Parenting Blog

How To Raise Daughters To Love Their Bodies When You Hate Yours

I finish pissing and step up onto the digital scale for the 3rd time today, with more eagerness than the occasion warrants.

There are water stains on the reflective black surface from the kids swinging their wet hands over to reach the hand towel after washing up. Every once in a while I’ll bend down with a damp washcloth to polish it up, but it’s been some time and tonight I don’t care nearly enough to risk a tweak in my lower back to have a spotless LED screen tell me what I don’t want to know but can’t help but ask again.

It’s 9:44pm.

Cool, four tenths of a pound lighter than after lunch but shit, .7 lbs heavier than when I woke.

None of that adds up.

I hiked 5 miles today. I was at the gym last night. I had nothing more than a protein bar in the morning and lunch was hummus with chips, grapes, celery and some peanuts. What am I doing wrong. What am I doing.

How To Raise Daughters To Love Their Bodies When You Hate Yours

This is senseless, these figures framing my figure with two sides of a decimal point, but the numbers waste no time affecting my mood.

I stand sideways in front of the bathroom mirror, my clammy bare feet on the yellow and white zigzag striped rug, a grey Toyota Racing t-shirt tucked into red gym shorts. This shirt didn’t fit a few years ago but that’s of little consolation right now.

I’m convinced, or I have convinced myself, if those are indeed different, that I look so much fatter than I did a couple of weeks ago and far bigger than this morning in this same mirror but with natural light coming through the window which for the first time in over ten years has a curtain in front of it.

My eyes can’t be trusted, I tell myself, but there are numbers ready to validate whatever it is I want to have proved. I don’t know what to believe anymore.

How To Raise Daughters To Love Their Bodies When You Hate Yours

I’m raising two girls who love ginger snap cookies, ice cream, and making a mess in the kitchen baking everything that counts salted butter and brown sugar as key ingredients.

I am raising daughters who love to ride bikes around our neighborhood, wearing helmets and smiles while cutting through the cool air of a weekend morning.

I am raising daughters to love and care for their bodies but I hate mine.

How To Raise Daughters To Love Their Bodies When You Hate Yours

Curiously, I was less troubled by my shape when the scale screamed 300.

Now that it tries to cheer me up with 247.6, 255.1, and 253.8, I’ve grown manic about my stomach, my ability to feel my rib cage when I lie down flat on my back, and my chin, the 2nd one to be specific. Too much time is now spent looking at my profile and my face straight on in the bathroom mirror, searching for undeniable proof that I’m throwing away my last best chance at being psychically fit and long for this life.

How To Raise Daughters To Love Their Bodies When You Hate Yours.

How To Raise Daughters To Love Their Bodies When You Hate Yours

I’m sorry but this isn’t a how-to blog post from a dad who’s figured it out. I’m asking the question here because I’m losing my shit about gaining back the weight I’d lost, about losing the marbles I desperately want to keep.

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4 Comments

  1. I haven’t solved this question yet, either. In fact, I see my kid taking on my own bad habits. Just know that you are not alone and you are worth so much more than whatever tale your mirror and scale are telling you on any given day.

  2. Fake it: make sure they never hear you say unflattering things about yourself. Ever. Everyday make a point of finding at least one positive thing about your body (to yourself or out loud. Positive affirmations are a bit happy clappy but over time you can re-train your sub conscious to be your champion not your enemy. (google poisoned parrot). I grew up hearing a constant stream negativity from my mum about her body and envious comments about other women’s bodies. It is now so ingrained in her (and I) that its almost normal to hate my appearance. I spent my teen years bulimic and my sister anorexic. It really is worth learning to love yourself, (sounds soppy but its true).

  3. I don’t want to sound as if I am preaching, or that I know
    all the answers, or even some, but you have to give yourself
    credit for what you have accomplished. It is no small feat to
    lose the amount of weight you have lost.
    Another thing, stay off the dam scale! It can turn into your
    enemy.
    Good luck going forward!

  4. This is also hard for me 😀 My kids also said they “hate being fat” (while I see nothing wrong with their shape, it’s absolutely normal) although I always say “you will be cuter with a little weigh more”, and never say anything like I want to be thinner before them.

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