What I Won’t Say in front of My Daughter…

What i won't say in front of my daughterWe are preparing for a brief winter escape, so today I went bathing suit shopping. Where I live, I can’t remember the last time the temperature was above freezing. My skin is dry and flaky, and I’m carrying one, if not two, extra layers of winter… well, I’ll just say ice cream.  So you can only imagine my joy in the dressing room…

In all honesty, it wasn’t so bad. And do you know why? It wasn’t bad because of the following words… COVER UP. Any bathing suit ensemble is just not complete without a cover up to cover a multitude of weak moments shared between me, Ben, and Jerry.

All crying joking aside, I’m determined to be joyful because though I may need to practice more discipline, I realize there is so much more to life than my vain insecurities surrounding how I look in a pair of jeans, or even worse a swimsuit.

Too many women are trapped in the bondage of despair over how they look. No matter what body type we find ourselves inside, most everyone feels the same. We compare ourselves not only against each other, but also against mannequins that are sized to fit the waistlines of tiny 10 year old girls. We become angry and then we voice our opinions…

Today, while in the dressing room, my 5 year old daughter was watching me try on clothes. With every new garment I tried on, bathing suits included, she told me how beautiful she thought I looked. I refuse to confuse her opinion of me, or even worse her opinion of her future self, by belittling my body as I look in the mirror in front of her. I had to struggle to bite my lip, but I would not give in.

Believe me, I can use greater discipline. A well balanced, Healthy lifestyle is important to the mind, body, and soul. However, we are never going to get where we need to be if we continue to hold unhealthy standards concerning what we “should” look like. And we will never stop the cycle for our daughters if we speak negatively about ourselves in front of them. Our words carry tremendous power…

My husband recognizes my struggle. The other morning when I woke up there was a note written on the mirror, above the scale, that read, “Don’t worry about the number on the scale. You are skinny and beautiful exactly the way you are.”

If you don’t have this type of encouragement in your life then I want to say the same to you. Forget about the number on the scale. You are not that number. You have worth because Christ is worthy. And your worth comes from a place much deeper than anyone, including you, can see on the outside.

I want to caution you to be careful how you speak about yourself not just in front of your children, but in front of your friends, spouses, and everyone else for that matter.

If you need to work on becoming healthy, then do it. But do it for your health and not your waist size. A smaller size will come as a bonus but it won’t bring you happiness. It’s just one less thing to worry about.

Turn a blind eye to mannequins and super models. Focus on the God who made YOU.

Be brave, friends!

Bold

Ready and

Available

Vying for

Everything God wants to do in your heart and through your life.

Love,

Jennifer

 

Comments

  1. greatest advise I have heard

  2. Thank you Jennifer. I am much too hard on myself, both in front of my children and friends. I know the damaging power of words. I am having to spend too long trying to reverse it. . Blessings!

  3. Dawn Himes-Pinner says:

    Just had a similar conversation at the gym yesterday! So eloquently put!

  4. This is great advice………I have also realized that by being embarrassed to have my picture taken for whatever reason, I was making photo albums WITHOUT ME in them. Not good, so yes, we are too hard on ourselves……..too prideful sometimes. Not perfect, but loved and loving. Thank you for the post. 🙂 Gentle Joy

  5. I love this post. As a mom of 3 daughters, I have to be very careful what I say about them and myself. I don’t want them to have a negative perception of their bodies. I want them to know and believe they are beautiful because they are made in God’s image. Shared this on FB. Blessings!

  6. I love this and I love how you were mindful of your daughter’s own future image of herself! Although I only have boys, I knew that they would be future husbands someday, so I tried to be careful to accept any compliments they gave me graciously, instead of saying “Oh no, I look horrible” or whatever. Our oldest just go married.

    Right when he began dating his wife (then she was obviously his girlfriend) he showed me some pictures of her on facebook as I hadn’t met her yet (as he met her at college in another state). In some of the pictures she was a bit heavier and some she was skinnier. My son made the comment “She has lost 40 pounds since then, although I don’t think she needed to.” That comment really stuck with me because I knew that he had “got” it. What his dad and I tried to teach him, to look and love with his heart. And besides, she looked beautiful before and after she lost the weight.

  7. Thank you for such great encouragement! I have an 11 month old daughter and when she was 6 months old I got pregnant with number 2. I felt a little frustrated for a bit because I felt like I my body was almost back to normal. After this baby I feel like I’ll never be able to wear my own clothes… but I’ve realized whatever size I am, I need to focus on Christ and who He says I am. And I don’t ever want my daughter seeing me unhappy with what I look like, because I would never want to her to become a slave to her appearance. This was very encouraging!!! =)

    • Molly, you will get back to where you were. This is a wonderful time of joy for you. Rejoice in every moment of it. Congratulations and God bless you and your sweet babies!

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