Today, I want to share with you a delightful post written by my friend, Carla, over at MizFit. MizFit and I are kindred spirits -- we both believe in focusing on good health, positive thinking and finding the joy in getting (and staying) healthy.

We're also both moms of daughters.

Her little one, whom she lovingly refers to as the "Tornado," will be a different person because of the example Carla is setting for her. Sure, at some point, the media and her friends and the world in general will begin to exert their powerful influence. But the biggest and most lasting influence -- that of her mother -- will have already created a firm foundation of self-acceptance from which the Tornado can battle the forces that tell her she's not good enough, just the way she is.

Time will tell, of course. But I believe in a mom's power to make a difference. And I hope that Carla and I are still in touch when the Tornado's a teenager.

My mother never stopped beating up on her own body -- I witnessed her self-critiques and self-deprecating jokes about her body until the day she died. My own determination to stop that bad body image legacy came a few years later, when I noticed myself modeling those same behaviors in front of my then 11-year-old daughter.

It became my mission to change my message. And to encourage other moms to change theirs.

Is it easy? Not always. But it always makes a difference.

In Carla's post, she writes about taking her daughter to a friend's house, where she saw a bathroom scale for the first time. Just recently, my daughter -- now 14 -- asked if we could get a scale.

I said no.

She visits the doctor yearly. She can use a scale at a friend's house to occasionally get a sense of the number.

That's enough.

Now I know there may be those out there who say I'm wrong...that it's just a number. To that, I say, "You're right."

It is just a number...but too often, it becomes a measure of worth...of success or failure...of your value in the world.

Not in my house. Not for my daughter.

For us, it's always going to come back to basics: Are you making good food choices most of the time? Are you moving your body regularly in a way that makes you happy? Are you allowing yourself a treat when you want one? Do you feel good?

I want my daughter to know how to measure a healthy and positive life...and to know that it has nothing to do with a little metal box on the floor.

It starts with me.

About the Author

Dara Chadwick

Dara Chadwick is the author of You'd Be So Pretty If… :Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own.

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