Better Me with BodyByBree

Generational Dieting Trauma: How to Break the Dieting Cycle with Your Kids

January 24, 2024 BreeAnna Cox Season 5 Episode 105
Better Me with BodyByBree
Generational Dieting Trauma: How to Break the Dieting Cycle with Your Kids
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this week's episode Bree teaches three strategies that can equip our children with the tools they need for a lifetime of mindful eating and self-compassion. Together, we unravel the complex tapestry of influences—from media to family—that shape our relationships with food, aiming to stitch a new pattern that supports the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of the generations to come. Join us on this journey of nourishment and empowerment, as we forge a path to a healthier, happier future.

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Are you looking for a space where you will learn to improve your mental strength, emotional health and heal your insecurities from the inside out? Take the first step to living a more meaningful life with the Better Me with BodyByBree podcast. I'm your host, Bree. I'm a certified personal trainer, entrepreneur and mother of three. I've helped empower thousands of women to take action through fitness, nutrition, meditation, development and aligning thoughts with action. This podcast is for those who are ready to feel inspired and motivated to live a more purposeful life. Let's grow together. 

Have you ever stopped to think about how you view food and your body? How did you gain that perspective? Was it media, family, social pressure? Most of us have a memory of when we started realizing that we need to diet, or watch what we eat, and then we also have a memory of how our body looks. This can be generational dieting trauma and in this episode, I want to help you understand what it is, on how to break the cycle so you don't pass it down to your children. Let's get started. 

Hi friends, I am actually recording this podcast at the beach, so I am hoping that you can't hear the ocean in the background, or maybe you can, and then that's kind of fun, right, it's like Zen. You listen to podcasts with the ocean in the background. I actually came to the ocean to work today because I didn't want to sit in my office and I was like I live so close, why am I sitting in this little box? So we're doing podcasts from the beach, which is kind of fun. So today's episode is Breaking Generational Dieting Trauma. Now I'm a macro coach, so I actually get this question from time to time, How do I make sure that my kids don't think I'm obsessed with dieting if they see me putting food on a scale? And this is very valid. This is a very valid point and it's a really good question, because I actually had the same exact thoughts when I first started my macro journey. I was like I don't want my kids to see me doing this. I want them to just see me eating food and living life and whatever, and that's great. And I'm also very passionate about teaching kids how to have knowledge around food so that they have a strong foundation. 

So I want to coach you through some tips that have really helped me along this journey. Now I've been doing macros for like 12 years, I'm a macro coach and I'm very passionate about making sure that my kids were breaking generational dieting trauma. 

So first let's look at the lens of your relationship with food. So how does this start? Think back to when you were a baby. You ate when you felt hungry. You stopped when you were full. Somewhere along the way you received the message that food is to be restricted, portioned out, counted, that you can eat certain foods that you have to manipulate in order to get your body to look a certain way. You could have gotten this like memo directly from a family member who made you feel like maybe you weren't allowed to eat all foods, or it could have been, you know, just from observing a family member who didn't allow themselves to eat all certain foods, or dieting, or always upset or always on the scale or whatever it may be. So you can really get this from anywhere. 

The word trauma can feel a little aggressive, but really it's just any habit that you've developed along the way that is not positive. So trauma can feel like a big word, but really what are the signs? What are the signs that we have trauma around food and it's that you're obsessive? You have restrictions around food. It could also go the other way where you binge right? You overeat and you binge. It's any negative behavior that you have been passed down from your parents or from your caretakers. So how do we make sure that we don't pass this along to our own children? I actually have three tips. 

So the first tip is: Try to talk about all the good that healthy food does for our bodies instead of all the food that they shouldn't eat. So, for example, teaching them what foods do in their body can be very empowering. So when my kids are eating, I'll say, okay, my kids know what protein is, what a fat is, what a carb is. They know all of those things because it's empowering. You need to teach your kids this. I'm very passionate about making sure that your kids know how to eat a balanced meal. They know what a carb is. They know what a fat is. They know what it does in their body. So when they're eating a protein, I'll say, okay, why do we eat protein? And I'm teaching them we eat protein because it helps us have strong muscles. And, like Jameson plays football, so I'll be like Jameson, this will help you get strong muscles. So when you tackle people, you feel really strong and you can tackle them, and so food is powerful. Food is like very, has this really cool connection with our body and what it can do. So I like to help my kids understand that. So if they're eating carrots, I'll say carrots help, because carrots help with your vision. I'll say carrots can help you see better in the dark. You know, and we like play a game Oh, you want to see better in the dark? We’ve got to eat our carrots. Or I'll say, okay, this avocado is a healthy fat and the healthy fats are what help keep you full and they help your brain function. So these healthy fats are actually going to make you smarter when you go to school. So we talk about all of the specific things that these foods are actually doing in our body. 

We're not afraid of food. Food is something that is magical. It's amazing. It can help you have a great quality of life. So show them that. Okay. 

Number two: Show your kids that your main goal is to be healthy and strong, not skinny. So if my kids ever see me tracking macros, I always phrase it to be positive. So I'll say, yeah, I need to make sure that I'm eating enough protein to fuel my muscles. Or I want to make sure I eat enough healthy fats and enough carbs and I'm eating all my vegetables so that I have a lot of energy. That's how I phrase things with my kids. I don't focus on restriction. I'm not saying you can't eat this, you can't eat that. Oh, I can't eat that ice cream, I can't eat this. Like if I ever reject a food around my family, let's say, you know, I hit my fats for the day or whatever, and they're eating ice cream and if I'm not eating, I'll just say little things like oh yeah, I don't want to have a headache. So it's based off of how I feel, not how I look. And that goes into number three.

My tip number three: I really try not to focus on how their body looks and I focus on how they feel. So I'll say things like if we eat too much sugar, we might get a headache or we might get a stomach ache or we'll feel tired. It's not don’t eat that, you'll get fat or stop eating, you've had enough. Those phrases are what gives us trauma. You never want to do that and our kids are always watching us. So even if you say it to yourself, oh, I'm trying to be good today. Oh, I don't need that. Oh my gosh, I've eaten a donut today. I can't believe I had that donut. That was so bad. I'm not going to eat lunch today. Little things like that. Or if you look in the mirror at your body and you're like, oh, I ate way too much, look at my stomach. Your kids are watching. They watch all of that and they're learning how to have a relationship with food according to how you have a relationship with food. 

So you really need to heal this part of you so that you don't bring that generational trauma down to your children. So when I say teaching them, you know it's okay to teach them hey, if you're full, stop eating. And hey, this is how we eat a macro balanced meal. So I'm gonna give you a quick little story of Olivia and what happened with her, and I thought, oh, this would be good to share, because I feel like sometimes it goes so far on the other way, where it swings the complete opposite side, where we're like, oh, don't talk about our body at all, don't talk about food at all. They can eat what they want and that's not the goal either. 

So, for example, I noticed that Olivia, over the summer, started eating (and I buy healthy foods, but like we'll have, you know, we'll have Oreos or or chips or whatever in the house) and I noticed that she was eating excessive amounts of sugar and starchy carbs. And, for example, she went to eat breakfast and she wanted to eat two bagels, not two bagel halves, like two whole bagels, which is like a hundred grams of carbs for a nine-year-old for breakfast. So in my mind, instead of saying hey, you can't eat all that, that's too much food, I would phrase it as hey, Olivia, instead of eating two full bagels, you know it would help you feel better if you had one bagel and you ate a protein with it, do you want to pick an egg or turkey sausage or something to pair with that? Because then you have the cream cheese is the fat, the carb is the bagel, and then your protein is the turkey sausage or the egg, and you'll feel better, you won't have a headache and you'll have more energy, and she's like oh, yeah, sure, I'll have an egg. Right? That's it. That's all you have to do. It's teaching and guiding your children to know how to eat healthy. 

We also have a rule in our house you have to have one fruit or one vegetable with every meal. So they get to choose what it is. But from a very, very young age I'm instilling in them you have to eat those foods because we, I mean I'm doing a quick little nutrition lesson like a little tangent, but fiber is like one of the most important things we can do for our bodies. So when we, and our kids, don't get any fiber and they're not eating their fruits or vegetables, it's really, really hard on their gut health, which directly affects their mood, their digestion, everything. So I'm like get those veggies in, I don't care what it is, you can choose, but you’ve got to eat them. 

So yeah, healing generational trauma isn't just about breaking the dieting cycles and this also includes the binge eating, the overeating as well, but it's about educating your kids around food so that they have the knowledge of how to fuel themselves. You can do this. You are their example. How they view food moving forward is from you. So you're already doing the work. The fact that you're listening to this podcast shows me that you are wanting to do the work. You're on the journey yourself healing, and you're doing amazing. I'm so, so proud of you. If you need help or you want further instruction, reach out. This is my passion. I love helping women do this. I love helping them know how to speak to their children about food and their bodies. It's really exciting. It's very empowering and it can be a really healing journey for yourself as well. Hopefully this helped you. I will talk to you next time. 

Thank you for joining us on the podcast. Thank you for joining us in today's episode. If you liked the content and want to hear more, remember to hit that subscribe button and write a review. As a small business owner, I appreciate it more than you know. If you are looking for a program to help with self-confidence, to lose weight, get in shape and work on your mental, physical and emotional help, check out my training programs on My team and I help to hold you accountable through the BodyByBree app, where you log in to see all your workouts, custom meal plan made specifically for you and your needs and communication through the messenger. You are never alone when you're on the body by breed training program. Click the link in the show notes to get more information on how to transform your life from the inside out. 

Breaking Generational Dieting Trauma
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