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“Mommy, do you want to be skinny?”

“Mommy, do you want to be skinny?”

My 8-year-old daughter asked me this, and it brought me to a complete halt. It caught me off guard as I have never said I wanted “to be skinny.”

Yet I wasn’t completely surprised she asked as she does see me work out and talk about nutrition, not to mention my husband also works in the wellness field. As I looked at her staring intently back at me, I knew exactly what I wanted to say.

As I am raising three young daughters that I’m trying to mold, three daughters who I never want to have a body complex, nor feel inadequate or compare themselves to someone else thinking they need to have “her body.” But I want my girls to value their health. I want them to have respect for their bodies and ensure that they are respected by others. I want my daughters to keep their health a focus and priority throughout their lives, continually working on becoming the best versions of themselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

My children are never going to remember how many pushups I was able to do. They won’t remember how fast I was able to run a 5K, nor will they remember what size I was, or wasn’t, for that matter.

But they will remember that their Mommy was strong. That she was fierce. That she believed in herself when nobody else did.

And despite all the times things got tough, insanely tough, despite all the times it would have been easier to quit, my children will remember that was when Mommy pushed harder.

I want my children to look back and say, “Because of my Mommy, I never gave up.”

So without hesitation, I leaned down and looked confidently into my young daughter’s eyes.

“So, Mommy… do you?”

“No, Honey. Mommy wants to be strong!”

And with that, she hugged me and whispered as she was pressed against my chest, “Then I want to be strong, too.”

Regan Long

Regan Long is a mother of 5, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and paid family leave advocate. Regan founded The Real Deal of Parenting, an online platform that provides heartwarming and witty content to millions of readers worldwide, a large percentage of those being mothers.

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