I’m sure you’ve all experienced this:
You’re killing time by innocently scrolling through your Facebook feed when, uh oh, another friend has decided to give themselves over to the noble task of coaching others into “losing weight and getting healthy!”
You cringe because, sure enough, you see that you already have a message with an invitation to join the “amazing company!”
If not, then you’re lucky.
But I think these people zero in on me because I’m an “easy” target. I mean, I just had twins for goodness’ sake! I must be dying to lose all that baby weight!
And that’s how the invitation goes: “Hey, I just noticed you had twins! Congratulations! I’d love to help you lose the baby weight!”
Okay, first of all, um thanks?
Second, knock it off!
Stop telling me I need to lose weight! I barely know you!
And even if I did, here’s the thing: Every time you tell me I need to lose weight, I sort of believe you.
And every time you create that insecurity in me, it radiates off of me and onto my ever-perceptive toddler.
And you want to know what one of my greatest parenting fears is?
That my insecurities will prevent my girls from finding healthy balance in their lives, especially in regards to how they view themselves.
So every time you tell me that you can “help” me to get fit (i.e., lose weight), you cause me to calculate the calories of that cupcake I just shared with my daughter. And she sees that.
You cause me to not join in when she’s having the cookies we made together. And she notices.
You cause me to do a workout when I should be sleeping. And she asks me why I’m too tired to run around with her.
“Well, just buy the Shakeology!” you say. “They’ll give you that energy back!” you say. “They only cost the amount of one Starbucks drink per day! Surely you can sacrifice that?!” you say.
To which I say, “Honey, I haven’t had a Starbucks drink since before the twins were born.” It’s either your shakes or my daughters’ formula so…
Look. I’m not saying that leading a healthy lifestyle and modeling that to my daughters is not important.
It’s actually really, really important to me.
What I do have a problem with is the new message being pedaled around that “strong is the new skinny” or “I want to show my daughter that women should be strong!”
Because strong inevitably (whether or not it’s the intention) becomes synonymous with flat abs and muscle definition.
So what I’m really communicating to my daughters with those messages is that their worth is in how “strong” they look or in how clean they eat.
Uh uh. I’m not okay with that.
I’d rather teach my daughters to eat all of their broccoli before digging into their chocolate cake.
Or to move their bodies because it’s fun and they enjoy doing it, instead of because they “should” be strong.
I want them to know that it’s okay to have a lazy day, and that there’s no such thing as “cheat” days because all food is okay as long as it’s consumed with balance.
I want to teach them to listen to their bodies and not to their heads because our heads will always tell us that so-and-so is skinnier or more fit — even if our bodies are content.
I want my daughters to know that even if their stomachs are soft, or they eat two cookies instead of one, that they matter. That their importance in this world is not dependent on these things.
And the best way for them to know that is if I believe it.
So please do stop. Let me revel in this time of mama love handles and rest without bombarding me to join your “team.” I’m raising fierce (balanced) women, and I can’t be bothered.