Whether you're a parent, aunt or uncle, teacher, older sibling or any kind of role model, remember this: The way we talk to our kids becomes their inner voice.
Their brains work like sponges, so you don't even have to direct what you say to them and they will pick up on WHAT and HOW you talk about food, weight, bodies, and exercise.
They hear what you say to your friends and observe how YOU treat our body. They hear the 'good' and 'bad' food talk. They see the pinching of extra flesh in the mirror or the snide remarks made about not fitting into societal standards. They understand the guilt, shame, and fear you place around certain foods.
THEY DEVELOP THE SAME BEHAVIOURS.
No child is born hating their own body. No one is born afraid of food or being fat or losing 'control'. Kids have a magical, innate neutrality about food and their bodies. But, they LEARN. From you.
So whether you're 22 or 72, or your kids or 5 or 45, it's not too late to turn it around.
Focus on what you APPRECIATE about your body and how delicious and nourishing food is. Refrain from bashing your own or other people's appearances, because that leads to learned behaviour and mimicry.
This is not about calling people out as bad parents - we're all doing the best we can, believing we're just getting healthy. But we can CHANGE THE CONVERSATION. Kids don't have to grow up with self-esteem issues, that doesn't have to be a given part of life.