Happy 2013 from GRRRL Camp! Here are some ideas we had for healthy, inspiring, and empowering resolutions for you and the girls in your life.
1. Eat healthier.
An extremely common resolution is to lose weight, and maybe it’s one of yours. If this is for the purpose of being the healthiest you can be, we commend you! There are ways to use this to inspire the girls around you to develop healthy eating habits and an appreciation for what their bodies can do, and we’d like to make sure those are the outcomes you see.
a) Do not discuss calorie counting, how many pounds you want to lose, or how much better you’ll feel when your Name That Body Part is smaller. The girls (and boys, but statistically mostly girls) around you will pick up on it, and mimic what you to. They will start thinking about what they eat in a very unhealthy way, and will start feeling good or bad about themselves based on how their body looks. This creates the heartbreaking statistic that 80% of 10 year old girls have gone on a diet. Girls need to focus on learning, growing, questioning, and playing, and really, so do YOU!
b) When you alter your dietary habits, feel free to mention them to the girls around you, and be sure to say why. For example, “I’m going to order the salad with chicken so I get enough protein to build strong muscles” instead of “I’m ordering a salad because there are fewer carbs and calories than a burger.” When girls understand how eating certain things can help or hurt their bodies, you’re giving them helpful tools for life.
c) Be active with the girls in your life. If they learn from the start how good it feels to be active, they’re likely to continue it as adults instead of seeing it as a weight loss-specific chore. There are countless ways to be active from lifting weights to running to dancing. Find something you both genuinely enjoy and start building long-term healthy habits!
2. Watch and support female athletes.
As our Powerful Poster Project pointed out, girls (and adult women) need to see images of female athletes doing their thing, not being sexualized or photoshopped. In turn, we all identify with them and feel better about ourselves and what our bodies can do. The atmosphere at women’s sporting events tends to be invigorating and full of positivity around girls and their ability to be powerful and strong.
a) If you’re already a sports fan, take your girls to watch your favorite sport or team! They’ll pick up on your enthusiasm and be more likely to try playing that sport in the future.
b) If you don’t know where to start, there is probably a local college or even high school nearby whose games you could attend. There are also some cool broadcasts of women’s sports on TV! Some that we like: The newNational Women’s Soccer League, The WNBA, The LPGA, and local coverage of college sports.
c) If the girl in your life claims she is only into dance and not sports, take her anyway. Plenty of girls used to think this, the GRRRL Camp Founder included, and often it is only because they haven’t had the proper positive, supportive, and fun sports intro. There are countless physical, mental, emotional, and professional benefits from having played sports, and we don’t want your girls to miss out!
3. Learn something new.
Obviously this is a really broad resolution, but it is a good opportunity to learn something with the girl in your life that might not normally be offered to her. For example, buy a kit or take a class that involves using tools you might not have used before. Build something, learn something about woodworking, or paint a room of the house together. Early introductions to things like these will make your girl less intimidated by learning them later on, and more independent with fun or necessary projects.
4. Read more books.
Instead of watching TV or reading magazines with unrealistic photoshopped images in them, read more! A Mighty Girl is a great website with an incredible amount of empowering books in all kinds of categories. You can read these to your girls, have your girls read them to you if they’re old enough, or read some separately and then discuss them. Bonding, learning, and empowerment all in one!
We hope you enjoy our suggestions, and that your 2013 is your best year yet!