Wednesday, February 26, 2014

strong and healthy

I had a conversation with my 8 year old daughter the other day.  It was something I knew I was trying to teach her through example, but really hadn't had an "out loud" conversation with her about.

We chatted about our bodies and how they are God's temple.  He asks that we take care of the temples he has given us.  Immediately she caught on: "That's why you go to CrossFiit, right, Mom?" 

As our conversation continued, I realized that she truly was learning through my example.  We discussed how it wasn't the size or shape of our body that mattered, but keeping it healthy through what we eat and making it strong through exercise.  

I mentioned that many girls want to be skinny because that's what the world thinks is beautiful.  She wrinkled her nose at me as if that were a silly idea.  I told her that many people thought I was skinny and she immediately said, "I don't think you're skinny, Mom!"  (Which was followed quickly by my husband's chuckle!) 

And that's when it really hit me: my daughter has not been trained to think that being skinny is the cat's meow (I honestly cannot come up with a better phrase than that.)  Through all our reprimands of eating healthier food and keeping active and by setting the example of exercising regularly and eating healthier foods in front of our kids, she is catching on: being healthy and strong is more important than being skinny. 

Now I will admit that she has not been exposed to the magazines or advertisements with thin beautiful girls.  It's not really in our house.  And perhaps it will be something that comes up later in her teen years.  But I can hope that with this seed that has been planted, we can help her see the value in caring for our bodies, instead of attaining the world's view of beauty.

As for true beauty, that comes from inside: another lesson that we continually teach our girl, but that will fill up another blog post later on...


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