I really hate diets. There are no two ways about it.
The month of January is almost over and if you’re like most folks, you’ve set some resolutions. I bet losing weight is one of them, right? Well, yours truly and my buddy @marciwarhaft from @FitVSFiction has a few things to say about that.
Let me begin with one of my favourite words. WHY?
We have learned that the moment you deprive yourself of anything, it backfires on you like a match and a bucket of gasoline.
Meet @MarciWarhaft, author of The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents and the founder of @Fitv_vs_fiction, an organization that helps those with eating disorders and negative body issues. Warhaft has lectured to many elementary schools throughout the greater Toronto area and has been featured on television shows such as @bttoronto, @CTV, and @morningshowca as well as @nationalpost @todaysparent and @naturallysavvy.
When I asked what she thought about diets as a whole, she quickly responded that she hated them. I couldn’t agree with her more. Diet + deprivation = disaster! By the time a girl is 17, she has received over 250,000 messages that she isn’t good enough. Can you imagine what we (as parents) have been exposed to in our lifetime? And sometimes these negative messages spill on to our kids. They are watching everything we do!
What if your child wants to go on a diet?
Demonstrating healthy ways of eating is the way to go. Talk about what you plan to buy the next time you grocery shop. Suggest filling your cart with foods that are listed in the @canadafoodguide. We are all spending more time in the kitchen, so now is the time to experiment with different kinds of foods, including vegetables that you’ve never tried before. Who knew kale can do this?
Never ban a certain food as it will just backfire. (See gasoline reference in the first section) Did you know that Marci has suffered through an eating disorder as well? While in treatment, she was required to include in her daily food plan, all of the foods we’re usually taught to avoid, like cookies, cake and ice cream. This taught her mindfulness and moderation.
I really hate diets.
What do you do about all of the “perfect” images on social media?
Just because you look desirable, it may not necessarily mean that you are healthy. You don’t know the true story. The person in the picture could be eating cotton balls soaked in orange juice for all you know.
Editor’s note: Sigh. I really hate diets.
When it comes to social media, talk with an adult about who you are following. Discuss the effect it has on your mental health. You have the power to close the door on all those who provoke a negative self-image at the click of a button.
Need a little help getting the conversation started? It’s all here in Marci’s book The Body Image Survival Guide For Parents. You can buy your copy here.
What about exercise?
Choose activities that you enjoy. It can be anything from dancing in your hallway, (Marci does this all the time!) to walking outside, or playing kickball out on your street. Ah, the magic of exercise. It increases your endorphins. (the feel-good hormone) It keeps your body in shape, improves sleep, and helps ward off depression, which most people are suffering from, due to the state of our world. For more reasons on why you need to exercise, take a look at this blog.
However, every image does not tell the whole story, whether it’s on a screen or right in front of you. Choose foods that will nourish and take care of your body, along with a cookie or two for dessert!
Nothing will stop Marci from counseling kids to help them with their struggle with self-esteem and body image issues. Even a pandemic! Since visiting a classroom is off-limits at this time, interactive workshops where kids are encouraged to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences are available from the comfort of your couch! Choose from one-on-one sessions to a group as large as 12. Not sure what kind of session(s) you need? Schedule a 30-minute FREE consultation and Marci will customize the perfect program for you and your child. Schedule your appointment today by reaching out to Marci here.
I’m so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to write what I’m passionate about and what I think will serve others. If you would like me to write about you and your passions for the Braves The Waves Journal, or for your own company, please be in touch.