Last evening in my nightly travels across the Internet (i.e. checking in on the blogs that I read, getting some updates from Facebook and looking for recipes), I stumbled across Dove's Movement for Self-Esteem. Basically it's Dove's campaign to educate young women about their value and self-worth. I'm a little bit of a social media junkie, so I really liked that they've launched a blog and have encouraged women to send them messages answering the question, "What Do You Wish You'd Known at 13?"
Thirteen. Do you remember being 13? It's such a strange age, and I have to be honest, sometimes when I'm walking home through Astoria Park on my way home from work - and I see the young girls sitting on park benches whispering to each other and tugging at their clothes self-consciously, there's a little part of me that wants to stroll over and tell them that life isn't what they think it is. They're 13, they have no frame of reference.
So how does this fit into this blog (I know what you're thinking - more recipes, less talk)? Well, I think that a lot of our adulthood habits (eating habits included) grow from how we feel about ourselves when we're 13 (especially for girls). I also think that at 13, most of us decide how we feel about our bodies...and those feelings travel with us for the rest of our lives. Which is kind of weird - why would we trust a 13 year old's take on anything, let alone the way we feel about ourselves and our health?
So, if I could walk over to those girls in the park - I would tell them:
1. He's not as important as you think he is (because seriously, when you're 13 there's ALWAYS a guy involved)
2. It doesn't matter what your friends think
3. Do the things that you want to do (join clubs, dance and sing, be in a book club), like I said, it doesn't matter what your friends think
4. At 13 you're not even half way to what you are going to become (so don't worry so much)
5. Your value is not tied to the way you look (when you're a grown up, people will love you for the person that you are)
6. Take care of yourself. Eating well and being physically active will make you feel better
7. Your parents aren't your enemies (when the chips are down, you'll always want to turn to them)
8. Always do what you know is right (and you know what's right)
9. Be kind to others
10. Be kind to yourself
What am I trying to say? I'm saying that we've all come a long way from being 13. Let's remember how far we've come, how far we have to go and to remember that 'healthy-ish' is't just about the food that you put into your body, it's about the thoughts that you allow into your head.