When I was younger, I used to pray I would only have boys. Girls, I thought, were harder. More challenging. More like me. I knew what a girl was up against--and frankly, I wasn't sure I could relive my own haunts through the eyes of a much younger, more innocent version of myself. Somehow watching your daughter go through the same things you went through is like deja vu. Living it all over again.
On my mind this morning.
She's not a little girl anymore. She's nine. She's developing her own strong opinions, her own strong attitudes and sadly, she's picked up a lot of my bad habits. She gets mad at inanimate objects. She gets cranky if she's tired or hungry...and yes, she wants to eat when she's bored.
Is this a pattern? Is it learned behavior? I really am asking myself how this is transferred. Part of it is that I talk about it and even when I think she's not listening, she IS. She hears me talk about counting points and as much as I try to swing toward the "health" side of this eating mess, I admit sometimes it degrades into "I can't have sugar." and "I'll gain five pounds if I look at that."
Thing is, last summer I was on such the right track. I was healthy. I was making sure my kids were healthy. And even though I was just discovering the hormonal imbalance and all the frustrations therein, I was organic and cooking and reading and learning and educating myself on the ways food affects our bodies and our minds.
And then I went through some junk. Like, hard junk. Junk that comes out and torments you when you aren't looking and all the old insecurities came back. I stopped eating. I lost ten pounds. I felt great. I became a coffee addict again after having given it up four months prior. I was living on white chocolate mochas.
And then I went through some more junk. Different junk. Slapped on the other side of the face. Everything I knew in my life to be true as far as my belief system hung in the balance. And instead of starving myself, this time I adopted the "I don't give a rip" attitude and while I didn't binge eat, I just ate JUNK. Everything I had learned about what was good for me was out the window.
And guess who suffered?
She has a taste for junk. She likes junk. And for those 6-7 months, I didn't care enough to stop her from putting that in her body.
(Incidentally, this isn't exactly JUNK... this is one of Lissa Whitlock'syummy Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes. Sugar, yes, but much healthier than a typical cupcake!)
This morning I woke up for the third time (my cold woke me up from about 4:30 on) with Sophia standing over me asking me to zip her skirt. It wouldn't zip. She is growing. It happens every single year. By the end of the year, none of their clothes fit them anymore. Their pants are too short, the waistbands too tight. This is what it's like to be a kid. But somehow, I fear (and I don't know this) that she's gotten the message that this is a reflection on her. That it's not okay for her to grow. That it means she's "bigger" and "bigger" is like a swear word for girls these days.
And that is my fault.
And that brings back every insecurity I ever had.
On my mind today.
Giving up control of what people think of me. Giving up control and giving it over to God. Creating good guidelines, setting a good example (no matter how my own JUNK gets in the way) and finding specific ways to show my daughter that she is absolutely beautiful just as she is right now.
How do I spare her this journey? It's about so much more than words. It's about actions.
I'm stepping back on the journey of health that I started on a year ago when we visited the naturopath for the first time, found out about Sam's allergies and began to see the correlation between food and the way we felt. I'm inching my way back to a place where I care (a lot) about the health of the people in my home, meaning...it's time to take care of the people in my home.
...I'm just not sure where to start.
...Perhaps, a new beginning...?