Healthy and Active

2014

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know how, or it sounds too easy (or too hard), or you don't believe it could work for you, there is another way! You and your body deserve it!" Later I wondered if I should have just said it anyway. I know it would have been rude—but what if they were willing to listen? I could have saved them both many more years of pain and unhappiness. But I will not hold back this time. STOP. Take your body back, and treat it with the respect it deserves. Learn how to: How Parents Affect Their Children's Body Image The way you feel about your body affects how your daughter feels about hers—today and into adulthood. So says Dara Chadwick, a jourhealth and wellness. "My mom spent a lot of time cracking jokes about herself and her body," Chadwick says. "So, when I grew up and my body began to look ALTRENDO IMAGES/STOCKBYTE/Thinkstock nalist who writes about • isten to your internal cues of hunger and L satisfaction instead of trying to follow strict or arbitrary rules about your eating. • at what you really love without guilt—instead E of depriving yourself or bingeing. • top yo-yo dieting and choose from all foods S to balance eating for nourishment and eating for enjoyment. • at mindfully to nourish your body, mind and E spirit instead of eating unconsciously or obsessing over every bite of food. • iscover physical activity that you enjoy because D it gives you energy, stress relief and an active metabolism—instead of exercising to punish yourself for eating or to earn the right to eat. • ecome aware of your thoughts, feelings and B actions, and how they affect you instead of judging yourself because you didn't follow a program rigidly. • reate a self-care buffer zone and meet C your needs instead of eating too much or neglecting yourself. like hers, I applied those same criticisms to myself. "As I grew up, I repeated those behaviors. I remember joking once that I'd never buy sweatpants with a word across the behind, because I'd need the large-print edition—and I remember the look on my daughter's face." Chadwick, the author of You'd Be So Pretty If ... : Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own, says you don't have to look like a supermodel to set a healthy body-image example for your daughter. According to Chadwick, your words and actions are more influential than messages from peers and the media. To help your daughter develop a positive body image, Chadwick suggests the following: If you haven't taken action, it's time. Do something to overcome the doubt, fear or inertia that's keeping you stuck. n • Avoid negative talk regarding food, such as com ments like "This is going straight to my thighs." • Learn to say "My hair looks good today" or "I like the way these pants fit" in front of your daughter to subtly send a message. Michelle May, MD, is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. Her interest and expertise stem from her personal struggles with chronic dieting and negative body image as well as years of clinical experience with patients battling with food. Her approach empowers individuals to take charge of their lives. She contributed to TOPS' new lifestyle guide, Real Life: The Hands-on Pounds-off Guide. Find more information at www.amihungry.com. • Let her see you exercise and eat well. • Skip lengthy lectures, but do invite her for a walk with you after dinner or to dance in the living room to your favorite songs. • Ask her to help you pick a recipe from a healthy cookbook or to help make a shopping list. • If you're going to treat yourself to a cookie, enjoy it. That's how you can model a healthy attitude toward food. HEALTHY & ACTIVE 2014 15

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