The Care and Feeding of Daughters

When I was in my 20s, the scale went up and down 80 pounds – food and my weight ruled my life. Such a miserable mess.

In my late 20s, I’d lost some weight and then got mono, followed by strep. I physically could not eat for quite a while. I lost some more weight. Right after that, all four wisdom teeth came out, got impacted and infected and – I couldn’t eat for quite a while. By the end of that cycle, I’d lost a lot of weight. Temporarily, I was happy. I’d reached my one and only goal. (I didn’t have many other goals. I’d dropped out of college 5 times, was living at home, and waitressing. But I was thin!!!!)

I remember convalescing on my mother’s couch during that time and hanging out with one of her piano students, Casey. Casey’s weight fluctuated up and down over 100 pounds. Casey was a wonderful, beautiful woman with an exquisite soprano, but like me, all she cared about was food and her weight.

One day, sitting on that couch in my mom’s living room, Casey and I discussed. whether we wanted kids. “No”, we decided with assurance, “we’d ruin them”.

“I’d starve my children”, Casey said. “I couldn’t bear for them to be fat and tortured like I was”.

“Me too,” I cried, half-laughing, but fully knowing that I would have no idea how to feed a child, particularly a girl.

We knew we were too dangerous to be trusted. Neither of us had children.

However, I have many friends with food and body image disorders who do have daughters, and they seem to be doing great jobs.

I wonder how to feed and care for a daughter, as I talked about in my last post. No matter her size, how do we help build a confident woman?

Does anyone have any thoughts? Do your daughters want to diet? Do they complain about their bodies? Do they compare themselves to their peers?

What do you do? How do you answer? How DO we raise confident young woman, comfortable in whatever bodies God gave them?

2 thoughts on “The Care and Feeding of Daughters

  1. I absolutely never let Sophie hear me complain about my body. I am cautious how toxic that is. So far, so good. I’ll keep you posted


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