Question: My daughter is 5 years old and weighs 72 lbs. I dont want her to have a weight problem when she gets older. Is it wrong for me to put her on a diet and excercise program?
You asked, “Is it wrong to put her on a diet and exercise program?” I feel the more effective question to ask yourself here is what feels “right” or “wrong” to you. And I‘d like you to consider that question with something very important in mind. On the deepest level there really is no right or wrong, only moving closer to love (feels right!) or further away from love (feels “wrong” – i.e. -unpeaceful, disconnected, empty, or bad). It’s really feeling a lack of love that so often compels people to overeat, in an unconscious effort to fill the void.
So if I am interpreting your real question correctly, you are asking, “How can I best help my daughter to feel, happy, accepted, safe, cared for, and loved?” Well, that doesn’t have to be a some-day-in-the-future experience for her (or you!), and you certainly don’t need to diet your way there! You can offer feelings of deep fulfillment to her right now—or with her next meal.
Share with your daughter the most effective “diet” there is, the only one that can bring the truest, most easily shared and enjoyable experience: “Eat with love, what’s grown with love, prepared with love and served with love.” Simple ’eh? All you have to do is ask yourself, “Is this food a symbol of my love?” If so, offer it joyously.
Do you realize that your daughter sees you as the most amazing, powerful, beautiful being on the planet? Therefore, whatever you see in her, she subconsciously desires to become. To all children, parents are the authority—they feel we know best. What a powerful opportunity that presents for you. See only her perfection, her beauty and—most importantly—her strength and unique individuality, and then just step back and watch! Believe me, you won’t feel fear for her well-being any longer. The only reason any of us parents are ever overly concerned for the well-being of our children is if we mistrust ourselves! While all the while, we hold within us such wisdom—because the gift that comes along with parenthood is the wisdom of love. It sounds to me like you just forgot how to access your own truest mother-lovin’ wisdom for a brief moment in time. (Fear does that to us, by the way.)
There is a way for you to discern whether or not your consideration of putting your daughter on a diet is fear-based or love-based. Here’s how: just sit still for a moment, and completely divorce yourself from the “good” or “bad” opinions of other people. Now, consider the same question you asked me, imagining that you and your daughter exist in a vacuum of sorts—there’s no one else on the planet to judge either one of you. There’s only, you, your daughter and love. Now you tell me, do you need to do anything… let alone put your daughter on a diet!? It’s the fear (most often of both the good or bad opinions of other people) that begets the emptiness that leads to guilt and excess weight. Show her she’s unconditionally loved, just as she already loves you! What beautiful mirrors you’ll be to one another then. Just relax and love yourself for being such a caring, amazing mother who now realizes it’s only the love that fulfills us all—it’s our deepest craving and at the very same time, who we really are! And then just enjoy her—and every meal you have the grace to share together—she’s perfect and so are you!
If you feel it may be healthy for your daughter to spend more time exercising, you can simply encourage her to spend more time outside. Children have a natural curiosity and playfulness, so there’s no need for a “diet or exercise program.” Just find out what sports and games she’s naturally interested in. It could be that a tap dance class, a place on the soccer team, or a friendly game of tag with the neighbors is all your daughter needs to spark a more active lifestyle.
For more from Soul-Full Eating: A (Delicious!) Path to Higher Consciousness visit eatwithsoul.com