Just when I thought I was setting a good example for my children with my bodybuilding training the tables turned on me.
My 15 y/o daughter informed me while I was cooking dinner tonight that she wanted to go on a strict diet. She isn’t overweight at all; she is healthy, rosy cheeked and very opinionated. She told me that there were parts of her body that she didn’t like ..she said ” I want my tummy to be concave mom. I want my skin to be perfectly clear so that means no fat or sugar in my diet.” I told her that restricting her diet would lead to a lifetime of an unhealthy relationship with food.. that it would be best to just moderate fat and sugar and workout some more..but she had been watching YouTube ..she wanted instant results.. I felt myself becoming very sad and emotional at the fact that she had said there were parts of herself that she didn’t like..but I felt she needed some space to eat her dinner and then be alone in her room for a while..and I needed to get my emotions under control.. it was then that I approached her alone in her room..
I sat on the end of her bed and said to her ” I want you to know that you are an amazing young woman. I brag about you all the time to the ladies at the gym. I brag about how driven you are. I brag about your 4.0 and your honors courses.. I brag about how healthy and rebellious you are in the right ways. You are a strong minded, head strong girl with leadership qualities..it takes a very strong girl to put up with a very strong mother and forge her own way and identity. I want you to love yourself flaws and all.. I am so proud of you as a person and I am so blessed to have you as my first born daughter.” we both started to tear up..and she said ” Mom you don’t have to say this.” and I said ” I really want you to hear me and to take this into your heart.. outward beauty is nothing without inward beauty..outward beauty fades but a strong mind and spirit only get stronger.. you may not see yourself as Hollywood beautiful but you are the whole package of beauty.. the world needs more girls and women like you in the world.” and then I kissed her as she sorta, kinda pretended to push me away.
I then I told her from the end of her bed ” I am doing the bodybuilding to get my mind off of not being able to get through people’s ignorant thick heads about the sexual repression and inequalities towards women.. it’s so they don’t drive me crazy. I see it as a sport and a spiritual practice on sobriety.. not a beauty contest; although if I do compete; it is a beauty contest to many of the other’s competing..and to them it maybe only superficial. To me it is to make me more mentally sharp..spiritually balanced and centered.. I don’t want you to think that I see outer beauty as a means of myself worth and I don’t want you to see me as setting an example of that for you.” and then I took a breath between tears of love and adoration for my daughter.. ” The most beautiful people truly love themselves and that is how they can love others..that is the most important thing you need to do in your life..and a well cultivated brain is ultra beautiful.. there are so many outwardly beautiful people that do nothing for humanity but stand as ornaments ..the most important thing you can do with your life is to do something with your life that will help humanity evolve.. it will be a girl like you that will change the world.”
And with that I gave my daughter another hug and went into my own room to wipe away my proud mommy tears.