‘My Mother started dieting at my age, after her third child. I started at age 13 and my daughter is already counting calories at age 9!’
– Beverly, age 29
‘Of course my daughter and I diet. Don’t all women?’
– Susan, age 42
The trap of dieting has imprisoned mothers and daughters of every age, ethnic and economic group since the 1960s when Twiggy arrived on the scene. Women have been at war with their bodies ever since.
A culture of dieting reigns despite the research and obvious conclusion that dieting can add to a weight problem by causing weight gain, poor self-image and serious eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
The role of mom in helping her overweight son or daughter to lose weight is not an easy one. After all, she is often struggling with her own weight. As well, mothers provide life and sustenance and withholding food from an overweight child can contradict her instinctive cues.
Mothers can also unknowingly pass the torch on – a mother who berates her heavier thighs passes along the message of body dissatisfaction to her daughter who has inherited a similar body.
As a former overweight adolescent and teenager, I know all too well the struggles, storms and successes that a mother and daughter endure when weight is an issue.
Here are excerpts from my Mother and Daughter seminar:
• Mother, remember that you are the number one role model for your daughter in her formative years. Creating a healthier and happier lifestyle yourself is important
• Daughter, remember that you are responsible for what you eat. It is not your mother’s fault that you are overweight and unhappy with yourself.
• Work as a team to support each other, build self-esteem and encourage healthy eating. Start a walking routine together.
• Mother, learn to trust your daughter’s instincts of what she needs to eat. Sometimes it may be something you think she should not have.
• Daughter, don’t go to war with mom in her efforts to help you.
•Enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Plan shopping trips for smaller-size clothing.
Losing weight during adolescent and teenage years with my mother’s help is something I give thanks for today.