Later that evening, my husband was giving both girls a bath and I overheard this same 2-year old say very matter-of-factly, “Daddy, I love my body. It’s very strong.” Daddy answered so clearly, “Yes, it is!” I, however, stood in the hallway, hand covering my mouth, tears flooding my eyes, wondering if this will change something in her, break some generational curse on us women, judging and despising ourselves and our bodies. I said to my husband, “Remind me, please, to say these words to them at least once every year of their lives.” He lovingly said to me, “That must have been a very powerful experience for you to say those words to her.” It was.
If I could peer into the future I would look for my daughters to be strong, powerful, beautiful, self-assured, confident women who stand for health and inner-beauty, who know their worth lies in far more than their physical appearances, while also having great love for their physical appearances. And if I could see that, I would know, I have truly made a huge difference in this world. They wouldn’t be wasting time counting calories in and calories out, or carbs, or grams of protein, or points or anything else. They’d be too busy living in their amazing bodies.
You might say, “I can’t tell my daughter I love my body because that would be a lie.” And I would ask, “What would it take for you to love your body?”
And you might answer, “After I lose 10 pounds.” Or, “When I am eating better.” Or, “When I’m a size 4.”
And I would say, lovingly, “If it was physically impossible for you to achieve that goal, and I’m not saying it is, but if it was, could you find things that you love about your body? If you had lived through a trauma or a disease that threatened to take your life, could you just be grateful that your body, the same one that’s not thin enough, not tone enough, your extraordinary body got you through it and was still alive to experience this life you have? Or does size matter more than the air you breathe? Does weight matter more than hugs and kisses and laughter?”
You might say, “I still want to be thinner.”
And I would say, “I know. You may always want that, but if today were your last day, would you want to spend it wanting to look different, or teaching your daughter to not waste her amazing life on the same goals?”
May I challenge you to say the words out loud to your daughter(s) today?
“I love my body.”
Follow it up with whatever is your loving thought about your body and is your truth for today.
“I love my body. It has eyes that let me look at you.”
“I love my body. It carried you and birthed you and provided for you and that is a miracle.”
“I love my body. It is strong and capable of lifting you high in the sky and tickling you.”
“I love my body. It is alive today and that’s one more day I get to spend with you.”
I’m not saying you have to stop wanting your body to look different, although taking the pressure off might literally take the weight off your mind and body. I’m not saying you have to stop exercising or following some diet plan, if that’s what brings you peace.
I’m saying that your body is remarkable. And THAT is beautiful.