Parenting Lessons: Step One: Overcoming Your Fears of Fat


Researchers who examined the heights and weights of 854 people found that fat infants (those under age three) were no more likely to be fat adults than were babies of normal weight.

So what can you do to allay your fears, and communicate love and acceptance for your daughter? Telling yourself to not think about it is not the answer. You may need emotional closure on the subject. Any overreactions to your daughter’s body could be a sign that she’s putting you in touch with hurtful childhood experiences. For this reason, you may want to explore your early memories, which may include a parent's rejection, a family drama that may have centered on you, or a parent or sibling's weight. The most effective methods for tapping into your unconscious is to write a letter that you will not send, addressing it first to one parent and then to the other. Your letter can begin "Dear Mom, I find that I'm very critical of (your daughter's name)'s body, and this may be connected to my childhood experiences." Don't think about what you want to write, just let it rip! Your unconscious mind will drive you to keep writing and fill in some missing blanks. If none of your memories or emotions surface the first time, keep trying. Once you do identify hurtful events, images, feelings, spend some time writing about them, and you should feel a sense of relief and, eventually, become more accepting of your daughter's body.

As you write your letter and think about past events, feel comforted knowing that you aren't alone.


Next Step: Tune in to learn how to accept and embrace your own body (finally and for good!) so that you can model body-love for your daughter.

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