Like Mother Like Daughter: On Exercise and Body Image


Why do you workout mommy?” I sometimes hear from my six-year old daughter. My answer has consistently been a steadfast variation of “I want to be strong enough to always carry you and Adrian down the stairs” or “I love the energy that I feel when I run to school to pick you up”.

I’m aware of the fact that my children are little sponges.  They are constantly connecting the world’s dots through both verbal and non-verbal cues.  I’m imperfect, but well aware that there is no greater responsibility than setting the best example that I can for my children. That’s why I walked with confidence in my swim suit on our recent family vacation – despite the fact that I’m inwardly unhappy with the recently acquired pounds that I’m determined to say goodbye to.  That’s why I’m intentional with my words around little ears, and speak of my own body with respect and admiration for my strengths – even if I’m feeling weak. And that’s why I want my daughter to grow older seeing exercise and healthy eating as an empowering lifestyle, not a means to fit into an article of clothing.

Lucia and I frequently have physical activity time – and I think that keeping it fun and relaxed is a key component to healthy self-esteem development. We’ve been having music-blasting dance parties since her toddler years – and they have the ability to transform the gloomiest of moods into lighthearted silliness. It’s amazing how a duo run around the block can instantly lift our spirits, and simultaneously jumping on yoga mats to a workout video nearly always ends in belly laughter.  When we play mama-mirror as highlighted in the below Tip For a Great Start With Team Kellogg’s – we smile so big until our faces hurt.  Most importantly, being active together provides us with a special way to connect while doing something good for our bodies.

I’m determined to never let my daughter hear me speak of how my clothing fits. But I will continue to talk to her about how exhilarating it was to attempt surfing while living on an island, and how great it felt to exercise in the park while pushing her in a baby stroller shortly after her birth.  I hope that Lucia will see through me a strong example of love for being active.  And I’ll always encourage her to spread her wings and let her powerful light shine.

healthy body image in girls

For more tips inspired by Team Kellogg’s check out:

Kellogg's Team Kellogg'sKellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit


Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s.