I was a size 5 when I was 29, and I was unhappy with my body. I am in my early forties now and definitely not a size five, and I still struggle with my body image. When I was young I worried about the size of my chest and how skinny I was. Now I despair about how much weight I have gained and that I don’t have the body I once had. But then I remind myself that I have had four children. I have lived over forty years and if I want to lose weight I can do it by making healthy choices and exercising. Dieting does not have to be a part of my life.
Society puts huge pressure on us to have the perfect body. Magazines, television, social media and the internet all focus on an idea of beauty and perfection that is unattainable for most of us. For young girls, it creates expectations that they can’t live up to.
Multi-Grain Cheerios recognized this and decided to launch a campaign to drive attention and awareness around these unhealthy body images reaching kids across Canada. So far more than 16,000 Canadians have showed their support by signing our online petition to expose Dietainment. As part of the commitment to stop Dietainment and educate Canadians, Multi-Grain Cheerios has resources online to enable parents to continue the fight against this harmful content.
The first step is to model the right behaviour to my daughter. No more comments about my weight. No fad diets, and no heavy exercise routines. I will show her that I can be active by playing with her and the other kids. I can walk the dog, go swimming, take a hike or go for a bike ride to show her how to live an active lifestyle. We can enjoy delicious food without worrying about calorie content, by just making healthy choices. There is no place for fad diets in our lives.
My daughter is very thin and probably isn’t worrying about being overweight at all, but she has had to deal with comments about how skinny she is. I want her to love herself without worrying about her waist size, so it is important that she realizes her value has nothing to do with her clothing size. Whether she remains super slim or gains weight, she is the same amazing creative and intelligent girl that she is today, and that is all that matters. I also want to make sure that she isn’t judging anyone else based on their size.
To help me get this important message across to my daughter, I took her to www.
worldwithoutdieting.ca to see samples of Dietainment content and videos of children speaking about the impact it has had on them. She seemed to connect with some of the children in the videos and I think it’s important to keep the conversation going about body image. We will be discussing it a lot over the next few years, and I think starting early will help us make an impact.