Written by Anisa Woodall MS CN
“I confronted a stranger today. You know that feeling when you see something so wrong but the socially-acceptable thing to do is to “stay in your lane” and not say anything?”
I hesitate to offer parenting advice, especially to people who aren’t receptive, but today at the soccer fields I saw a man force-coaching (what appeared to be) his ~13 year old daughter and wife in a HIIT workout. When I say “force coaching”, I mean coaching when she clearly didn’t want to be participating. What’s more, he persistently was incentivizing her with a “Frappuccino from starbucks”.
So many of the women I work with in my nutrition practice struggle with their relationships with food, with exercise and with their body, many of their challenges beginning as young as adolescence. Young girls learn from our culture (and worse, their own parents) that food is something to be “earned” or “deserved” and that exercise is supposed to be unenjoyable, performed only with incentives (instead of simply a joyful and healthy way to express the body).
What if we could teach the young girls of the world that you can move your body simply because you want to feel good? What if we could teach them that food is to fuel their bodies? And what if, I know this is revolutionary, we taught them that both food and exercise can be enjoyable exclusive of each other?
In our conversation, he told me it was “just a joke” and that he’s a “real fitness instructor” but the damage is in the subtle messaging. Parents, can we please be intentional about how we raise the next generation? We don’t need any more women hating their bodies and punishing themselves for eating. We were made for so much more than that.
Anisa Woodall, MS CN is a real-food, holistic Certified Nutritionist and natural mama. Her life’s purpose is to inspire and encourage women to live, eat and move with mindfulness, intention and confidence. She holds a MS degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics and a BS degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Bastyr University, the leading institution in natural medicine. She holds both individual and group nutrition sessions, with a special interest in Women’s Health and Fertility, through her website anisawoodall.com.
Find Anisa on instagram, @anisawoodallnutrition.