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Do YOU have a good body image?
Haylen_WebMD_Staff posted:
I found this article very interesting! A study explored how much time is spent starring at the models in glossy fashion or fitness magazines. The results reflected positive (or negative) body images.

Do YOU have a good image of your body or are you critical of your own size and shape?

What are ways parents can try to raise kids with not only a healthy body, but a healthy body image?

nursingbug responded:
That is a good question. I am overweight, but I have lost 80 lbs, and feel good about my progress, although I know I have a way to go. I was overweight from middle school on, and I managed to develop good self-esteem despite this. I think one of the reasons this happened to me was I was active in sports, and my mother was as well, and was my softball coach. She showed me that a woman was more than what she looked like in this way. Even though I was heavy, I was proud of my strength and power- I was a pretty good hitter.
I hope I can pass that on to my daughter. Being active in sports, especially for girls, is very important in my opinion. I never met a girl who was active in sports and had a bad body image.
eliguns841984 responded:
This is something that I worry about quite a bit, actually and I would love to hear suggestions on how to teach kids to have a healthy body image. As I have stated previously, I have struggled with obesity for quite some time. I started getting chubby around puberty and by the time I was 24 I was 204lbs even after losing all of the weight from my first baby, and I'm only 5'3". DH was severely overweight even as a small child. DH started healthy eating and exercise when he was in college and lost a lot of weight. He is still heavy but really muscular and doesn't look fat in any way except that he still has fat deposits in front of his pectorals. He is SO self conscious about it to the point that he only wears a few specific shirts and suffers from social anxiety, but he doesn't like the idea of having a major surgery to correct it. Two years ago, I went on a medically supervised diet and lost 80lbs, and currently maintain my weight at 125-129lbs. Even though everyone still tells me how great I look, I see flub everywhere when I look in the mirror and analyze every tiny detail of every item of clothing I put on. If I am on the higher end of my weight range or if I see 130 on the scale, I freak out and I swear I FEEL fat and see more bulges under my clothes.

Obviously, we do NOT have healthy body images and are really hoping not to pass this on to our sons.
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to eliguns841984's response:
Eliguns, congratulations on your weight loss and maintenance! Really amazing. Have you spoken with the doctor who supervised your weight loss about body image? I think awareness is the first step! I would be interested to hear what they have to say about adjusting your feelings internally.

I was raised by parents critical of weight and concerned with looks. When I look back at photos, I'm amazed by the contrast between how I felt (huge) and how I actually looked (normal hight/weight).

With two daughters, building a healthy body image is a priority. For now (they are 2 & 6), I make sure to comment positively when they eat well and are active. I also go out of my way NOT to criticize my looks or size.

Anyone else have views on this?

Treebell replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
I, too, am always surprised when I look at childhood pictures of myself. I remember that I used to wear baggy clothes b/c I always felt fat, but looking back, I was a normal weight. I wish now that I hadn't been so hard on myself.

Unfortunately, I haven't outgrown the habit. I am my worst critic and feel overweight. However, I never voice these concerns out loud at home. I don't want my kids to go through what I went through as a child (my 5-year-old is already too aware of weight issues), so I make sure to praise them when they work hard at an activity (my girls are involved in dance) or on a cute outfit they pick out. We are active as a family, which I think helps, too. My 5-year-old's weight obsession started with a comment made by a boy in school. My 11-year-old daughter has never voiced a concern with her own weight.

I think we are doing okay at home, but I still wish I could squash the negativity in my own head.

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