For most of my life, I have struggled with feeling good about my body, and I know I'm far from alone. Once you have a little girl, though, it becomes so important to find ways to be body positive for your daughter. I mean, the last thing any mother wants is to model hating your own body to your child, right? Right, but easier said than done.
My own mother was amazing in so many ways, but she was constantly unhappy with her body. From as early as I can remember, she was dieting, and while I didn't think twice about it growing up, looking back now, I can see how it shaped my own feelings of inadequacy. I basically dieted and binged for all of high school, well into adulthood. I'm not saying that that was a direct result of what my mother did or did not teach me (clearly, so many of the messages about body image that are cast onto young women are completely out of their parents' control), but my experience has certainly informed how my think about raising my own daughter.
Once I finally got to a good place, where exercise and eating healthy weren't goals aimed at losing weight but instead feeling good (and those were balanced with times where I indulged, guilt-free), it was amazing. Being pregnant — and subsequently learning to love my body again afterward — has been a challenging journey for me, but I refuse to let it influence my four-year-old daughter, or my teenaged stepdaughter. They deserve to believe that their worth doesn't come from a number on a scale or a size of clothing you can fit into.