One morning before getting onto the bus, my seven year old daughter says to me, “Mommy my legs are fat!” Giggling and squeezing her thighs, she looks at me with a smile.
However, my face told a different story. Despite my efforts, the world has penetrated my daughter’s ears.
While trying to contain my emotions, I looked my daughter in the eyes and said, “No Lehla, your legs are strong and healthy. We have strong and healthy bodies, okay?”
“Okay mommy!” she replied with a smile and ran off to look for rolley-polleys before catching the bus.
Inside, I was a mess. My seven year old daughter who is completing her 1st grade year, has already started hearing what the world tells us about our bodies. Coming from a background of battling eating disorders for almost 7 years, my heart was heavy.
The opinion of the world contributed greatly to my struggles as a teenager. The magazines, actresses and fad diets all portrayed an ideal worldly image for our bodies. Daily we are bombarded with “Lose Weight Now” or “How To Lose Your Belly” tv commercials and social media ads. Rarely do we see anything about eating nutritionally balanced meals, exercising and for once, just having patience with our bodies.
The way I overcame the mental, emotional and physical destruction of eating disorders was through scripture and understand the way God created our bodies through science. The more I gained knowledge, the more I found freedom.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
I make it a point to not judge my body in front of my children, to always encourage them to eat well to help their bodies to be healthy and to exercise to keep their bodies strong. The words DIET and FAT (as in describing the body) are not part of my daily vocabulary with my children. They know their bodies are God’s creation and they must treat it well. I pray and speak LIFE into their physical bodies and SCRIPTURE into their hearts so they will be strong against the worldly views. Here are some examples:
You are BEAUTIFUL. Ps 45:11
You are STRONG. Ps 18:35
You are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made. Ps 139:14
Living a healthy life is not only for you, it’s generational. It affects everyone closest to you. That includes your children. They will learn from your daily choices and how you speak of your own body. YOU need to love the body you have, right where it is at and start making choices that will reflect that love. Your children are watching, their view of health depends on you.
Most importantly, God is watching to see how well you take care of His creation.