Our bodies are strong. They house our minds and souls, and they are a reflection of what’s inside of us.
As a mother, I am hyper-aware of the lessons I am passing down to my daughters. This is a natural part of parenthood, I think, to want to have your ideals and traditions carried on by your children.
Last week I caught my oldest daughter looking in the mirror. She was fretting about her outfit choice. She asked me what I thought and at first I was flattered; teenage girls rarely ask their mothers for fashion advice. But then I realized she wasn’t asking if the clothes looked good. She was asking if she looked good in them, which is a very different question. It was then that I realized that quite possibly, in between all the good lessons I tried to pass down to my girls, I may have accidentally passed down some misunderstandings about body image.
I want to clarify – I am a confident person. I am comfortable in my own skin, but like most women in this society, I have been made aware of the fact that a higher value is placed on my appearance than my male counterparts. In the past, I “dieted” before swimsuit season or wondered aloud about whether I had gained a few pounds. But today I wonder if these seemingly innocent actions had an impact on the young girls who look up to me.
Today, potentially confusing images about body image can come from many different sources. Young girls (and boys) see Instagram models with “perfect” waists and perfect makeup, captioned with proclamations like “I woke up like this.” Some fitness personalities promote the idea that “carbs make you fat.” Some models smoke cigarettes to suppress their appetites. And every day, there is a chance that a young impressionable person can be ambushed by messages that present food as the enemy, and thin as good.
In our society we can be so focused on being thin that we never stop to consider if it is healthy. A number of popular “influencers” use their thinness to promote products like waist trainers or “skinny teas,” but many of these products have been found to be ineffective and some can be downright dangerous. These are not the ideas I want my daughters to believe in.
I think it’s time we reclaim food and our health. I decided to do some research and came across a blog called “Diet Assassinista.” Blogger Anne Assassi is a registered dietician and health coach in San Francisco. She believes that diets don’t work and that we need to focus on eating nutritious foods and being mindful of what we are putting into in our bodies. I couldn’t agree more. Food is not the enemy. Food nourishes us, energizes us, and fuels us to be active. We just need to make the right choices and get in the kitchen!
I have started to remind my daughters (and myself) that our bodies are more than just something to be seen. Our bodies are strong, they house our minds and souls, and they are a reflection of what’s inside of us. Once you realize how amazing your body is and everything it can do, it’s impossible to hate it.
Love Sees Clearly
- Every time you begin to criticize something about your body, take a breath and replace the thought with a positive, more accurate one.
- It’s important to be grateful for our bodies. Change the way you think about exercise. Cherish the opportunity to workout, to run, or to hike. It’s not a chore but an opportunity some don’t have.
- Set healthy limits on your social media time. It is easy to be bombarded with images that lead you judge yourself and other women. If you find yourself caught in negative feelings caused by unrealistic images and expectations, break away and substitute it with some E-Time (see the Key Ingredient story).
- Follow @dietassassinista on IG for heathy and delicious recipes. Ditch diets and explore your healthiest you.
Zoodles with Avocado & Herb Pesto
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 3 zucchinis
- 1 avocado (ripe)
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ tsp of Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala
- 1 clove of garlic
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes (chopped, remove oil)
- Chili powder to taste
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil
With a spiral slicer make noodles with the zucchini.
Sprinkle noodles with salt.
In a food processor, combine basil, cilantro, parsley, avocado, lemon juice, salt, Life is a Recipe™ Garam Masala, chili powder and garlic.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Blend until mixture is smooth.
In a skillet on medium heat, combine zoodles, pesto sauce and sundried tomatoes.
Sauté in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.