One of my goals as a mum is to set the best example to my little ones. This has become more important to me having two beautiful little girls, I have witnessed firsthand (seeing girlfriends encounter eating disorders) the affect that positive body image can have on young girls and woman and their perspective on their own body image.
Whilst relaxing over the summer at the beach, I was reading a Marie Claire magazine and came across a photo that summed this up. The magazine had asked advertising agencies to put together an advertisement for positive body image. There were several different approaches; however this one hit home for me. I think it says it all.
From this, it inspired me to make a list of the attributes I’d like my daughters to take from the example my husband and I set for them. I thought I’d share it, in the hope it might encourage other mums to reflect on their own practices!
Always be positive about my body image in front of my girls (I still have my moments where I don’t like what I see, but ensure that these are away from view!!!)
- Include regular exercise as part of our lives forever. I love that Abi already gets her handbag and walks to the door and says ‘Bye Mummy, I’m going to the gym/for a run!’
Research has proven that when children witness their parents leading a healthy lifestyle (eating correctly and exercising regularly), they are more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle (McMurray 1993, Gottlieb 1985, Gottileb 1986). This positive influence on children’s overall health has led to a decreased incidence in childhood obesity.
- Consume a balanced eating. This is not to say demonstrate to your children how to ‘diet,’ this is teaching my example how to enjoy food on a daily occurrence. Demonstrate to your children how to enjoy ‘sometimes’ food as part of a balance eating habit.
- Show them that life can be fun without alcohol! However if they choose to drink (when legal!) how to be mature, and drink with balance and understanding of those around them.
Another advertisement from the collection:
Sally Muir – Dietitian & Personal Trainer