Thursday, May 31, 2012

Healthy Inspirations for My 3 Daughters

Although I am a bit of a Pinterest addict, there is a trend on there that is driving me batty... people in my feed who post "inspiration" photos like this:

And actually title them, "inspiration".  News flash: most people I interact with on any social media are over 30 years old and have birthed children... you will NOT EVER look like this. Nor should you be inspired to. Your body will more likely look something like this:

And this is beautiful. Soft curves. Healthy woman shape. And this is inspiring. If you are a momma over 30 and you look like those first 2 photos... it tells me one of two things, you are the 1% of the population with a crazy metabolism and genetics of a Grecian goddess... or B) you spend so much time working out and stressing over weight that you are missing out on life and time with your family.

It also makes me wonder, what message do you think you are sending your children if you are that enamored with thinspiration? I think that if I looked like Kate Moss, my 3 daughters would feel as if they needed to reach that standard as well... especially as they move into puberty and are even more conscious of their bodies. And, if most American mothers work 8-10 hours per day, this allows them about 4 hours per day with your children. What are you telling those children if you dedicate half of that time to working out, planning your zero calorie meals or researching ways to lose even more weight?

As a counterpoint, however, I do not think it is ok that 35% of Americans are obese. I also think that this is the wrong message to send. As mothers, we can not use the excuse, "I just have not lost the weight after my baby yet" when the 'baby' is 6 years old.  We need to be healthy. Healthy for ourselves and to set the example for our children. Now for some people healthy could be 90 pounds... but more likely you can be 130 pounds and still be fit. And you can be fit in a fun, natural way.

I like to involve my children in my fitness routine. I might go outside and hula hoop for exercise, and invite all 3 girls to join me. We are then getting exercise, spending time together and starting healthy habits.

I also do leave my house 2-3 times per week to exercise for an hour. I like to Zumba and to circuit train at a studio close to my house. And I talk to the girls about it. I share how much fun I have dancing in the Zumba class. I discuss how much better I feel after circuit training. How much energy I have, how strong I feel (after I whine about how freaking sore I am and I can't even walk up my stairs!) But they get the message that I am working out for fun and health. I NEVER discuss any weight loss with them or weigh myself or anything like that.

As with everything, I believe there is a happy medium. Set realistic goals,  (which includes not inundating my Pinterest feed with your 20-year-old supermodel bodies!) eat healthy, get active (and include your children) and make it a family affair. 

My recent inspiration has been these two mommas:

Kam & Liz have taken up running and are completing half marathons already! Now that inspires me. 

Do you have any healthy inspirations to share?

{Sorry if you find this a rant... as a mother of 3 girls, I recognize that I can be oversensitive to issues like these. But I feel like some parents are not sensitive enough and possibly just do not get it.}


  1. Great post!! I totally agree with you on so many points. Kameron and Liz are total inspirations to me too!!

  2. I LOVE this post. Those Pinterest repins bother the heck out of me, because 75% of them are not about how to be healthy of feel good in your skin, they are about eating disorder ideals and unhealthy obsessing. And if mothers (and 75% or more of the people I follow on Pinterest are mothers) allow themselves to obsess like that over their own bodies, how can they model health and happiness to their children?

    Great post. :)

  3. You took the words right out of my thoughts. : ) Whole heartedly agree there needs to be a balance. Thinspiration can take a hike!

  4. I love your post.

  5. Aww thanks! I would never aspire to be that ridiculously thin! I just want to be healthy and set a good example for my kids. Feeling good about myself is also a big factor. I don't know why people think they need to be anorexic to look good! Oh and I love Zumba!

  6. Absolutely. I don't follow fitness or thinspiration boards for this reason. (some fitness boards are probably fine but I find them to be obsessive at times and occasionally they are just a front for thinspiration)
    I'm obese. I want to be healthier but haven't figured out what works for me yet and of course, it's far more difficult now that I've allowed my body to get to this point. I love hiking and dancing and my husband and I are interested in mountain biking. However, every time I've dived into something physical, I get injured. Part of that is probably the weight, part of it is genetics (slippery joints). It's discouraging.
    You've inspired me to start a board of people who inspire me, maybe we can use it to counteract the boards full of bodies that inspire people.

  7. Oh how I love this post. And thank you so much, I'm a little teary over your kind words - it shocks me to think that I would be an inspiration.

  8. I love this post!! As a mom of 4 I will never, ever look like those first pictures. Nor do I want to. But I don't want to look like I'm about to birth #5 either. :) I agree Kam and Liz are awesome! Totally pinning this post to my Project 10 board!!

  9. This is a really great post. I couldn't agree with you more as someone who struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 9 years before finding freedom, I think it's imperative that there be positive examples to young girls (and grown women) that promote realistic eating and exercise habits. I'm trying to do that by sharing my story on my blog. I have a little girl now who is 2.5 and I want her to grow up with out the self-imposed pressure to be thin that I put on myself as a teenager. We need more people to stand up for what is right, thanks for doing that!