believe me, I wish I could flip that switch for every single person out there! I’d magically create a world where women no longer obsessed about their bodies or their food, a world where we all just ate happily and got on with our lives.
But it’s not that easy. Unfortunately, I can’t do it FOR you.
I can help though.
First and foremost, I want to tell you that: you are amazing just as you currently are. No matter what you weigh, no matter what size clothes you wear, no matter how tall or short you are, you are fabulous. And you are cared about.
And as one of the many people who cares about you, I don’t want that diet turmoil for you.
So I will let you in a little secret.
If you understand the root cause of dieting, you’ll be better equipped to address it and start moving away from dieting altogether. Are you ready to hear what that underlying cause is?
It’s body image.
I recently wrote an Open Letter to my child about body image, but really, it’s an open letter to everyone. Being unhappy with our body is what causes us so much grief and headache trying to diet ourselves into a “better” version of ourselves. So the best way to work on erasing the dieting turmoil is addressing that unhappiness. We can be happy with our bodies NOW, no matter what their size. Please check out that post. I think you’ll get a lot out of it.
A few blog posts are a great start on this journey to a better body image and self-compassion, but they may not be enough. So if you really are interested in getting away from dieting and improving your relationship with food, I hope you’ll check out my upcoming course: Diet Mindset Makeover.
It is focused precisely on this idea of unraveling our diet mentality so that we can finally learn to appreciate our bodies for how amazing they already are, stop dieting, forget the arbitrary food rules, find peace with food and eating, and be the healthy care-free example we want to be for our children. I think the course will be right up your alley. If you’re even the slightest bit interested, sign up on this info page so you can receive the biggest discount on the course when it launches.
We don’t want to pass this dieting thing onto our kids. We want them to love and appreciate their bodies, enjoy eating, eat well without strict food rules, stay tuned in to their body’s cues, and not obsess about food all the time. It starts with us though. The first step to preventing our kids from dieting, is to stop dieting ourselves. We have to help ourselves, before we can guide them on this same path.
So tell me, how can you be a bit kinder to yourself today in terms of how you think about your body?