future former fatties

Parent and Children Obesity

We Owe It To Our Children To Love Our Self First

Future Former Fatty

As an obese woman who has spent most of her adult life trying to lose weight, and as a parent of four children, three of whom struggle with their weight, I say to you that we, you and I, owe it to our children to love our self first. It is because we love our children so deeply and only want the best for them that it is exceedingly important to teach them that we must learn to love our self first as they should learn to do the same.

What does that mean, to love you first? I am not talking about a selfish and conceited love. I am talking about an honor bound love. It is the kind of love that allows us to be the best we can be for our self so we can be better to those we love. It is the kind of love that teaches our children how to love themselves so well that they keep themselves healthy physically and mentally.

It is the kind of love that encourages us to set boundaries against people, situations, and things that do not serve us well. It is a self-respectful love, and it is a nurturing love. It is a love that is considerate and kind to us.

In having this type of self-love, we lead by example, instrumental in teaching our children how to love themselves in this same way. It builds within them a sense of self they can take pride in, that they can pass it forward, teaching others to do the same simply by leading by example. It is a character building love, and it teaches the value in having self-discipline.

It is a very unselfish love because it comes from a place within that has no ego, no vanity. Instead, this love creates beauty from within which ultimately leads to beauty on the outside. The outside beauty shines from the confidence derived by this self-love. And this love fills our heart and minds and our very soul with a gratefulness of knowing our health is so good that it can rejoice in the beauty the day may bring.

This is the love we need to teach our children. We owe it to them. They deserve this type of love and require this love as well.

When we are overweight, and when we do not take care of our bodies, not only does our bodies, our health suffer, but also our mind suffers. We are so focused on the necessity to do better especially when we are not doing so, that not only are we not at our best as a parent, but our children suffer as well. If we are out of control in our eating, our children will learn to be out of control with their eating. When we turn to food in an addictive manner, binge eating, using this method to cope instead of facing and dealing with whatever it is that is making us feel bad, this is what we teach our children.

Our children deserve better. They want to be the best they can be, and it is up to us to educate them. We have to teach our kids the value in putting their health first.

How do we teach them if we have not been a good example thus far? And what if we are struggling to take care of our own health? Is it ever okay to tell our kids “Just because I don’t take care of my health, or my weight, and I don’t exercise, you should take care of yourself regardless of what I do”? No, it is not.

I watched my beautiful incredible kids grow up and struggle with their weight because they learned their bad eating habits from me. I was too busy doing everything I could to give them a good life, be there for them, volunteer in their schools and with their after school activities that I didn’t realize I was failing in the area of teaching healthy eating habits and the necessity and importance of taking care of our self first.

I couldn’t see it because I was in denial. I cooked healthy meals, but I did not teach portion control. I kept sugary snacks in the house and used them as rewards instead of finding other rewards far more healthy and much more gratifying. In the situation, I didn’t realize I wasn’t doing my best at the mom job I loved so much, and not out of a lack of wanting to do my best, but more from a wrong mindset.

I thought if I put everyone else first, then it meant I loved him or her more. What I failed to realize and understand that if I had learned the importance of loving myself more, and if I took better care of myself, my children would not only know that I loved them, but they would know how to love themselves in the right way.

It is not selfish to take care of our self first. It is loving to do so, and it teaches our children that they are not selfish if they take care of their health first. It is comes down to understanding that without our health, nothing else matters. We fail to be of good use to anyone, and instead, we burden the very people we love so much. Worse, without our health, we may not be around to teach our children anything. We owe it to our children to love our self first.

Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.