Dearest Baby Girl,
There are some forces at work in this world that can't fully be explained, and one of those is how it feels to be a mother. I watch you grow and change, watch you learn and develop reasoning skills and I hope every single day that I do something to keep you on the path to being a strong, healthy, independent woman. I make sure you eat nutritious foods, get your fruits and vegetables, drink your water and your bottles, limit your television time, read to you, and snuggle you and give you all the love in the world. With all of that, though, there is one area that always concerns me, and that's making sure you don't follow in the footsteps of many generations of your family, your Mom and Dad included, and let your health go.
You see, I've struggled with my weight for well over a decade. I struggled with it when we were preparing to bring you into the world. I struggled with it throughout my pregnancy with you and now that you're here, the full impact of being overweight weighs heavily on me - literally. I want to be someone you can be proud to call mom, someone who is strong and takes care of herself so she can take care of you. And I'm so sorry, but up until now I know I've let you down.
Tonight as you slept, your Dad and I got caught up on our shows, one of which is The Biggest Loser. On this season there is a father, Ron, and son, Mike, who are battling their obesity together and having tremendous success. Tonight's episode featured Mike, who is 18, breaking down and asking Ron why he couldn't change and be a better example. My thoughts immediately went to you. No parent wants their child to be sick or unhealthy, but so few see the connection between their habits and their children's habits. Seeing this being depicted in the interaction between Ron and Mike, my heart felt heavy, heavier than the extra 140 pounds I carry.
I want you to also know that being at a healthy weight and being "beautiful" don't have to be related. Being healthy is the goal; being beautiful comes from within your heart. Your weight has no bearing on your value as a person, and no matter what society would like you to believe, via magazines and television shows. It simply isn't true. I also want you to know that I will never judge you based on the size you wear or the number on the scale - you are my daughter and you are beautiful.
You're still baby, you won't remember me the way I am now, and that's how I want it to be. I want you to think back on your childhood and remember having a strong mom, who played with you and chased you around and was fun and happy, not the mom whose whole body aches from years of neglect, who gets winded during a short walk, who has trouble getting up off of the floor when we play together.
So right now, in this moment my dear daughter, I promise you to be the best example I can, so that you don't carry the burden of generations of bad health choices. I promise to live a healthier lifestyle for you, for any future siblings you have, for your father, for your children, so that I can be a better mom, wife, and one day, grandmother. I love you so much and you deserve to have a mom who will live long enough to see you become a grandmother...maybe even a great-grandmother!