I watch my children celebrate when they step on the scale. They rejoice with each pound gained. This realization gives them the knowledge that they are “growing bigger and older.” I never want the scale to be an enemy for my children, as it has been for me. I want my daughters to not weigh their worth from the scale but, instead, from their value as beautiful human beings created for a purpose.
Society and the media try to tell us that our identity and self-worth come from our physical appearance. We are also told that food is our enemy, so we diet, and obsess over what we put in our mouths. I have come to believe, through my own struggles, that food is not the enemy. It is to be celebrated as the fuel that keeps us energized and healthy so that we can accomplish the goals set before us.
“I am a member of the Lean Cuisine Team and help spread the word about Lean Cuisine. As a team member, I receive product and incentives in exchange for participating in brand related activities and spreading the word about Lean Cuisine. All opinions are my own.”
My Struggle with Image
My history is that I let the world tell me about beauty. I believed I would be valued more if my external appearance matched some of what I saw around me. My 5’3″ curvy frame was never going to allow me to look like what I saw on the magazines or the “beauties” I saw on TV, but I was determined to make it happen. I have had an unhealthy view of my body most of my life, going to extremes in my teens. Through binge and purge episodes and times of drinking a “health” shake a day and calling that good enough, I believed that sculpting the outward appearance would somehow magically bring me worth. Did it work? No. I felt more miserable. It was only when I began to weigh myself based on the gifts and talents I brought into this world as well as the accomplishments I was achieving that I felt more content on the package it all came in. To say I don’t still struggle with body image would be a lie. However, I know it is imperative that I model where true worth comes from to my daughters. The truth they receive from me will help drown out the lies that will inevitably come from the media and their peers.
How I Want my Daughters to Weigh Themselves
I don’t step on a scale in front of my girls. I don’t talk about food, calories, weight and the word “fat” does not leave my mouth. I have had to change the motivation behind my eating habits. My desire to live a healthy, long life with energy is what motivates me now. I no longer have the goal to be a size 2. Modeling a healthy perspective for my girls so they don’t hate their bodies like I did for so many years is the higher aim.
I want them to weigh themselves based on their innate worth, character and for making a difference in this world. What they are able to accomplish, how they handle challenges and treat others is also important. These are the things that matter, not what a number says on the scale.
I also try and teach my kids about the value of human beings. We respect others and we respect ourselves because we were all wonderfully and beautifully made. Why do we treat others well? They are human beings made with purpose, talents, feelings and needs. Too often we are judging others rather than showing love. By teaching my kids about the worth of others, we are only communicating to them that they, too, are valued.
Lean Cuisine has been a part of my life for a long time. What is interesting is that as I have been shifting my perspective about body image, Lean Cuisine has also been shifting their focus. No longer are they the diet trend of the 80’s. Their goal is to communicate the message that diet is a four letter word. I am thrilled to let you know that their products and values have changed. I am partnering with Lean Cuisine in the pursuit to tell women and their daughters that we should be weighed by who we are and not by the number on the scale.
Get out your tissues so you can watch this YouTube video and celebrate the message, “If you are going to weigh something, weigh something that matters.” Did I cry while watching this video? I did, and it is the reason why I chose to be a part of this important campaign. Join the conversation using the hashtag #WeighThis.
[field name = iframe]
Lean Cuisines are still in my freezer for a number of reasons. First, I have a hard time working vegetables into my lunchtime routine. I enjoy vegetables cooked rather than raw, so to be able to get my vegetables in a delicious meal is appealing to me. Secondly, I like convenience. I am a busy stay-at-home mom trying to get it all done. The convenience of throwing a well-balanced meal into the microwave is attractive. I have enjoyed Lean Cuisine meals for years, and they have honestly just gotten better with time. I especially love their Spa Collection. Some of my favorite meals include: Pepperoni Pizza (because pizza will always make the list…I don’t care how healthy I’m trying to be), Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce, Salmon with Basil, Chile Lime Chicken, Orange Chicken, Tortilla Crusted Fish, Butternut Squash Ravioli and Ginger Garlic Stir-fry with Chicken – just to name a few. I had a number of these in the freezer when I was asked to be a part of this campaign. Lean Cuisine also provides great portion control. Again, this is not a diet for me, but it is a healthier approach to eating so I can have the energy to do all that being a mom entails.
How I Weigh Myself
If I am no longer going to place my self worth on the scale, these are the areas I will celebrate my worth:
- Serving Others – I have been so blessed with opportunities to serve others, and I am grateful for a family that instilled service into my life. I’ve built houses in Mexico and a library in Kenya. I’ve served a church as the youth director for a year in England. Youth ministry was a big part of my life for a number of years. I’ve hosted a variety of events, lead small groups, helped out friends and strangers, prepared meals for new mothers or sick people and currently serve in a marriage ministry at our church that is transforming marriages that are broken and hurting. These actions have an eternal impact on lives, and I am humbled to be a part of all of these opportunities.
- Being a Mom – I would love to be weighed for the impact I’m having in the lives of my children. I have been given the responsibility, the challenges and the joys of being a mom. I celebrate the growth I see in my children’s lives. I know the growth is happening because of the dedication of my husband and myself. We are far from perfect in this job, but we are persevering and trying to be a good mixture of grace and discipline. My determination in this role and the impact I’m making for future generations holds great weight that deserves to be celebrated.
- Meaningful Mama – Parenting threw me for a loop. Honestly, it kinda kicked my tush. I thought motherhood would be easier with my background as a teacher and working with youth. One of my friends asked me for a word to describe being a mom, and I said “humbling.” However, I didn’t let it overcome me. I am fighting to do this job well, and I have established a blog to help other moms be inspired on this journey too. I have loved what I get to accomplish for my family and other families through Meaningful Mama, and I am so grateful for all that have come alongside me on this journey. I am hoping this blog will also have eternal merit and make a difference in the lives of my readers.
- The Mom Quilt – I’m super excited for this upcoming project of compiling a book. The proceeds will be going to build a water well in Kenya at the Mercy House, a home providing help for otherwise forgotten girls. I’d love for you to read more about the project by clicking on this link. I want to be weighed on the impact this project will have on women across the globe.
I don’t state these accomplishments to brag. I simply want to tell you about a more meaningful scale than the one that holds numbers. Trying to make my body look a certain way has only lead me down a path of disappointment, self-centeredness and a focus on earthly things that will certainly pass. Trying to build on my relationship with God, character, service to others and other relationships in life is what brings contentment. This is what I want to model for my daughters. This is how I want them to weigh themselves in life.
I Need You
I need you to comment on my post or Facebook page because I will be doing a follow-up post that focuses on the worth of my readers. I want you to respond with the answer to this question, “What do you wish people would ‘weigh’ you on besides your weight?” I’d love to feature you in my next post on the topic. Another way to communicate about this campaign is with the hashtag #WeighThis. I would love to see your responses on Twitter so make sure to tag me! I will be adding those tweets to my next post. To re-tweet the video, you can follow this link. You can also see and share the video by visiting the Lean Cuisine Facebook page. Join me and Lean Cuisine to teach girls and women that their value is not found on a scale.