“Mom, sometimes I think I’m fat.” She wrote it as if it were a bad word. It was approaching ten and she had to fall asleep, but my world stopped. My priorities shifted and I lay down to listen to her worries that she would not be as thin as her friend Mara. They had put on their costumes for their upcoming dance recital that day. Mara is naturally tall, long and almost a year older than my almost 7-year-old child. I tried to allay her worries as she wrapped her arms around her calf, pulling her legs back into a twig-like appendage. “That would make it look better.”
My heart sank and I tried to reason with her, trying to keep my inner pleas out of my voice. “It’s shaped. It wouldn’t hold you without your muscles. It’s perfect. “I kept reassuring her, but I reassured myself even more.
When does the longing to be skinny begin? I didn’t expect to cope so soon, if at all, because we live in a world where larger bodies are not just accepted, but celebrated. It is now very large as companies strive to keep up with demand. Older ladies turn the pages of magazines, selling items from lingerie to soap. Larger mannequins are strewn on store floors in support of the increasingly popular HAES (health in all sizes) movement.
Baby body image
Research by the Professional Association for Child and Early Childhood Care (PACEY) reports that 47 per cent of caregivers have witnessed body image concerns in children aged 6 to 10, and 71 per cent believe that children are starting to worry about your body at a younger age. .
Surprising findings from Common Sense Media reported that more than half of girls and one-third of boys between the ages of 6 and 8 say their ideal weight should be lower than it is. By age 7, one of the four children began to lose weight. Is it any wonder that 87 percent of female TV characters between the ages of 10 and 17 are under average? Obsessed with Barbie for years as a child, I remember some facts that say that if Barbie was real, she would not be able to carry her own weight on her little feet and legs.
Of course, it also comes from us as parents. Our children may not listen to us when we ask them to do something, but they certainly listen to every other little thing we say from the beginning. While I was careful not to long to be weaker in front of Mads when she was about 3, my husband pointed out my sighs and frowning eyebrows at moments when I met my reflection in the mirror. “She’s listening to you,” he said firmly, “you can’t say bad things about yourself in front of her.”
He was in place, so I turned him over immediately. Instead of mentally scolding and pushing my areas for improvement, I began to make bold claims about my appearance. The more statements I made, the more real they felt.
“Look at my body – look how great I look! Wow – my legs are amazing! My hands are perfect! “Now that I’m leaving, I didn’t want to stop!” I mean, look at my ass… “My husband took me out of the mirror, but I finally felt what it means to make those funny statements that people love. I inadvertently raised my confidence, mood, and feelings with thoughts I didn’t know existed before my daughter, no less.
So often we spend time confirming the negative thoughts we have about ourselves during our daily visits to the mirror, but it doesn’t take much to shift the conversation, especially if we have it in front of our little ones.
New body images of children can be contradictory when some friends mature earlier than others. To complicate matters, children are growing faster than before. It is often felt that the years are moving faster and faster, but, as the New York Times reported late last month, children around the world are experiencing an earlier onset of puberty. This not only leads to some difficult conversations with younger (less prepared) participants, but is thought to lead to breast and uterine cancer in adulthood. A higher risk of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety among many others is also associated with early puberty.
There are few arguments today that obesity contributes to earlier puberty, but it does not explain everything. One plausible contribution is a group of plastics that destroy the endocrine system, called phthalates. As we add them to our long list of “things to avoid,” it may be harder to avoid these chemicals than we think. Phthalates are found everywhere, from plastic bottles and food packaging to soaps, shampoos and clothing. They are practically inevitable. In a 2009 study, phthalates were found in high levels in the urine of participants with the earliest breast development. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, the truth is: they are present in almost all of us.
In addition to being a potential catalyst for premature growth, phthalates have been linked to many other conditions such as cancer, neurological and behavioral problems, type 2 diabetes, hyperactivity, autism and infertility in men and women.
To do list
Before we press the panic button, remember that our bodies have a natural system that cleanses toxins from our blood. To avoid as much phthalate as possible, scan the labels for DHEP or DiBP. These acronyms indicate the presence of chemicals belonging to the phthalate family. Many are banned from toys for children under 3, but glass bottles and a stainless steel cup are always preferable. Look for “phthalate-free” labels and be sure to bake it in the microwave in glassware, not plastic, even if it’s labeled “microwave safe.”
Meat and dairy products high in fat are said to be higher in phthalates, and people who eat very fast foods have a higher presence of phthalates in their urine, which is probably from the containers to go.
Here is a recipe to help us continue to avoid these chemicals.
Dose of red lentils (lentil shells)
1 cup red lentils
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon of salt
Soak the lentils in a bowl of water overnight.
Rinse and drain the lentils, add to a blender.
Add a glass of fresh water and salt. Blend until smooth.
Heat some olive oil in a hot pan.
Pour a ladle of dough over the pan and spread it on a thin, even pancake.
Allow to cook for two to three minutes until golden brown, turning once.
Use tortillas or wraps instead of chemicals.