Jim and I are very, very careful what we say around the kids about physical appearance and weight. We never say words like "fat" or "diet."
Instead we talk about "health" and "fitness."
I will do everything in my power to make sure my kids have a healthy body as well as a healthy body image. Sometimes Jim and I do a better job than others, but it will always be important to both of us.
The other day we were eating fish stick tacos and I was scanning the barcode to enter the calories into MFP.
"What's a calorie?" asks Gracie. "Is it bad?"
Before I could even start to get my words out, Jim was explaining to the kids that calories are fuel for our body and that we need them to live. I followed up with calories aren't good or bad in themselves, it's about if you eat too little or too many of them.
"Like, if you eat too many almonds, it's not healthy right?" Gracie responds.
She's listening to me. We had that discussion about almonds months ago.
Since school has been out and since I've struggled with eating right the last few weeks, that of course trickled down to the kids.
It's the last day of school - let's have ice cream!
It's so pretty out - let's have ice cream!
You did so great at your recital - let's have ice cream!
I envy my son, because if he isn't hungry he doesn't eat. Even if I put his favorite food in front of him, if he's full, he'll pass.
Gracie takes after me. She loves her sweets and she loves 2nds. I've noticed the more we indulge in the foods I want (see ice cream references above) the more she asks for them.
So after I got my head right last week and was in control again, I decided it was a priority to get my family's food in control again as well.
As the family ate Jim's birthday ice cream at Cold Stone last weekend, I informed them of a new family tradition (Kim, I think I may have gotten this from you.)
Once a week we will have a family treat. We will take turns picking what the treat will be and we will look forward to it all week.
No more "Can we get a rice crispy treat?" when we're at Noodles & Co. No more "Can I have ice cream because it's Tuesday?" No more "Can I get a candy bar at the check out line?"
It's a struggle. I don't know if we're doing everything right, but we are trying. I do know that I will never, ever speak the words "you need to lose a few pounds" to either of my kids. As a child I was told that by different adults in my life and there was no faster way for me to feel like I was not good enough than to be told something like that by someone I looked up to.