You aren’t much of a thought yet or a twinkle in anyone’s eye, but there are a few things I want you to know, and a few promises I would like to make.
I promise that whenever I step on the scales I will smile and laugh, and tell you that a number doesn’t matter. Because it doesn’t. How much you weigh isn’t an indicator of your intelligence, your kindness, your strength or your determination.
I promise that I won’t be going from diet to diet, following fads like I did as a teen. I’ll tell you the truth about the models in magazines: it’s not all real.
I promise to show you strong women and I promise to be one. Healthy eating and exercise in general day to day isn’t a chore, it’s a fun part of everyday life. Being strong, healthy, and alive is beautiful.
I promise that whenever I hate my body (and there will be days when I do) you won’t hear me talk about diets, weight loss, or see me pinching different parts of my body in the mirror going “Oh, I could do with losing this”. You’ll see me smile into the mirror as I tell myself all the things I can do, all the things I love about myself.
More than anything, these are promises I am making to myself, so by the time you come along, you won’t be living as I did. My role as a mum is to teach you how to love yourself and live as the strong, independent woman I know you can be. I have to teach you by example.
I know how smart you are and how much you can see and how much all children notice. I know what it’s like to see a mother dislike their body so much that you only know how to dislike yours. I’ve been living with bulimia since my early teens, and I was really unwell. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital, on feeding plans with fainting spells and bones protruding from my skin all in a pursuit of a misplaced notion of perfection. While I have come so far, I still have a long way to go before you come along. I’ll show you how to love yourself in a way I never did, in a way I’m learning to.
And, if you grow up to be a little sociopath, I will love you anyway.
Your (maybe one day) Mum.