Most young girls exposed to early dieting behaviors end up dieting throughout their life.
They aren’t able to trust themselves around food and they often have a very negative relationship with food and their body.
Their self-esteem is low and they tie their self-worth to their body image.
I have a journal that I started at age 7 and wrote until I was 16. My earliest journal entry where I mentioned wanting to lose weight is when I was 12. It was the summer before I turned 13 and I wrote, “I hope I can lose weight over the summer so I don’t have to be teased by my brother”.
Later that year, in December my New Years resolution was to “Lose a little bit of weight”. That age is such a tough age when our bodies start changing and growing in new ways.
These are the things I would tell younger me:
Your body is growing perfectly right for you
Look at all of the amazing things your body can do: run, jump, dance, ride your bike, swim
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and here are some pictures of these different bodies
It’s hard to grow up in a society that celebrates weight loss and we’ve been taught that thinner is better. We fear having fat on our bodies because of how horrible fat people are treated.
As parents, we are the best model for your child for stopping this multi-generational culture of dieting.
You may have to address your own food and body image issues and start being kinder to yourself if we want our children to grow up with a positive relationship with food and their body.