I remember it vividly. I was 19, home from college, and in a store dressing room with my mom. I was trying on clothes and nothing was fitting. It was then I realized: I had gained the notorious freshman 15. "Don't worry, you’ll lose it," my mom said. At the time, I remember feeling hurt and pain. I also remember feeling angry at my mom for telling me what I didn't want to hear.
What I didn't know then, but I what I do know now, is that developing positive body image, regardless of your size, is really hard.
As the mother of three daughters, I've always felt compelled to make sure that they develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies. While I knew I would make my own share of mistakes as a mother, I didn't want poor body image or an eating disorder to be one of them. Kids and teens today are constantly bombarded with messages on how to improve their bodies, ways to "look better" and the need to be perfect. Social media has become a parent's nightmare. When I talk with my friends or colleagues, we often commiserate on how challenging it is to parent today. We have to partner with each other and our spouses to make sure the messages our kids are receiving are the right ones.
Here are five ways I hope to encourage healthy body image in my girls: