Working Through Your Own Food and Body Issues as a Mother

How do you raise a good eater when your own relationship with food and body needs work?

It is not uncommon to feel like your food and body issues come to the surface when raising children.

Children are like mirrors. Children can reflect back the behaviours we have learnt, which can be both positive and negative. When this happens, our own issues can surface time and time again.

Raising children can trigger old disordered thinking and eating patterns, especially if you have not dealt with the cause of your eating problem.

Being a mum also requires you to be extra creative with your time. Creative with your time managing a child, two children, three children and especially more, how you spend time with your partner, friends and other family members, how you complete work (paid or unpaid) and take time out to do the things you previously enjoyed, including the all-important rest and relaxation.

One thing that is not debated is that you find yourself spending a lot more time in the kitchen and feeding your child’s small stomach. Spending time in the kitchen can consume your day.

Planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning up from meals consume a large part of the day, let alone those extra requests for food you get from your children testing the boundaries.

Some days, it feels can overwhelming.

Thinking about food, being around food and trying to teach your child how to interact and eat food can all get a bit too much some of the time.


Impacts Upon Children

There’s no secret that how you parent affects your child and you too. You are your child’s biggest role model. Just look how intently they look at you and copy you.

A  huge motivation to change your behaviour is related to the fact that you are a role model and the way you think, feel and interact with food and your body affects your child.

You definitely do not want your child following in your footsteps and making the same choices around food and their body.

You are in a prime space right now to make a positive difference on your child and the next generation.

Please don’t feel like you have failed with food, eating or with your body image. It is never too late to start to improve how you and your child’s interact with food and their body.

What you do now can help you to thrive. You are so clear on what you have been through and what you want your relationship with food and body to be like.


Your Relationship With Food and Your Body

One thing is for certain, you definitely do not want your child(ren) to experience food, eating and a body the way you have. You know how much time, energy and effort you have spent on this topic.

If you feel this way, just know that you are not alone in your struggles and that it is never too late to improve your relationship with food and your body.

You may need a little support to improve your situation.

Don’t feel like you need to do this alone before you involve your family. In actual fact, taking a family approach will give you, as well as your family support to do what you need to do whilst feeling supported on the journey.

No one needs to be showing signs of disordered eating/body image issues to benefit from working on improving a food and body relationship.

This proactive approach will equip your child(ren) with the necessary knowledge and skills to live in the food and body-obsessed culture of today without too many issues.


How can Mums Support Themselves During the Time of Unresolved Food and Body Issues?

Honestly speaking, you may always have a degree of struggle with food and body, because we are constantly told that our bodies need fixing. However, with support, these struggles can be managed and your relationship with food and your body will improve significantly. This work is ongoing, however, becomes almost effortless as the strategies become a habit.

The ongoing challenges faced test your ability to keep food and body in its rightful place.


4 things You Can Do to Right Now to Address Your Food/Body Issue:

  1. Get organised in the kitchen and meal plan. Just be careful not to turn the family meal plan into the next diet. Use meal planning as a loose guide. Feed Your Family: Healthy Eating Made Easy is a great resource to get you started.
  2. Download your free guide to help you to stay focused to never diet again. This guide will address the skills you need to thrive in our food and body-obsessed culture.
  3. If you need help with the logistics around dealing with daily feeding or you want to support your child to have an optimal food/body relationship, the NEW guide ‘Raising Kids To Love Food and Their Bodies’ is an excellent start.
  4. If you need individual support, seek out a non-diet dietitian or health professional and supportive like-minded mums.

Hi! I’m Natalie Thompson, a non-dieting Accredited Practising Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviours to help improve health whilst nurturing relationships with food and body. I help mums who struggle with nutrition and body image and worry about the impact they have on their children discover the joy in eating and make peace with food and their beautiful body whilst being the role model they imagine for their children, focusing on compassionately nourishing the mind, body and spirit of themselves and their children.

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