baby, health

Body Image

I can’t remember a time in my life when I looked in the mirror and thought, damn I look good! I have struggled with weight and body image my entire life. Looking back, I can see times where I was so hard on myself for no reason at all. And there were times that yeah, I could have lost a few pounds…but I was being way too hard on myself.

The thing is, I can’t have body image issues anymore. You guys, I have a daughter. I am terrified of her growing up having the same issues I had. I want her to be proud of her self and her body. I don’t want her to have anxiety about going to a pool party or changing in gym class. I don’t ever want her to stare in the mirror and think she is less just because she doesn’t look exactly like she wants to. But the thing is, how do you raise them with healthy thoughts? Society is eventually going to make her feel bad about something.

If Zoe sees me looking in the mirror and scrunching my nose at myself, if she sees me constantly adjusting my clothes because I don’t feel comfortable, what does that tell her? If she hears me joke about how I can’t have this or that because I am fat…what is she going to think.

From now on, I have to look in the mirror and smile. Sure, I have my flaws but you know what…I am pretty damn proud of this body. This body grew and nurtured my daughter for 40 weeks and two days. Those stretch marks and c-section scars are battle scars to be proud of, not ashamed of. These arms held her at night and gave her lots of hugs. These eyes saw the beauty and amazement of her. These legs take us to the grocery store, to the park, our for fun. And while I am far from perfect, I need to be proud of what I have. Thankful that I am healthy and able to lift my daughter in the air to hear her giggle. That I can get down on the ground and be silly with her.

I want her to see me working out and eating healthy, because I take care of my self. Not because I feel like I have to for looks. I want her to grow up making healthy choices because it is good for her, not because she is trying to fit some mold she has set for herself. I want her to know that it is ok to enjoy a cookie or cupcake and not be ashamed. I want her to have some physical activities in her life because they are fun.

I am putting all of this out here to remind you that when you have little ones around, don’t sit there and pick at your insecurities. You may not realize what type of message you are sending out to them. After all you are their mom/aunt/friend and they think the world of you. Isn’t that good enough?

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  • Reply Andrea @ Living On Cloud Nine May 2, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I LOVE what you want to project for Zoe! Putting what she needs to feel good about good about herself is vital in this world. Staying healthy, but enjoying life’s pleasures while telling her to feel good in her own skin….so important! You are the BEST mom!

  • Reply Marie May 2, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I love this. I think all girls have body image issues, actually, I ALL girls have body image issues. I see it all the time at NM especially when someone is trying on a dress for a special occasion. It’s really sad. I think what you are doing is great. My friend has really bad about her body issues and now her daughters have it and it’s heartbreaking. You go Momma.

  • Reply Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! May 2, 2017 at 10:07 am

    This is a beautiful post! And this is something I will need to remember when my little girl arrives 🙂

  • Reply Jenn @ Optimization, Actually May 2, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Yes!!! Great post. And I’m so proud of you for realizing this and making the effort to change your own actions. I don’t always like what I see in the mirror but I decided a few years ago to just own it and there are plenty of days when I do think, “Damn I look good!” Self love. You have to keep telling yourself until you believe it. Oh! And it did take me a couple weeks, but I’ve made peace with the stretch marks. When I think about them now, I imagine myself asking someone in a husky, macho voice, “You wanna see my scars?” Lol! Like crazy action movie dramatics. It’s always hilarious in my own head, but I have yet to do it in person. 😛

  • Reply Rebecca Jo May 2, 2017 at 10:17 am

    I grew up with my mom in Weight Watchers, going up & down in weight – being a leader in Weight watchers until her weight came back & then her struggling to get it off… Its not until recently that I realize how much watching her effected me. Daughter are watching – even when the daughters dont ‘realize’ they’re watching … its such a crazy thing to think.

  • Reply Audrey May 2, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Good for you, Nadine 🙂 Zoe has an excellent role model to look up to in her mama! You are SO right about eating food and being active because it’s something you enjoy- not something society tells you you have to do!

  • Reply SMD @ Life According to Steph May 2, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Amen!!! We need to be good examples. All of us.

  • Reply Dani May 2, 2017 at 11:19 am

    This is such a serious topic, especially in today’s world, and so happy for you to realize the impression you’re leaving on her and take positive steps to teach her self love and healthy living at such a young age! I remember my friend’s mom always trying different diets and juices and programs, and picking on my friend for being overweight and going so far as to enroll her in fat camp! I don’t think she ever did fully recover, tbh. Especially since she was being pushed for looks, not to be healthy. Zoe’s got a great role model! 🙂

  • Reply Heather May 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I love this post and agree with it 100%. I absolutely have to admit that I don’t always love the way I look, but I really try to portray positive self body image to my daughters because I think it is SOOOO important. The only way I feel that I’ve failed in this regard is by doing make up in the car with them present, but I just explain sometimes that I wear it a little bit to “look a bit less tired” as opposed to looking “more pretty” ;);) and they see me without it lots of times so I don’t feel too bad about it (this is in the car going to work) 🙂

  • Reply chelsea jacobs May 2, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    This is so well said, friend! You are setting a great example for her.

  • Reply Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders May 2, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    This is such a great post, and one that I know that I need to hear! I know that I can be way too hard on myself because I’m not at the weight that I used to be, but the fact of the matter is that our bodies change over time. As long as I’m working out and trying to eat healthy, I should be happy with myself!

  • Reply StephTheBookworm May 2, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Great mindset to have and great example for Zoe! Even though society may teach us to be hard on ourselves, you will teach her not to be!

  • Reply Robin May 2, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Beautiful post. Not to sound morbid, but I try to remember that all of us will die someday – no matter how great I think somebody else looks, we are all human. How we look in this life won’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

  • Reply Amy @ The Crazy Wise Woman May 2, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Agreed, we should be a little easier on ourselves. Unfortunately we can’t control the outside world and it is pretty brutal. Having 2 daughters I have dried a few tears over little assholes who say mean shit to other kids lol. Teach her good habits and how to be happy with herself but prepare her gently for the inevitable too. Great post!

  • Reply Darby May 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Well you fooled me girl! I was looking at your IG the other day and I thought to myself that you were so beautiful and you looked so comfortable in your own skin. I was jealous of that glow you had!

  • Reply Amanda Elizabeth May 3, 2017 at 9:12 am

    My mother was always dieting and watching her weight while I was growing up and I definitely know some of those internal thoughts have stayed with me. Such a powerful message about loving yourself because those little ones are very perceptive!

  • Reply alyssa May 3, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Beautiful post, Nadine. It’s so important to recognize the impact you have on your children and how even your subtle behaviors can register with then. Wonderful that Zoe has given you this amazing (for both of you!) mindset shift and even more wonderful that you want to maintain it for her sake. Be proud of that awesome, strong, healthy body!

  • Reply Kate @ Green Fashionista May 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Almost teared up at this, Zoe and Serena are going to be mimicking everything we do and say in the coming years. We are the ones they’ll look up to the most, and that in and of itself is beauty beyond words. Every time I see or feel my c-section scar, I smile because it’s how my girl came into the world. Ok, now I’m getting super sappy!

  • Reply Rach @ This Italian Family May 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I think this might be my favorite post on your blog ever. YES. I love this and totally agree. It’s been something that’s been on my mind a lot lately as I think about raising a daughter. Well said, friend!

  • Reply Cara May 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I absolutely love this post, Nadine and what a great reminder! There are days that I literally beat myself up over this or that in regards to my weight/body, and I literally have to snap myself back with a reality check. Although I have sons, I still want them to know that at the end of the day you need to love yourself. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  • Reply kathy @ more coffee, less talky May 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I LOVE THIS!! you know it’s exactly how I want to raise kayla….we’ve talked about this before. it’s so important to ensure our kids live healthy lives that is focused not on what we look like on the outside but how we feel on the inside!

  • Reply Lindsay Latimer May 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I love this SO MUCH and could not agree more! I am not happy with my body right now but it’s more because I haven’t been taking care of myself lately. I’m always going to be curvy and heavier, but it doesn’t bother me when I’m actively taking care of myself, if that makes sense. And while I don’t have babies yet, I never, ever say “fat” or say bad things about my body or the bodies of others in front of my niece. I wish I could protect her from the world, but she won’t hear it from me. Zoe is a lucky lady!

  • Reply Biana May 3, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Absolutely adore this post girl!! Zoe is lucky that you are aware of this and how you want to project positive body images to her!! I hope to do the same for my kids one day!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis May 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    I admire you for realizing the little things and comments that those little ears absorb which could be detrimental to her way of thinking about body image. I’m definitely on the same page as you on raising a child that knows she’s beautiful and doesn’t hear too much negativity from her parents…maybe behind closed doors you could have those discussions about your feelings if needed but kids shouldn’t be susceptible to it.

  • Reply Laura May 4, 2017 at 10:24 am

    This post made me cry you punk. I love how you want to raise Zoe girl — because like her mama, she is truly amazing and always will be. I hope to instill in Sheffield (even though he’s a dude) that women come in all shapes and sizes, and just because one doesn’t look like the other, doesn’t devalue them in any way. You are SUCH a good mama, and I LOVE getting to see you in this role. You just rock.

  • Reply Allison Arnone May 5, 2017 at 11:20 am

    This is so great, Nadine, and I couldn’t agree more. Even though I’m not a mom – I AM an aunt to a little girl and they’re so innocent and confident when they’re young. All that body image crap is taught and learned and ingrained in our heads at a young age. I’m so glad advertising is starting to show real bodies — that helps — but it’s also on us to teach younger generations to love ourselves and not be so critical of ‘flaws.’ We all have em.

  • Reply texerinsydney May 6, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Nadine, this is such a gorgeous post. So heartfelt and full of truths. From someone who has struggled with body image as long as I can remember, thank you.

  • Reply kristen May 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    well we were talking about this the other day so you know how i feel about it. i want to raise my kids to be happy and healthy, and to not hate themselves. because good lord that is exhausting.

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