Parenting Lessons: Step Two: Learning self-love so that you can model it

In the last step, you explored and tried to alleviate your own fears of baby fat and your anxiety about possibly raising an overweight child. During this step, you'll again be examining your own attitudes, specifically your love of your own body, or lack thereof. Many of our attitudes about our bodies were learned from our mothers. And as we consider the legacy we want to pass on to our daughters, it is time for us to change the way we respond to our own bodies. As mothers, if we are to help our daughters feel peaceful about their bodies, we must model for them our own self-affirmation. How can we teach girls to love their bodies if we haven't learned to love our own?

The next time someone gives you a compliment, rather than objecting - "No, I'm so fat" - you can take a deep breath and feel the kindness of the words all throughout your body.

To get off to a good start, if you have engaged in any put-downs of your own body, decide right now to end this self-destructive behavior. You know what we mean. No more obsessively weighing yourself on the bathroom scale (weekly is fine, but be sure to do away with any groans or self-admonitions). Also put an end to the complaints such as, "I'm so flat chested" or "I hate my legs." When you catch yourself slipping, make a correction by saying something positive about the body part in question, such as, "I'm so grateful that my legs got me through that crowded store." It may sound false at first, but after about thirty days (time for reprogramming your subconscious) you will discover that you are more likely to talk about yourself in a more affirming way. This also means that the next time someone gives you a compliment, rather than objecting - "No, I'm so fat" - you can take a deep breath and feel the kindness of the words all throughout your body.

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