Jennifer really hit it right on the head.
I cannot add a whole lot more to what she said, but I am never at a loss for words, and so I will.
It is important to emphasize healthy eating and physical activity, but you also need to realize that not all people are interested in sports (I never was) and that you can be overweight & still healthy.
When I was sixteen, because I lived within a few miles of school, I walked to & from school every day. I also hiked over a pretty large campus, and because I was paranoid about getting to class on time, I walked quickly. With all this exercise, and good eating habits, I weighed 160. "Ideal" weight for my height is between 124 (according to most height/weight charts) & 140 (according to Navy standards, which I know about through Bobby). So at best, I was 20 pounds overweight.
Right now, I'm 244. Part of this is baby, yes. But I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Shortly before I was diagnosed with this, I weighed about 200 pounds, perhaps 220. By the time I got pregnant, I weighed 252 pounds. PCOS makes you gain weight. I also have had a weak back my whole life, which prevents me from exercising as much as I would like. But...I proved to myself today from necessity that I can still walk three miles. I am still healthy enough to do what I did sixty pounds ago. My back hurt like hell at the end of the walk, but then, when I was 16 I often had the same problem.
So when I hear people assigning obesity to eating, it makes me angry. Anyone who knows me can tell you I don't eat a lot. So the media & "healthcare industry" telling me that if I simply ate less & exercised more I'd lose weight really pisses me off. It is simply not true for me, and every single woman I know who is significantly overweight is overweight for a medical cause & not from stuffing her face.
That said, I have an excellent body image. I always have. I intend to emphasize to my daughter(s) the same things I thought of as a child. God made my body the way He wanted it. The human body is a miracle, the fact that everything links together and does what I want it to is a fact which has always held me in awe. I've got a cousin who's a size two on a good day, and she's healthy & beautiful. I've got a cousin who's a size 18, & she's healthy & beautiful. The best thing I can possibly do is to have my children around beautiful, healthy women of a variety of sizes. I will also give her early on an interest in nature & the outdoors, as I was given, because I have found hiking to be wonderful exercise, and the solitude fits my personality just fine. I will continue to remark (as I do now to my husband) in supermarkets the idiocy of magazines like Woman's Day
, which either have a huge picture of a chocolate cake and a bright headline on their latest diet, or a picture of a woman who's just lost 50 pounds (& more often than not is still ugly, but that's another subject
) and a bright headline about desserts to make for your family.