Family Health

Why We Don’t Talk About Body Weight in Our House

Apr 24, 2017

I'm a powerful presence in my daughter's life. In other words, a role model. It's a role I embrace in earnest. I love that she's front and centre, observing my healthy habits. But just as important as the habits I display, are the behaviors I don't. I don't obsess over the scale, calories or exercise. And I don't want my daughter to, either.

She won't see me as a slave to the scale (not owning one helps).

My weight will fluctuate by 10 to 15 pounds depending on how I'm eating and training. At either extreme, I see the difference in my face, midsection and legs, and assume others do to. Whether or not my seven-year old notices, I can't say. I don't discuss my weight with, or around her either. I reserve that dialogue for my trainer and keep the occasional craziness in my head. She won't see me as a slave to the scale (not owning one helps). What she'll see is an ongoing balance of healthy choices and indulgences in my everyday life.

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On Saturday mornings we "work out" together at home. It's my last and lightest workout of the week so I have fun with it. After setting up mats and water stations, she'll join me for a few push ups, then break off into her own yoga or jump rope thing. Or, sometimes she launches into a make-believe premise about exercise sisters training for the big competition. I think it's fantastic and do my best to play along.

I don't obsess over the scale, calories or exercise. And I don't want my daughter to, either.

Our Saturday morning routine is as regimented as physical activity gets for us at home. She understands that I train to get better in my sport, and doesn't see me approach exercise as a chore. What she sees is that regular movement is a fun and challenging activity that we can enjoy together.

Thankfully, at seven years old, she's still oblivious to the concept of weight or body image. But as she crosses the threshold into her pre-tween years, she's sure to be confronted with feelings about her size and shape. When that happens, I'll speak with her from a place of authority and empathy.
Until then, I hope my powerful influence teaches my daughter to move, challenge, enjoy and love her body — no numbers attached.

Article Author Debbie King
Debbie King

Read more from Debbie here.

Debbie King (aka SUPAFITMAMA) is a Toronto-based masters athlete, influencer, freelance writer, wife and mother of one. At age 42, she is training toward her goal of becoming a 2020 World Masters Athletics track and field champion. In her work as a writer and influencer, Debbie creates powerful content and connections in female fitness, sport, wellness and culture. Body positivity, inclusion and representation are strong themes throughout. As a regular contributor for CBC Parents, she explores a range of healthy living topics for individuals and Canadian families. Follow her journey at and on Instagram and Twitter.

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