Dieting as a Mom of Girls

Mama is this on your diet?” My oldest daughter asks, leaning her ice cream cone my way. Her expression, serious. Her eyes, questioning.

No Kay, it’s not.” My middle daughter responds, shaking her head. Her auburn locks sway against her shoulders, her stance is emphatic- sure that she’s right. “No treats until cycle three.

And she is, in fact, right. I’m on the 17 Day Diet. I just finished cycle two -which I will share more about tomorrow- and I have to admit that I am so excited! I’ve lost eighteen pounds in one month {!} and for the first time ever I feel successful and in control of my weight.

But today I want to talk about the two things that silence me in this -ultimately lifelong- process.

The first is when I’m asked, “What message are you sending your girls?” and the second is hearing words like diet, thin, and weight pass between my five and seven year old daughters’ lips.

I do think about my son and where he fits within all of this. I know that it’s my job to teach him about beauty and health and respect and all of the treasures and gems found on the inside.

But today I’m focusing on my girls. I’m inspecting my own issues with weight and body image and self worth that stem from places that are inconsequential but are, indeed, there.

I never thought that I would let my daughters come so close to this part of my story. But here I am- dieting in front of my children.

And here’s why- I want my girls to be armed with the power of knowledge and control and appreciation and respect for their bodies, their health, and how they puzzle piece to each other.

I also want them to own their beauty. And if they ever want to change their habits, like I do right now, I want them to know how.

So at our house we do talk about carbohydrates, and proteins, and choices, and swaps, and activity levels.

I tell my children that I’m dieting because I made bad choices. I tell them that I’m learning how to make good ones now. And they’re proud of me. I take a lot of pride in that.

For the first time ever I’m focusing on the positives of my body image and I’m bursting to discuss it.

But when people question what I’m teaching my daughters by dieting, I do pause and I am silenced. I need to work on that.

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Comments

  1. i would love to hear more about this diet!! congrats on the 18 pounds!
    i find it’s a precarious balance, discussing dieting and body image with my daughters. i feel as though i’ve messed up because they are always worried about their weight now. i wonder if it’s their age, they are teens. but i also wonder if it’s because of my yo-yo dieting and being vocal about it. sigh.

  2. I think you are handling it wonderfully around your girls and I’m SO proud of you!!! Keep it up my friend! xo

  3. So true! Such a difficult thing to work though on our own much less with little one who watch us. Good for you for teaching them about the important aspects of being healthy.

  4. I don’t have daughters but I can imagine how difficult it would be. It sounds like you are doing a great job.

    We watch our food very carefully not for weight management although that is a side benefit but for our health. I manage autoimmune issues through careful management of my diet and my boys are very familiar with talks about healthy food, nutritional content, meal planning, making good choices and particularly chemicals that are put in our food and which have had, in the past, a terrible effect on our children and family life. I expect they will ignore everything I say over the next few years but I hope one day that they will remember what their mom taught them and realize I was right after all! You are teaching them much about health during your process and that is the message that deserves to be passed along. :-)

  5. This post was so helpful! Thank you and I love that you are bursting to share your thoughts and feelings about the positive body image; that is so important! I was glued to reading this post, because one day I’ll have three daughters and I imagine they may wonder why I eat a different diet than them or why I diet. I want them to learn from me about being healthy and fit, and not see my diet as a way to make my outer self more beautiful for the sake of appearances. So many of my girl friends in their teens were impacted by the simplest comment about weight and dieting, and I saw so many of them become consumed by image. I hope I can teach my daughters what you are teaching yours :)

  6. So beautifully written. I love the way you are handling this. I give you huge props for being so strong! Congrats on your successes thus far.

  7. I think it’s great you are teaching them about positive body image. The questioning from strangers, don’t pause. Tell them what you said here in this post.

  8. I can see how this would be tough. Really, though, it’s partly about the concept and partly about the semantics. People have such strong reactions to the word “diet”. What you’re doing is about making healthy choices and feeling good about yourself, and that’s not a bad thing. And if you’re talking to your kids about choices and health and body image, that’s not a bad thing either.

    Congrats on the weight loss. So glad you’re feeling good about your progress. xo

  9. I think it’s wonderful that you’re teaching them positive body image. Let the strangers be on their way. You’re doing nothing wrong!

  10. Congratulations on the 18 pounds and continual weight loss!

    You’re not just on a diet, you are on a lifestyle change. A positive one. Never mind what others say. You are doing this for you, for your kids. You’re becoming healthier. And that’s brilliant. You’re teaching them to make the right choices. Kudos Galit!

  11. It’s a tough balance. I never thought I’d have to worry about talking about body issues as a mother of boys. But much to my surprise my son has lately made some comments that he thinks he’s fat or cutting back on desserts, etc.

    I too have been trying to drop a few pounds, but I try to talk about it in terms of being healthy, rather than being thin. Good for you on your 18 lbs!

  12. A couple of quick thoughts, perhaps quicker than the topic warrants.

    I am really careful about what I say in front of Abbey, what I eat, etc. but it sounds like you are handling it in a positive way. I like that you’re framing it in the terms of previous bad choices and now trying to make good choices. I think the problem comes when/if they see us doing/saying things about being “fat” or critiquing specific body parts. Talking about being healthy & good choices & keeping our bodies in the best condition possible isn’t a negative thing.

    Maybe to help keep things consistent, we need to reframe the word “diet”. After all, everything we eat is really our diet. You know, you could say things like, “Maybe we should all try to add some more green vegetables to our diet,” when you’re getting groceries. Or “grilled chicken is such a big part of our family’s diet!”.

    I might be oversimplifying or grasping at straws, but that could help you feel better about using the word “diet”, because it wouldn’t be so attached to the concept of changing your body but more about what you’re putting into your body, taking it back to the choices concept.

  13. Oh, and also? Whoo hoo!!! on the 18 pounds, my gorgeous friend! (Though it’s your smile that gets me every time!)

  14. I love how you stopped to think about what you wanted your daughters to take from your dieting. The message you gave daughters is priceless.

  15. I think that you’re doing wonderfully with your girls and the diet! I think that you’re the only one out of all of us who have taken it seriously and followed through with it!

    I don’t think that dieting in front of your children is a bad thing. We as moms need to teach our children healthy habits when it comes to food and often we all make bad choices as you said, sometimes those choices continue on and we gain weight.

    You’re dieting in a positive & healthy way and the girls will see that.

  16. I am so proud of you….WOW…wonderful.

    I think that my dieting , well I don’t take itseriously because I have boys..and I don’t know how my body image plays into things with them yet…but sooner or later it’s going to come up I’m sure. I want to a HOT MOM…even if I’m 50 by then. 😉

    I always look to you for real inspiration about how we teach our children…what we teach them and you never disappoint me with that, I believe that what you are doing and HOW ou are doing it is GOOD FOR ALL OF YOU..and that is a true testament to the kind of mom and woman you are. xo

  17. First off, kudos to you Galit. Not only for losing the 18 lbs, but for also finding a path that seems to fit your lifestyle.
    Reading your post, I can understand the aprehension over sharing the idea of dieting with your daughters (and son) however, I believe the way you are framing it is the right way. By explaining good food choices with bad food choices, using language like carbohydrates, fats, and sodium content in your conversation, you will give them tools to help make their own good food decisions.
    I grew up with a yo-yo dieting mother, and in turn I was 100% turned OFF by dieting. Watching her struggle and try various diets unsuccessfully, I realized that the only way I could be healthy was to eat that way. This view emerged after a childrhood filled with this.
    The environment you grow up has a lasting, long term effect on self, and it seems that being conscious of that, you are on the right path with Kaylie & Chloe. Good for you!

  18. You look fabulous. And I am so glad you are explaining it to them in terms of health and not vanity.

    I think it’s important for girls to learn about staying in shape, but you do have to balance it with a health self esteem so things don’t go awry.

    My mom never made us feel bad about our weight, but she didn’t encourage us to stay in shape, either. So we’re all quite chubby, having never really been taught about nutrition. (Not that it’s her fault I’m squishy. Totally mine, but I know where my bad food attitudes began.)

  19. I think you’re doing a great thing for your girls. You’re not being secretive or obsessing about weight, exercise, etc. You’re educating them. You’re teaching them how to be healthy and make good choices. Congrats on the 18 lbs! That is amazing!!

  20. It sounds like you are doing the right thing and I applaud you for it. Way to go on the 18 pounds! That’s awesome. I love that you are showing by example. You are showing them strength and that they have control to change their own circumstances if they feel the need. Being healthy and happy with who you are is the key.

  21. I’m very eager to hear how this all plays out – please, keep us updated on progress here (both with your own weight-loss, but especially with the reactions of your children). I was always, always heavy growing up . . . and then I went to college and redefined “overweight.” I’m really tall, so people say I “carry it well,” but that’s really just code for “you’re a tall fat man.”

    I then lost weight – a LOT . . . to the point where I really think I was anorexic. Then, I stopped being careful about my weight and I piled it back on.

    Now, I really am somewhere in the middle. I think I look good, though I have plenty around the middle to lose. I keep myself as actively as I can, I eat well (no land-animal meat, minimal processed foods . . . unless it’s a stressful day where I can stress-eat my way through a bag of Doritos on the way to Dunkin’ Donuts), and try to snack on fruits & veggies all day long. With my kids, I want to plant the seeds of “healthy,” without “thin versus fat,” and, unlike my parents, I’ll never call either of my kids fat.

    I’m really hoping that I instill a love of being active, and a love of fresh produce with my two . . . because, with that, I think the rest will take care of itself. But, I’m really, really afraid of passing on my own body issues (and I say that knowing that my own body issues are nothing compared to the average woman’s body issues . . . that’s a failure of social engineering if ever I’ve seen one . . . I can talk about having my 13 year old niece ask if she really needs to shave “down there,” but that’s a conversation for when I’m really drunk)

  22. It sounds like you already have the answers to what you are teaching your daughters.

  23. Oh I love how you are handling this. Such a tough subject.

  24. Body image is such a fine line to walk, especially in this day and age. But I think you’ve struck a very healthy balance between the “wants” and “needs” of dieting. And no one has any right to question that.

  25. You’re the first person I’ve ever heard from who is open and honest about it with your kids, and after having read this, I think you’re doing them an enormous favor.

    Good luck with your journey and diet. That’s phenomenal success so far!

  26. Wow! I think it is so important that you are thinking of these things and discussing these things with your children – especially your daughters. I don’t think it is wrong for our children to see us working on our bodies and focusing on health. I do get concerned when our children see us hating on our bodies. But, there is a distinct difference, and I think you have made this clear to your children.

    Kudos to you on your journey – both how you are mothering your children and how you are trying to live healthier!

  27. You’re doing all the right things here. Teaching about health vs. “skinny” is so important. I have to admit, I wish someone had shown me the way when I was that age. It was all about skinny and grapefruits & cigarettes for breakfast when I was little and mom was dieting. Of course I can’t blame her – those were the times and the fads. I feel like there’s a shift taking place towards positive body image and healthy living and it’s the best thing for kids to learn – boys and girls alike.

  28. I think thats a great way to explain it to your girls. Good on ya!

  29. Ok, admittedly, I have one son, no daughters. And, he is only three, not old enough to notice when mama is eating some stuff, and not other stuff. And I never paid a whole lot of mind to moms with daughters being on diets. UNTIL I was recently at a 3 year old’s birthday party, and one little girl approached her mom with her plate of cake, offered mom a bite and mom literally threw her arms in the air and backed away from the plate as if it were covered in spiders and said, loudly, “NO, I’M ON A DIET!” I was like, whoa. I don’t want to tell any woman how to parent her child, but that’s not sending a great message. Especially to a little girl. Little girls get enough messages from the world about hating themselves, I would hope that moms could teach some self-love. The woman wasn’t even overweight, she looked perfectly healthy to me. Which opens a whole other can of worms, but whatever. I just think that in the future, if I have a daughter and I am dieting, I will just keep mum on the entire subject. I will instead say, “I don’t feel like eating that right now.” or whatever. When she’s a bit older and thinks she wants to go on a diet, we can have a discussion about what that means, and her body image, etc. I know this is all “in a perfect world”, but that’s my plan.

  30. First of all, big, huge congratulations on your success. Second of all, I wish that you were not questioned on your choices. I wish that people just had confidence in the choices that we make as parents and let you continue being the phenomenal mom that you are.

  31. Congrats on the weight loss. And on teaching your children such wonderful lessons.

  32. I struggle with this too, Galit. I am a fanatical exerciser and serial ‘dieter,’ constantly looking to shed that last five pounds. Last year at my youngest daughter’s preschool mother’s day tea, she told the teacher that my favorite foods were “chicken and lettuce – diet foods”. I’m not sure how I feel about that. But, I know this – showing a regard and attention to our health sends them a great message. They will need that as they grow and perhaps struggle with their own weight. I know that my mother always set a good example in that way and it is something I always fall back on when trying to strike a good balance. I think the best thing to do is to emphasize that you’re doing it for health reasons and not necessarily appearance. I’m not saying that I DO this, just that I wish I did! Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  33. WOOT on the 18 pounds lost lady!! you GO girlfriend!!

    I think you rock. I think the way you are going about teaching them how to eat healthy and make smart choices and focusing on the health aspect is such an amazing thing to do. You’re not shrugging off the questions or putting the emphasis on looks and the outer package, but the inside, the IMPORTANT part, and teaching your kids how to take care of themselves.

    you’re definitely a rockstar sweets. xo

  34. I think showing your daughter that because of poor eating choices, you will need a “kickstart” to loose some weight so that healthy eating can last the rest of your life and you can be healthy, is a powerful, positive message.

    I’m going to have to look into this 17 day diet. I could use a little kickstart (or a BIG one!) myself.

  35. totally think you’re handling it the right way. i agree though that the word diet and what that might mean to them might be a challenge, however having open discussions about how to change from bad habits to good — and that it’s not just one or the other — is so important. a good reminder… i have a nearly 2 year old! thanks for stopping by my blog today, too. congrats on your success so far with your new ‘lifestyle,’ btw! :)

  36. wow – 18 lbs in one month? I’d love to hear more about this diet.

    I don’t have children yet, but I agree with others who have said that you’re handling it the right way. You’re showing your daughters the importance of eating healthy. For most of us, who have put that off for waaayyy too long, it starts off as a diet.

    Stopping by from PYHO! :)

  37. Galit you look wonderful. You have a smile on your face and spark in your eye.

    I love your transparency, always have. If you don’t know how to handle a situation you say, “hey I’m working on it.” Love that about you, not afraid to admit you’re not perfect.

    I believe you are affirming good health and being honest about past unhealthy issues. Awesome parenting!

  38. I can see why you would be a bit silenced by those questions, but it sounds to me like you already have a very good sense of what you’re teaching them. I also think that talking about it as “eating healthfully” versus “dieting” may feel better. The first has such a positive connotation while the second doesn’t, even though in practice what you’re doing is the same. Good luck with your goal!

  39. I want to add two things to this discussion:

    First of all, you are doing nothing wrong by instilling the concept of good choices into the routine of all three of your children. I believe that the fact that your daughter is asking whether or not ice cream is part of a healthy diet is a good thing. And her sister’s answer is realistic. It’s information. And when you then model for them that it can be a “treat” as part of a balanced/moderate lifestyle, the lesson will be even better.

    Second (and more broadly), people will always look for ways to question the parenting of others. It makes them feel better about their own insecurities. My husband and I are not overweight, but our son (speaking of gender and diet issues) has struggled with weight/height percentiles since he was five. He began to display an unhealthy spread…like 20% height, 95+% weight. It was the pediatrician (NOT our vanity/ego) who impelled us to watch his “diet” and exercise (his overall fitness) because his BMI put him at risk for other health issues. Still, our friends and family would roll their eyes when we’d try to intervene with his “choices” – they accused us of passing weight intolerance onto him.

    WHAT? He is my child. I would do anything for him. I want only what’s best for him. No one else lies awake at night questioning the direction of my parenting. He is now 14 and healthy and confident (I hope I hope I hope) and I’m sure there are those in my life who think he would’ve “grown into his size” if we’d just left him alone. But did I do him harm by suggesting healthy eating and a moving body? I can’t believe I did. And surely, my intentions have to count for something, too.

    So don’t allow the naysayers and doubters to bring you down. On ANY point of your mothering.

    Just the fact that you ask questions? That you examine your behavior for success and/or failure?
    Puts you several steps ahead of anyone who is completely confident that everything he/she does is perfect.

    We’re all just doing our best…

    So hooray for those lost pounds and sorry for blogging in your comments!
    XOXO

  40. Congratulations on the weight loss!! I’m going to have to check it out!

    I think you are doing a wonderful job. You aren’t using negative words and you are explaining to your girls about nutrition! Not bad, not bad at all!!

  41. You are very thoughtful about your approach to body image with your girls, and I think that’s great! I want my daughter to understand that healthy, active, and happy are more important than “ideal,” “thin,” and other words that are tangled up with female body image issues. Talking and teaching about food and healthy choices is important part of learning. I hope I can manage to convey this with sensitivity and thoughtfulness as well when the time comes.

  42. Overheard in the grocery store, recently:

    Mommy was picking up a few cans of a meal-replacement drink. (I won’t comment about those specifically, although they might be worthy of a rant.)

    Little girl about 6 years old: “Mommy? What’s that? Is that the stuff that makes you skinny?”
    “Well, it’s supposed to help me lose some weight, yes.”
    “But you’re pretty.”
    “Thank you! I think I’m pretty, too. But you know how when we were behind that big truck going up the hill this morning? And how slow he went because he had so much in his trailer? It’s like that. There isn’t anything wrong with the truck or the trailer, but it can go faster if it isn’t carrying so much weight. I want to be able to go faster.”

    That right there was one eloquent answer. No condemnation. No self-loathing. Just simple physics.

    • wow. that’s a pretty cool and quick explanation. and yeah, no condemnation or saying “because i’m fat”.

  43. This is a fantastic post, not only inspirational and honest, but well thought out and defended with undeniable truth. Way to go girl. :)

  44. First, congrats on doing so well. I know we talked a little about this in the spring and I’m so happy for you because I understand just how hard it is to change habits and to lose weight. I think what you’re doing is right on – explaining to them why you’re changing your ways, talking about food, etc. You’re showing them a healthier options path. In my opinion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Keep up this journey – it’s tough but so very rewarding!

  45. You know your daughters best and only you know what message is right for them… and it sounds like you are doing a great job! Good for you!

  46. I think this is a fantastic approach. I often worry about how Chessa will pick up my habits. My frustration with appearances some days, my affection for Oreos on others. That you are being direct and honest with them is giving them a better understanding of nutrition and healthy living, not that eating lettuce = skinny = good. You know? Good work, lady.

  47. I’m right there with you on the messages we send our girls. My 9yo is now starting to say things like, “I don’t want to get fat.” And fat is a FOUR letter word in this house, so I know in large part it’s coming from society itself.

    I say to her, “fat or thin isn’t how we need to think about it. It’s healthy or not healthy and that’s the important way to look.” I just HOPE it’s getting through, you know?

  48. Wow! What a great opportunity to teach your daughters about healthy living and the right way to change something about themselves. You are so great in being honest and truthful with them! Great post! Let the strangers talk–they are going to do it anyways. Just be confident in what your doing for your girls. New follower! :)

  49. I think you’re teaching your daughters about healthy eating and you are clearly reaping the benefits. It’s never too early to teach healthy habits and that’s a great example to set.

  50. HUGE congrats to you, and yes, you are glowing there with health and joy and happiness.
    Now come and live with me for awhile and get me set with this … i struggle with this.
    i worry constantly about my girls and for the first time in my life i have gained weight and have no life skills on making it right because i never dealt with really considering a diet before … so instead i lament the weight gain verbally often, in front of my kids, yes, in front of my girls … ack!

  51. Congratulations! A wonderful accomplishment. And I think you’re doing it just right – focusing on the health aspect and good choices rather than just dieting to lose weight.

  52. I love how you are handling it! I think that there are some aspects of dieting that can be harmful to young girls, but I love your approach on making it positive! The right choices and being informed about nutrition and not about the way you look. I admire you for it!

  53. It sounds like you are being very clear about body image and the healthy reasons for which you are ‘dieting’ – which is a stinky word, by the way. We should just call it ‘eating well’. The other message that you are sending to your girls is that YOU matter. They see you taking care of yourself and they will want to do the same. Nothing wrong with that!

  54. I struggle with this too Galit.
    My mother dieted on and off my whole life, she picked at her image in the mirror and never felt thin enough. Even now, at 61 and more fit than she’s ever been she is not happy. This affected my self image.
    I have just now, after years of yo yo dieting been dedicated to Weight Watchers for just under a year.
    I am successful in losing a lot of weight and am still going.
    I am going to teach my daughter about smart choices and am a lot smarter in my own and my families choices.
    BUT I still have image issues. And I find myself making comments about my body that I have to watch.
    It is a fine balance and I think because you are aware of it you will raise your daughter with the perfect amount of body awareness.
    Great job Galit.

  55. It’s really interesting to read this because I’m planning to write a similar post. I’m not on a diet necessarily but I do eat rather…oddly. I think that in the long run your girls will remember their mother is putting her health first and that’s all they’ll recall.

    And kudos to you Galit for being such a wonderful and aware mother.

  56. What a wonderful post. I think you are instilling so many valuable lessons. They’ll not only learn about the importance of caring for their bodies but also about failure and learning from mistakes. You are doing a beautiful thing!

  57. This is a very brave post. No matter how adults choose to live their lives, children will pick it up. It’s wonderful you talk about it openly rather then leave them with silent confusion. You are also giving them a female role model who can explain her actions and choices and THAT is powerful.

  58. I don’t think that following plans for eating is – generally speaking – a healthy way to eat or to teach eating. Your girls may be getting the message from your lips that they’re beautiful and their bodies are perfect, but they’re *seeing* something else, and it’s obviously becoming woven into the fabric of their lives.

    I’m glad you’re losing weight, since you want to, Galit, but I don’t think there is any good way to diet in front of children, except by providing healthful food for the entire family and watching portion sizes. We can talk about foods that give us energy and foods that are treats without turning it into “this is part of my diet” and “this is not part of my diet.”

    For the record, I feel similarly about restricting sugar and other such things and being vocal about it; I don’t think it teaches children to have a healthy relationship with those certain ingredients you’re trying to avoid, and it will backfire in the long run.

  59. I can’t add a thing to these brilliant comments. They say it all. Just this: I’m proud of you, and thrilled for your daughters. This is how it’s done.

  60. It’s a hard line to walk. I know. I am where you are. But I’ve started working with a trainer and my girls see that and NOW they say they have to work out every day. I was conflicted about this but ultimately,I am teaching them a good habit, right?
    I hate the word diet with everything I am. I try to reiterate to my daughters ( as you do) that I am making healthy choices to get healthy. I try no to make it about getting thin because of all the damage that that theory has done to me.
    I am proud of you.You go girl. I have only lost 3 lbs in the past 3 wks but almost 6 inches. I am a little envious of your 18 lbs. That is awesome.

  61. I think it’s a wonderful thing to teach your children – especially daughters – how important it is to eat healthy. When my daughter asks about my diet, I am very matter of fact about it; I ate a bunch of junk food and now I need to eat healthy to get rid of the excess weight. She is 13, almost 14, and dealing with weight issues herself. It’s a struggle!

  62. This is such a hard topic for me because I fought against body image for so long. I loved/hated myself. I loved that I defied the social norm, hated how I felt and yes, looked. It wasn’t a measurement against of the “great image”. More of what I thought I should look like, not what anyone else thinks I should look like. So when I started losing weight it scared me. I was conforming. I was doing what society wanted me to do. I rebelled agaist it, over and over with cupcakes yummy. lol. I would lose weight then gain weight. Then I really got into it. How could all of this exercise and eating healthy feel so good. I went through the terrible stage of trying to make everyone else do “it” because I felt good. I realized that I suck, then went on to explain why I was doing it. I explained to my children what the food did to my body and why I was eating an apple instead of ice cream and what it does in the body. Now the kids pick something up and they will explain what it does in the body. It is so wonderful.

  63. What a great post. It’s such a hard thing when body image is so hard and the media focuses on it to the extreme. I diet in front of my children, but I’m not sure I call it dieting. They know I go to the gym daily, if I can. They know that my husband and I talk about our food choices. I suppose I hope that they will grow up with a healthy attitude towards both food and body by watching parents attempt to be healthy, even if we aren’t always successful.

  64. Since one of my daughters expressed concern just this morning that people would think the sweater she had on made her look “fat” (her word), this really hits home with me.

    I think you are doing the best you can and the talk about bad vs. good choices is AWESOME, as well as swaps, etc….you are educating them.

    It’s a fine line we moms walk with our daughters. I am stunned sometimes by the things they say—and blame myself, the media (all the tv I let them watch) and the kids at school. Le sigh. I don’t have an answer. But I don’t think yuou are doing anything wrong, Galit. You are taking care of yourself, and indirectly that is also taking care of your family.

    LOVE YOU!
    xoxoxo

  65. That is great to talk about “dieting” in a healthy way at home as they are bound to hear about it at school. Best to hear the correct way first and maybe they can then educate their friends and not fall into the traps that society lays out.

  66. I just wrote about this same topic today! I am hiding my diet – but I am teaching both my kids (a son and a daughter) about healthy eating habits, and why they can’t have too much of the treats.

  67. I have a 4 year old boy and 19 week old girl, and I am doing Weight Watchers. I am careful what I say around my boy, just as I would my girl, because boys suffer self image issues just as much as girls. Plus, he will be friends with girls, around girls, in relationships with girls etc., so he needs a good mindset. I just say I am trying to eat healthy, to make my body strong. I try very hard not to say “fat or thin or weight” – just HEALTHY. Sometimes, I have messed up, and said something to my husband that got overheard…like, “ugh, I need lose this weight” – (oops). When that has happened I try to remind my son about how big my tummy was when I was pregnant with his little sister, and explain that I am working hard to get my tummy small again to be healthy. It is definitely a sticky issue, and will continue to be as my girl gets older. I seem to fluctuate in weight a lot – and I want my daughter to know that it’s ok, her value as a person has nothing to do with size. But I also want my children to make better choices than I sometimes do, and focus on health. Ugh, this is hard!

  68. As a daughter with a weight-obsessed mother, I grew up being put on all the diets mom was on to a degree. When I was 12, she put me on Weight Watchers and I recall being thrilled about fitting into 29″ Guess jeans. Fast forward to my college and beyond years (I’m now 35) and I realize that I have many unhealthy associations with food and dieting. I went to a nutritionist and after discussing my past decisions about food, she told me that I have problems that likely stemmed from being forced to diet and worry about my weight for the majority of my life. She also informed me that almost all her “model thin” clients were in terrible health whereas I, on the obese side, was in perfect health. In college I was anorexic, took diet pills, and killed myself to lose weight for this event or that… Then I met my husband who absolutely adores all my fat and curves and I quit dieting. Sure, I could stand to lose weight (quite a bit actually) but now I’m focusing on making myself healthy so I will be around for my future children.

    Kudos for not outright telling your girls about dieting, weight, being thin, etc. Let them enjoy their lives and build their self-esteem around things not related to body image and being thin. There is so much more to life then being thin.

  69. I am impressed with both the way you’re handling the talk of diet, conveying a message of healthy eating habits and exercise vs. poor food choices/habits, and the weight loss. congrats on finding the best tool to help you change your habits and form new, healthier ones. i think your girls will learn a positive message about taking care of themselves, making healthy food choices, and not negatives.

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