by Elisha Joyce
Rebel Grain Inc founder, Portland
Rebel Grain blog
Yesterday my 11 year old daughter said, “Mom, we need a scale”.
“A scale,” I asked?
“Yeah – so and so has a scale and when I weighed myself I weighed more than I thought I would. I want a scale so I can keep track of what I weigh.”
“Honey,” I said, “what has you worried about how much you weigh? Do you feel good and strong?”
“Yes,” she says.
“Can you do what you want to with your body without struggle?”
“Yes,” she says.
“Then that’s all that matters. Having the scale’s opinion doesn’t help you feel better or perform stronger – it just gives you a number that means nothing for who you are.”
We don’t own a scale – and, although we have constant conversations about fitness, we don’t talk about weight in our home.
Weight doesn’t matter to me because it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. What does matter to me is that my kids understand their bodies are a reflection of what they are putting in. I always tell them that our body gives us physical cues on whether or not we are making the right choices: if our bodies are saying something to us (like with clothes that are fitting to snug, or with sickness, or with fatigue and lack of strength), that’s when we know we aren’t doing something right.
Does the scale help us feel better? No. As I told my girl, the scale does nothing but give us a number that fits (or doesn’t fit) someone else’s arbitrary weight grid. The number doesn’t measure the quality of food we are intaking, how much muscle we have, or whether or not we are comfortable in our skin.
And that’s one of my foundational goals: to raise children that are 100% comfortable in their skin.
I want my children to love good food, love who they were created to be, and are empowered with the understanding their bodies are speaking to them every day.
It’s not fat grams and calories we have to count, and/or the number on the scale we have to pay attention to… it’s simply making sure that we are in control of our bodies – and that our body isn’t in control of us.