I suppose most of us have an image in our heads of what we'd like our body to look like; whether it's realistic or not is relative to the individual's expectations but a fair assumption can be made that social media, TV and radio are big influencers on how mums in society look at themselves when they're in front of a mirror.
I for one have been on a huge personal journey and at 36 years old, I can admit I feel happy and comfortable in my skin for the first time in my life, althought I still do have bad days where I need to remind myself that it's ok to be me. In a way I have trained my inner voice to be extra positive and loving to 'me' on those sensitive days, and what I hear myslef saying is 'you are perfect the way you are right now; it's being healthy that matters; it's seeing the kids happy that matters; don't worry about the way you look', and that goes on in my head until I feel balanced and happy again. The mind is so powerful if we give it half a chance.
In hind sight, I can now appreciate that it wasn't shallow vanity that lead to me feeling unhappy with my body as a youngster. Everyone was on a diet or trying to lose weight somehow, and I grew up not understanding the concept of what being healthy really meant. I felt the pressure to be tall (never a reality for this shorty), slim and beautiful and it drove me to being miserable about myself. I now worry about the kids of today. With the birth of so many new social media channels in the last decade, I can imagine they would feel the pressure a lot more than I did. Is there a way we can minimize the affect this has on their development and acceptance of themselves?
I think there is, and it's a simple solution. Let's start to focus on being healthy, without obsessing about diet and exercise for weight loss. Children need to understand that both healthy food and staying active are essential to being healthy, but also that they need to value who they are and love themselves without being a reflection of what society idolizes as being perfect. We are the biggest role models in their life so if we tune in and coach them as they become exposed to the pressures of society, it's the best chance we have to minimise the damage it can have on their self esteem.
Now let's turn this all around for a minute and focus on how our kids can actually help us feel better about ourselves and also help us keep it real. Kids are cool, they don't judge, they love every little bit of us regardless of any imperfections, they love to laugh and have fun, move their little bodies freely to music when they hear it, they never worry about the way they look. Can you imagine how good it would feel to be like that? We can actually learn to be more and more like that by letting our kids be our biggest influencers.
Take part in their world as much as you can, take note of happy moments, play more, laugh more, act silly, cuddle more, listen to their little heart beats and feel proud that you have created such an amazing little person who can help you feel free of the pressure that society puts on us to be something that we're not. At the end of the day, if there is reason for concern with your weight, then taking this approach to be happy first is crucial to you being in the right head space to make some adjustments in your life which can lead to a healthy lifestyle. The Healthy Mums 30 week online program is a realistic approach to help mums make small changes to their life daily and does not put any pressure on them to be perfect. I hope none of you think that I am perfect; I don't see myself as perfect, but I strive each day to be healthy in a balanced way and I hope to inspire other mums to do the same.
Keep it real, let kids show you how to be happy and love who you are, because mums really make the world go round.
Your healthy friend,