Body Disatisfaction At 11

My daughter is the most intuitive eater I know.  Watching her has taught me so much about the “right” way to eat so it worries me seeing her grow up in a world of food rules & airbrushed images of unrealistic bodies.  I’ve been amazed that at 11 years old my daughter has had to defend her food choices & how that affects her image of herself.  She was eating bacon at a recent sleepover & her girlfriend told her she was lucky she could eat bacon.  The girlfriend explained that she didn’t eat bacon because it would make her fat.  I caught my daughter looking at her stomach in the mirror later worrying maybe she shouldn’t eat bacon either.  It is crazy that she could ever have a moment of dissatisfaction with herself, she’s completely perfect.  Yet when you compare real life to airbrushed images, we all feel we fall at least a little short, and as much as I’d love for her never to be exposed to it, it’s impossible to avoid.

I talked to my daughter about what happens when you call food bad.  That it makes us want it even more & that when we give in & finally have it, a lot of us overdo it believing that soon we won’t be able to have it anymore.  That food is just food & no “bad” food can make us gain weight anymore than any “good” food can make us lose weight.  That listening to our body & eating when we are hungry & stopping when we are satisfied will keep us happy & healthy.  That we should eat nutritious foods that fuel our bodies but always make room for the fun foods that fuel our souls.

I hope that she always stays the intuitive eater that she is & that she never finds herself avoiding fat, carbs, dairy, gluten, meat, or anything else with hopes of controlling her weight.  I hope she always sees herself as I do, beautiful both inside & out.

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