Setting a good example
Monday, July 21, 2008
I often wonder if I am setting a good example for the children in my life. Unfortunately I don't have any of my own yet. But I do have a four-year-old niece and a two-year-old nephew.
I never discuss my weight loss, food, or exercise with either of them. Or rather, I guess I should say I don't discuss it in FRONT of them. They are both still very young, but my niece is very smart. She picks up on things. And I've read stories about girls as young as six saying they are on "diets."
She's still at the age where running around like crazy is fun, not exercise. Plus she absolutely adores fruits. So I definitely try and encourage those things. Recently though, I thought I might have failed her.
She was over at my house and she likes to look at the pictures I have on my computer. She loves pointing out the people she knows and making new observations of each one. She asked for me to click on one particular picture, so I opened it without thinking about it. It is the middle picture on my sparkpage with my face at 245+ pounds and my face at 165- pounds. She said "Look it's you Auntie Amber! But who's that?" referring to me in the 245+ pic. I explained that was me. To which she replied, "Oh, that's you with your big face and you with your little face! You have big ears!"
I sort of chuckled and quickly moved on to other pictures. She's seen my wedding pictures recently where I am at my heaviest weight, and she knew who I was! I guess she had just never seen two pictures of me right next to one another before.
During that same day I found her standing on my scale. She turned to me and asked "What does this mean? Oh! I know! It means I'm a big girl!" She said this with a giant smile on her face because at four being a "big girl" is a fantastic thing! I smiled and said "yes, you're my big girl!"
I think I'm worrying prematurely, I just don't want to have her go through the things I did as a kid. Technically, we're not really related as she is my best friend's kid. My best friend was super skinny as a child. But I still worry that I'm going to cause her to think about her weight too much. I don't want her to think that she has to be thin to be well liked, while still expressing the benefits of eating healthy foods and playing!