I do not love my body right now, but that’s because it’s a reflection of all the things that aren’t really working. I know how to lose the weight I’m carrying, and regain the strength I’ve lost — I just have to choose to do that. And choosing to do it means spending time on different things than I have been spending it on, and that’s hard, and it sucks, and it takes energy that I’m not positive I have and so I live in this body that isn’t who I really want to be because inertia.
But I don’t hate my body. My body does amazing things, and when I want to dress it to look fucking amazing, I do that. I paint my nails and do my hair and makeup because those things make me happy, bring Justin joy, and contribute to the image I’ve crafted of myself for public consumption. And I’m okay with that. I’m equally okay with dirty feet and broken nails because we’ve spent the weekend living under the sky with my toes in the grass, which makes me happy, brings Justin joy, and is a part of who I am.
So you won’t hear me talking about being fat or hating my body unless I’m in a sad, dark, place — and unless I’m way out of my happy place, you’ll never hear me say it when Gwyneth can hear me. Her body is also amazing — strong, healthy, and beautiful for the potential it holds, not the form it takes. She’s going to believe that if it’s the last thing I do on this earth.
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.
Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.
Teach your daughter how to cook kale.
Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.
Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.