Body Image: Three things I hope my daughters learn

After my first pregnancy I didn't have to deal with any post partum body image issues or changes. I hate the saying " bounced back" but I fit the bill for pregnancy number one. Maybe it was the fog of new motherhood that was encompassing my life and when I finally came up to breathe 3 months later that 40 pounds of baby weight I added had disappeared. Or it could have been the fact that I was still in my 20s and that young adult metabolism was still a glorious part of my life. Or it could have been that I didn't have a toddler to feed and keep alive which means constant available snacks (Why do all toddlers love to eat cheese?)

About six weeks after my second pregnancy I went to a department store and I refused to buy anything because I was not ready to buy the next size up. I decided I'll just wear yoga pants forever. I was feeling down that I was walking around with an extra 12 pounds that didn't seem to be melting away.
On the drive home I thought about my two daughters. I never want them to let the size of jeans they wear dictate their mood. I want them to dance, laugh , and play no matter their shape. I want to raise them with a level of confidence that no one and/or no thing can ever pull them down. Then why would I not hold the same standard for myself?

I hope I can teach my daughters these three things about their body image and health.

1. Don't compare yourself to others.

Comparison really is the thief of joy. Each person has a different physical build, gains weight in different areas, and has a different metabolism so don't expect to look or be the same size as your best friend. Real life does not come with an Instagram filter. Your body and soul are unique so embrace your own beauty and differences. I can not compare my 2 month post partum body to another person  or even to a former version of myself.

2. There will be ups and downs with your health.

There will be times in your life that you work out every day, but there will also be times where you can not find one once of energy to go for a run. There will be days that you don't want to leave the bed and days that your schedule is packed full of sports you enjoy.  These changes may be due to work schedules, or children, or lifestyle choices, or just some bad freaking luck, but just know this too will pass. Enjoy the highs and accept the lows, change is inevitable.

3. Always be willing to try and take care of your health.

Your body can endure amazing things. Your body will birth a human, or run a marathon, or pull an all nighter for you. So on the other average days, take care of yourself. Be willing to learn and apply what is best for your health. Take a new class, try a new recipe, invest in the best sunscreen, these things add up to a healthier you and a more positive body image.

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