Leading By Example

Thank you Rachel Moore for your honesty in today’s Eastern Courier Messenger pg 17. You have raised such an important issue and highlighted the importance of thinking before we speak especially in front of our children.

If you have not read the article, Rachel tells of how making comments about your own weight or shape can quickly impact on your children’s perception of beauty and how things should be.  This is backed up by some great research from Uni SA by David Birbeck and Murray Drummond about how very young children make judgments based on weight and shape, are well aware of body image dissatisfaction and have already created ideals.

This time of year it is common to hear people making resolutions to lose weight or change shape and speaking as though they are a slave to healthy eating or regular exercise. These comments will impact on your children, do little to sell the real benefits of exercise and risk setting up unhealthy food/exercise relationships. It is so important to be more kind to ourselves if we want our children to do the same to themselves.

We believe exercise is important for health. Try to separate exercise from the calories it burns and think about the way it it enhances the health of your muscles, brain, heart and overall well being.

Are you a mum or a dad or just realise you make too many negative body comments? Think about these things…..

-change your goals from weight or shape goals to being consistent with regular exercise/eating less takeaway/drinking less alcohol/etc let any body changes simply be side effects of these goals

-avoid speaking about exercise as a way to ‘earn’ or ‘pay-off’ regretted food choices and making exercise sound like a chore

-speak about exercise in a positive framework, about how it feels rewarding to do something challenging

-look for fun exercise opportunities to enjoy together

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