At 33 years old, I am outgoing, self-confident and comfortable with my appearance. But I wasn’t always that way. The high school years are a hard time for many girls and I was no exception. I obsessed over my body, convinced myself I was too fat dozens of times and tried pretty much every fad diet I came across. It was mainly a manifestation of low self-esteem that had nothing to do with my body at all, but it took me many years and a lot of mistakes to grow into the woman I am today.
While I know that raising my two boys will have its own challenges, I also know that they won’t be exposed to the pressures of dieting as badly as the average teenage girl is, and so any low self-esteem issues they have likely won’t manifest in that manner. But I also have three beautiful little nieces and the idea that they might one day go through something similar is so scary to me. After all, a recent study by Multi-Grain Cheerios of young women between 10-17 years of age found that three in five women have been on a diet, 52% of girls get their information about dieting and nutrition from family members and one in five girls under 18 is currently dieting.
That’s why I absolutely love the Never Say Dieting Oath from Multi-Grain Cheerios. The concept is one that every woman can embrace. Stop using the word dieting and replace it with positive, affirmative words instead that will inspire instead of discourage. Here is the Oath in its entirety, personalized by me for my nieces:
Dear Anna, Izzy and Brooke,
I want you to live with confidence. I want you to be comfortable and secure in the wonderful person that you are.
So starting now, I promise to never use the word dieting again. It’s a hurtful word, one that I’ve given too much power to already.
Instead, I promise to use words like carefree, healthy, strong, nourished, and amazing.
I will end the word dieting for you. Because I want you to be happy.
And I never want that word to come between you and me.
Love, Auntie Katy
Now I have to be honest; I don’t really use the word dieting anymore in any case. I will sometimes mention that I’m “watching what I eat,” but that’s about as descriptive as I get. I haven’t talked destructively about my body in years and interestingly enough, it was when I stopped obsessing over my body that I started making simple, sensible food choices and swettled into a healthy weight. Even so, this oath is one I feel strongly about, because I know that my nieces need all the positive role models they can get. For every advertisement they see that makes them question their own self-worth and for every insecure friend that makes them doubt their own beauty, they will need women that are self-assured, intelligent and confident of their beauty both inside and out to counteract that effect.
That’s why I took the Never Say Dieting Oath, and if you have a young woman in your life that you care about, why not take the oath too? Multi-Grain Cheerios is even offering one lucky Mommy Kat and Kids reader a fabulous Never Say Dieting prize pack containing a $100 Loblaws gift card and Multi-Grain Cheerios free product coupons! To enter to win, just visit worldwithoutdieting.ca and take the Never Say Dieting Oath too! Upload a picture or video with your oath to get bonus entries!
It can be hard to be confident when so many of the images we see are artificial and so many of the women around us are aspiring to reach an impossible ideal. So help ensure that the girls you care about have the support they need to grow into the next generation of confident and inspiring women. It doesn’t take much. Sometimes something as small as eliminating the word “diet” from your vocabulary can make a difference!
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