I want to start this article off saying I am not a psychotherapist, psychologist or doctor.  I am simply a women who overcame emotional eating, built a body I love to live in, restored myself esteem, and took control of my life.

My mother was an amazing mom. I always came home to a clean house, homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I had a roof over my head, clothes, close friends and an even closer family.  I was lucky enough to say that my needs were met and I never doubted that I was loved.

My mother, as with all parents, had her shortcomings. My mom grew up in an age where self-development work was not the “IN” thing to do.  She was raised in an alcoholic household and watched as her mother was verbally and sometimes even physically abused by her father.  She was raised by a women who had low self-esteem, allowing this volatile situation to continue throughout her childhood.  My grandmother set the stage for her three daughters as to what appropriate boundaries were for a women; or in this case lack there of. My grandmother used food for comfort.  She was the definition of an emotional eater and by the time she was 50, she was obese.

My mother did the best with what she had to give.  Growing up, my mother always complained about how fat her legs looked. She hated the stretch marks from her C-section and was not fond of her saggy breasts from breastfeeding.  Regardless of whether she did or did not say it out loud, as a child and then teenager, I was highly in tune to her lack of self-esteem and negative body image.

By the age of 13, I started restricting my food, drank diet coke and sugar free everything, thanks to the constant propaganda in the dieting industry; and used food as a form of control in a life that seemed very out of control.  Did I mention I was a double 00 naturally? See the image we have of ourselves has very little to do with the scale and more to do with what we believe we see.  My mother had set the stage for hating ones body, unworthiness, low self-esteem and lack of value.

I had to fight hard to overcome an eating disorder, and learn to love my body and who I was.  I had to be willing to get real, stop making excuses and do something to change what I don’t like.  I stopped playing the victim formed a healthy relationship with food and put an immediate stop to any negative chatter.  But the most important and hardest thing I had to change was learning to value myself.  It is impossible to love ourselves and use food as a crutch. The two simply cannot exist together.

I’m not sure if my passion for helping women lose weight and build confidence stems from my family history.  What I can say is as a society, we need to start taking a look at the root of the problem, not just slapping a band aid (in this case a diet plan) on a much deeper issue.  We have drilled into our youth through example that if they aren’t sticking to a nearly impossible diet that they are failures!  The amount of false information I hear daily is beyond alarming. No wonder so many people struggle to lose weight!

Child and teenage obesity is a very real problem. It absolutely kills me when I see young girls missing out on the experience of being a teenager because their low self esteem keeps them isolated from their peers and the many opportunities teens have.  These young girls then grow into their twenties, thirties and onward forming debilitating health issues, crippling self worth and a life that is not being fully lived, all because they are addicted to food!  Their lack of value stops them from seeing past their current situation.  They are incapable of being able to hold the vision of believing they can in fact have a better life. But the life they dream of is attainable, no matter when you start!

For the mother’s with young girls, be careful of what you do, what you say and most importantly, your thoughts.  Your youngsters are watching your every move.

For mothers with teenage girls, help them love their bodies. Make healthy sustainable choices,  but mostly show them through example.  Too many women want the best for their children by putting themselves last.  What are you truly showing your child when you do this?  Where is your fitness routine? Your “me” time?  Do you have a nutritious diet?  Have you worked on your self-esteem, your value?  What thoughts go through your mind when you’re reaching for that third cookie?

A daughter’s self esteem starts at home.  Let us be the change we want to see.

Kerin Briscese is founder of HauteFitnessHealth.com. Head toher website to set up your complimentary consultation.

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