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Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

Mom, I Feel Fat: Becoming Your Daughter's Ally in Developing a Healthy Body Image

Mom, I Feel Fat: Becoming Your Daughter's Ally in Developing a Healthy Body Image - Sharon A. Hersh Ok, before I start the review I have a couple of questions. First, all you women out there who are totally content and at peace about your weight and body shape and image, please raise your hands. I'll wait. Go ahead, raise your hands a little higher because I can't really see any right now. Please. Anyone?Second question, how many women out there have gone on a diet to lose weight? Ah... the hands are popping up now everywhere. Yes, I see all those hands. Thanks for participating.Those two issues are at the heart of "Mom, I feel fat!" by Sharon Hersh. Women (mother's) are not happy with the way they look. They communicate this to younger women (daughter's). Instead of thinking about what a "healthy you" looks like, they adopt a standard that almost no women in the world could ever attain even with drugs and surgery. Since the mom's are busy and don't really have time in the busy hustle of their lives to think about how they should look given their unique body shape and image, they adopt a standard that isn't theirs. They then have to adopt a method of getting to that standard, which is going on a diet. Dieting creates eating disorders, according to the author. Think about that. Dieting does not help you lose weight over the normal course of your life. Dieting messes up your body's chemistry which can cause you to gain weight and then creates all sorts of problems as a result of that. Daughter's observe all of this, and make similar decisions about their own bodies that their mother's have made about theirs. And then when those daughters become mothers, they pass this same cycle on to their daughters.As in the other Hersh book I read, ' "Mom, I Hate My Life!": Becoming your Daughter's Ally through the emotional ups and downs of adolescence' (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/103049998), the author identifies several mothering styles. It is important for you to find the way you mother your daughter, because each style has problems. Hersh identifies these types of styles because with them come communication styles and unspoken expectations. (paraphrasing from the book)Mothering from Above -- A mother who is "most comfortable teaching, correcting, and admonishing. She dispenses rules and regulations, providing instruction, and shaping a productive member of society. Relies on her experience, knowledge, and authority".Mothering from Beneath -- "most comfortable when she is serving others and putting herself down. Her role is to provide everything needed for her daughter to turn out better than she did. She relies on what she is lacking as motivation to guide her in mothering."Mothering from a Distance -- "most comfortable when she is observing her daughter or immersed in her own activities. Her role is providing basic physical needs. She relies on her daughter to find her own way in life." Hover Mothering -- "comfortable when her daughter is happy and content. Role is to banish misery and make everyone happy all the time. Relies on her own abilities to fix every problem and keep her daughter satisfied."Hand-in-Hand Mothering, a faith-filled vision -- This is the type of balanced mature mothering that should be our goal. Real relationships impact us most significantly, not rules or speeches or cleanliness or achievements. Identifying your mothering style helps you know how to change what you are doing in that style that is not helpful, and move towards a healthier relationship with your daughter.A fascinating section in the chapter on anorexia and also on bulimia examines what types of girls are susceptible to the different eating disorders. Girls who are more prone to anorexia have 1) matured earlier than others, 2) have been physically or sexually abused, 3) parents are in the midst of a divorce or great conflict, 4) a tendency to be perfectionists. Families of anorexic girls tend to 1) impose an identify on their daughters and are rigid and intolerant of the girl's opinions or desires, 2) be distant and uninvolved, or 3) be intrusive, overprotective, and unable to deal with conflict, 4) be critical and demanding.Girls who are more prone to bulimia are 1) people pleasers and don't want to disappoint the expectations of people they like and respect, 2) using food to numb heir emotions, 3) don't know how to express their own emotions, and 4) will internalize all her families emotions. Families of bulimic girls tend to 1) have tension at mealtime, 2) have parental conflict, 3) have family patterns of dieting (everyone is on and off of diets), 4) have parents who are depressed or have substance abuse problems. So an anorexic girl is trying to keep something out, but the bulimic girl is searching for something to take in.The best part of this book again is the emphasis on hand-in-hand mothering. I John 4: 18 says "Perfect love casts out fear". Don't be afraid to come alongside your daughter and teach her the truth. It is worth fighting for her and alongside her so that she can grow and mature into the mighty woman of God the Lord wants her to be.