This is such a tricky topic. I was overweight growing up (starting at around age 7 or 8) and I am still overweight now. While I was growing up my Mother constantly told me I was "heavy" and that I would be really pretty IF I lost 40 lbs. It made me feel like I was unworthy of love or blessings or good things because I was overweight, no matter how nice or charitable or worthy I was inside.
BUT...I found myself at age 32 weighing 330 pounds. My body was breaking down and I felt physically horrid. I felt that I was neglecting (and even abusing) the gift that God had given me. I felt I was not following the Word of Wisdom in regards to moderation. I did not want my children to feel like weighing 330 pounds was okay. But I also didn't want to communicate that being overweight means you are "less than" or not worthy of love.
How do you find the balance between caring for the physical bodies that God has blesssed us with and communicating that the "Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7)? That's it's what's INSIDE that matters.
I have since lost more than 100 pounds and I feel much better about the example that I am setting for my children in taking care of our physical bodies. I have taught them about portion control (we only eat off of 8" plates, not the US standard 10"), We eat low sugar, we are only allowed one sweet treat a week, etc. And yet, her weight has gone up considerably during her stressful year.
After my experiences growing up, I vowed that if I ever had a child who struggled with their weight that I would never mention it, but instead would teach them healthy eating and encourage family exercise.
I had a good talk with my daughter and told her about the basics of caloric intake and what happens to the calories left over after your body uses what it needs for fuel. We sat down and made a list of vegetables in two categories RAW and COOKED. My daughter listed veggies she liked in each category. This week we will sign her up for some structured sports that she has interest in.
More importantly, that night I went into my daughter's room and sat on her bed. I hugged her to me and looked into her eyes and told her that she was beautiful, exactly the way she is at this moment. That Heavenly Father knows her heart and loves her and that we do too. I promised that I will help her be more healthy and exercise more....we are in this together and we will make it fun.
This Sunday we will share this FHE lesson with our entire family and brainstorm ideas together for some fun family activities that we can all do that will increase our exercise.
What are your thoughts?How do we, as parents, balance the concepts of individual worth and taking care of our physical bodies since they are gifts from our Heavenly Father? Please share!
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