Girls, Stop Doing This

Written By: Kim - Jul• 14•13

Yesterday our family was at a summer swim meet for our children. All of the teams require the parents to volunteer because the meet literally cannot happen without them. I was in the last timer’s slot which started at 11 am.

As the last age group walked on deck (ages 15-18) for relays, I heard one of the teen girls say to the other: “Last race of the day…if I can get my big self into the pool.” I almost had whip lash turning to look at this girl. My suspicions were confirmed: This athlete was in fine shape.

red buttonI have seen roughly 2,000+ kids competitively swim since my children joined the summer league in 2012. This includes the high school swim team that my son is a part of. I only have seen a handful of overweight athletes; not the ones who just think they are. But, even these athletes can still swim faster than the average adult. Ask any adult if they can swim 50 meters in any stroke in less than one minute. They will laugh. The majority of the athletes I see (and yes, this includes dancers, gymnasts, etc.) are in great shape and aerobically conditioned.

Girls, stop sabotaging your self-esteem by using words that are negative when you discuss or think about yourself. I am serious. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Do not buy in to the Madison Avenue air brushed, Photoshopped version of who you think you are supposed to be. A quick Google search will yield plenty of eye-opening images: real images of supposedly perfect-looking women without makeup, Photoshop or a hair stylist.

Stop comparing your body to that of your friends. Everyone is built slightly differently. Apple, pear, athletic, curvaceous, it does not matter. Stop worrying about a thigh gap. They are not natural. What matters is you and the contributions you make to your family, friends, local community and one day, the world. What matters is your heart and mind.

And while you are at it, tell your Mom to stop calling herself fat. Show her the same images. Tell her that it impacts you in a negative way. Respect yourself or no one else will.

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