A Promise To My Daughter

It’s been a full week now since I stumbled off my deck stairs and destroyed my ankle. I never did make it to a doctor because I know full well it’s soft tissue damage and will have me off running for the next three to four weeks minimum. I’m currently still having some pain, it’s still swollen and bruised, and I still hobble some. But overall I’m feeling better and walking unassisted and mostly normal.

Prior to my little ankle twist and pop, I actually had a good week given how little I’ve fit in since running Seneca7 at seven week pregnant, although at that point I wasn’t “out” here on TGC and I didn’t mention it beyond stating my running was affected by “recent events”.

Recent events in my uterus maybe. Tiny bump, where’d you go?

My workouts have been affected by a few things since becoming pregnant. Morning sickness, work, exhaustion, the weather, my lack of fitting into gear such as my swim suit or being unable to ride my bike anymore. But all things considered I’ve tried really hard to keep up something as often I as could muster up my gusto.

About two weeks ago I read THIS article that discusses accumulative maternal effects which basically means “a mother’s age, size, fat stores and behavior, including physical activity, affect not only her health and metabolism but also that of future generations.”

To break it down, it talks about multiple studies done over many decades by multiple geneticists and scientist that basically says women less active during pregnancy create larger, less active offspring over the generations. They even talk about how leaner and more active people tend to eat more calories and still be smaller. Only about 2% of obesity cases are genetically linked, and the rest are believed to be due to accumulative maternal effects from mothers who are inactive during pregnancy. They even went as far as to study babies born from donated eggs and the donating mothers activity levels and body composition played no role in the body composition of the child. All of that ended up being entirely influenced by the surrogate mother. Here’e the original peer reviewed journal study if you’re into reading hardcore science, of which I am less inclined, albeit not entirely opposed.

And while it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt and know that this is not foolproof and does not mean with complete certainty that this is the only causative explanation to our expanding nation of less active people, it is some good food for thought. I don’t necessarily agree with the article one way or the other because I don’t suspect we’ll ever truly know everything. So I do take it with some leeway, but I did get a pretty important take away from the article at least.

I thought it did a good job just making a point to say that staying active during pregnancy is important. It talks some about long term benefits to the child and that was what struck me. I want to make sure Ellie is healthy, which means I need to be healthy for her.

When we’re too broken to run, we lift!

As someone who is horribly self conscious and insecure in myself, I’ve had to work very hard to shuck a lot of those feelings. I do a good job exuding confidence when I need to, but I spent a good part of my years growing up being so very self aware in a negative way. I’ve had long standing unhealthy relationships with food, my weight, my body image. I scrutinize and grimace and nay say myself so much. I put too much stock in what my scale says or the way my clothes fit or feel.

Triathlon taught me that it’s okay for my weight to bounce around and just be whatever it’s going to be, for my thighs to be big and chunky, and for my body to be strong instead of skinny. It’s taken a long road and a lot of hard work for me to get to a point in my life where I’m okay with my body, with myself the way I am. And pregnancy is causing me to unravel in that respect.

I read this article prior to heading out for a run and my whole run all I could think about was how important it was to me that my daughter never feels the way I do; insecure, self conscious, negative, unaccepting of things that cannot be changed. I want her to be strong and confident and full of life. Life that is not dictated by a number on a scale or some unrealistic and unattainable standard of beauty that the media deems as an end all be all. I don’t want her to just be okay with herself but to love herself as is she.


So to you, my Eleanor, my daughter, I promise that I will do everything in my power to instill you with a fierce confidence and a lust for life. I will make sure you understand that strong and capable are so, so much more important than skinny. That beauty is you. It doesn’t matter what is on tv, or the internet, or in maagzines, you are your own standard of beauty. And you are beautiful because you are yourself. We will not fat shame or speak negatively about our bodies in our home, the scale will be put away out of sight, and we will talk about all things that make us special and unique and exquisite in our own rights. And you will only know happiness and passion and love. You will be strong and outgoing and spirited. And that will make you you. And you are beautiful.


To me, you are perfect. 

12 Replies to “A Promise To My Daughter”

  1. I too have body image issues and have struggled with internal confidence. I think society/media can be cruel to women and how we should look, feel, be. I hope these stigmas are gone before my nieces and your daughter are older so they don’t have to experience similar feelings.
    Kecia recently posted…4 weeks ’til Ironman BoulderMy Profile

    1. I hope they’re gone too. And if they’re not I’m going to do my damnedest to make sure she doesn’t fall pray to them. Hopefully triathlon has helped you find you confidence in yourself because you are one badass chick!

  2. I am not a mother and I don’t have any intentions of having children, but I like to think I am a super amazing aunt to the world’s greatest niece. Which is basically the same thing (haha, just kidding!). But I read this article awhile back and I always try to keep it in mind when I am spending time with her: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html

    I am sure that you are going to be a wonderful mother and role model for Ellie.
    Heather recently posted…Happy 100!My Profile

    1. You are definitely super aunt! Thanks for the additional read =)

  3. One of my friends stayed active through her pregnancy and her labor was “a breeze” .. I quote a breeze because I’m sure labor is hard no matter what, but, it was seemingly easy. There did get a point where the doctor told her no more running, so she just walked more. Good for you to keep active! You’re going to have one healthy baby!
    Steena recently posted…So many triathlons, so little timeMy Profile

    1. I suspect I’ll be done running sooner than I’d like. It’ll be hard to get back into after four weeks off and being even more pregnant. But I hope to continue to stay active whenever the running stops. I’d love an easier delivery!

    1. I’m sure you did great when you were pregnant! Even without research, it seems those of us who are used to being active are pretty good at keeping up some level of it during pregnancy.

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