For several years now I have been careful of what I eat. My metabolism is very poor and I only have to glance at a cake for it to add 10lbs to my hips. I don’t eat ready meals and cook every night from scratch. Chips in the house are a rare occurrence and if we eat fast food its from a local Italian restaurant where they make the most amazing pizzas.
At home with Addy I am conscious of what I feed both of us in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We are both members of the local health club and Addy loves her sport doing at least three active sports sessions a week (she’d do more if she could!). You’ll always find chocolate in the house but it is a treat and not to be eaten over and above fruit and yoghurts.
I cook low fat / healthy and nutritious food and am really careful not to use phrases like ‘mummy can’t have that because she’s on a diet,’ or ‘just a small bit Addy as mummy is losing weight.’ I don’t want to insinuate to my daughter that I am unhappy with my body, that my shape is not healthy and that you can only be healthy and popular if you’re a beanpole. Curves are beautiful and for me it is not a weight loss mission but a conscious decision that if I a going to be a size 14 then it will be a healthy one.
Words such as skinny, diet, slim are not words at nearly seven I want to encourage and there is enough with the media obsession that in order to be successful and desirable you have to be these things. Our children need to realise it is their personalities and individuality that make them stand out, not whether they are a size 6.
So a few weeks ago I was somewhat surprised when Addy piped up ‘are you not eating all your dinner mummy because you’re on a diet?’ I didn’t make a big deal of it choosing to answer with ‘I was saving the rest to eat for lunch tomorrow’ which I was as it was a huge portion of pasta and sauce and just easier to cook the whole wh bag rather than split it out.
Consciously though it made me think where Addy would have picked up the phrase from and then managed to tie the two things of less food = dieting together. She has said a few times that she wants to be skinny and healthy and I’ve always reiterated that being skinny isn’t important being healthy is, and by doing her exercise and making smart food choices she will have a healthy body.
As much as I choose to be selective at how I phrase my lifestyle choice around my child there is the concern that my decision to adopt a certain way of eating and food choices still perpetuates the idea of dieting, so am I educating her on the right food choices or instilling the belief that you can only be healthy and happy by eating this way?