Thursday, July 26, 2012

Healthy Is The New Skinny

Raising kids today is so much different, and a bit harder, than when my parents raised us.  I know every generation feels that way, but seriously.  My parents didn't have to worry about me getting on line and chatting with some pervert, or looking up porn on my phone.  Just a couple of reasons I'm keeping cell phones away from my girls as long as possible. Also why they will never have their own computer in their rooms.  Another difficulty we parents face, especially parents of girls, is body image.  We live in a country and world that is becoming increasingly obese, yet anorexic looking stars grace the covers of all the magazines in the grocery store.  It's hard to lead my girls in a direction of "normal", especially when they start to ask questions about being skinny.

Andy and I were raised with parents who taught us healthy eating habits.  Therefore, we our doing our best to show our girls those same habits.  They get fruit with breakfast, veggies with lunch and dinner.  We eat things like cereal, eggs, lunch meats, and chicken.  I throw fish in there at least once a week, much to the dismay of Lana.  I can't say I blame her.  I would never have touched fish at her age either.  She told Andy, recently, she doesn't like fish because it tastes like the ocean.  Well, duh!  But I do get it.  We also let them have treats, in moderation, and only if they do a good job eating their dinner.  Although, Lana will do her best to try make cookies her dinner.  

They also see first hand how important exercise is.  I work out just about every day.  Sometimes I do get a little crazy about it. I think I might be a wee bit addicted to it, but there are worse things to be addicted to right?  They also get exercise themselves in the form of gymnastics, baseball, and just playing outside.

Sometimes I worry that I'm trying a little to hard to teach them healthy habits and hope I don't make them obsessive about it.  Every once in a while one of them will ask,

"Mom is chicken, (fish, ice cream, carrots, candy-whatever food they are eating) good for you?"

I answer accordingly- yes, yes, not really but the dairy is good for you, yes, and not at all, but it's fun to eat every once in a while.  What I most want to teach them is that it's okay to eat everything, but not a lot of everything.  I truly believe that.  I'm big on moderation and even though I eat well most of the time, I do indulge.  I don't believe diets that make you omit things you like ever work long term.  I also believe that exercising is extremely important for so many reasons, keeping fit is a big one.  The hope is that by teaching them all this, they will avoid the obesity problem that threatens so many kids today.  I'm also hoping that it will make them smart enough to not puke up the piece of cake they just ate for fear of adding on pounds.  However, at this age it's hard to tell how much they understand.

Then a couple weeks ago,  Sonya layed it out for me.  We were on our weekly Target trip, picking up a few essentials you know, like toothpaste and alcohol.  I stopped in the alcohol section and grabbed a bottle of the Skinny Girl Margarita (which is awesome, by the way).  Sonya looked at it and said,

"Getting some Skinny Girl, huh?"

Sometimes it's so annoying that she can read.

"Yup," I answered.

Then she said to me, "Mom, is it better to be skinny?"

"Ummmm...."  I said stalling.

I hate when they catch me off guard like this.  What the hell am I supposed to say to that? I will be honest, part of me was of course thinking yes, but I can't very well say that to her.  Just because you're skinny doesn't make you better, and sometimes, doesn't make you healthier.  So I quickly came up with an answer that I patted myself on the back for later.

"Well, Sonya," I said. "It's better to be healthy.  Whatever that is for you is what is best.  Everyone is different sizes. Some people might be healthier skinny and some a little bigger.  You just don't want to be too much of one or the other, because then that's not healthy."

"Oh I see!" She said.  "So if you're too skinny that's not good and if you're really big then that's not healthy either, so it's better to be just regular.  Like you!"  

"Uh, sure." I said. 

 Huh, I had thought I looked skinny since losing my recent ten pounds, but I guess I look "just regular".  Oh well.  I guess she could have told me I needed to lose a few to be healthy.  I suppose being "just regular" is a better way to help them with their own body image.  It also reminds me that it's what is healthiest for me and helps me with my own body image.  Now I'm off to have some ice cream, but only 1/2 a cup because remember, moderation.

1 comment:

Firecracker Sooz said...

Loved this post, Kristi. Best written one yet, and so damn true. I worry about that if I ever have girls, especially in Los Angeles.