No, not that ‘f’ word. I mean ‘fat’.
Other vocabulary that I want my daughters to wait as long as possible to learn, and even then they won’t come from me, are ‘diet’, ‘lose weight’ or any of the other words that are far more common than the ones I can’t wait to teach them: ‘health’, ‘strength’, ‘kindness’. I’ve got my work cut out!
We are so obsessed with not being fat or being skinny, dieting and losing weight, that we completely forget about the real, important things in life. I hope I can raise my daughters to grow without guilt attached to food – I know this will be hard; even food that’s nutritious is often labelled as ‘guilt-free’ – why label it at all then, surely it is just ‘food’ then?
I want my daughters to enjoy food without obsessing over calories, whether it will make them fat, or whether they should be feeling guilty about eating it. It took me 30 years to learn how to do that, and although I do have moments of overindulging anxiety, generally I now enjoy food for what it is.
I hope I can teach my daughters well about nutrition; that if they eat real food most of the time then it will help them to thrive and be strong, physically and mentally.
Currently I am a stay at home mum so my task is pretty easy – I can cook them their three meals a day and know they are getting the nutrition they need. One day soon though, they will go into the big, wide world, and they will inevitably end up with all nature of ‘food’ as part of their diet. It’s going to be really important that they can learn how to handle anything; chocolate, McDonald’s, cakes, ice cream included, as part of their diet, without guilt and without fear of getting fat.
I hope they can learn to love themselves, to focus on their strengths and how their body feels; and I hope I can lead the way – I’m still working on it! So, although it can be hard at times, the words ‘fat’, ‘diet (verb)’ and ‘lose weight’ are banished in our house!