Ladies, how old were you when you had your first I’m fat thought? Mine was probably around age 10 when I realized my best friend’s jeans wouldn’t fit because I was tish bigger than her. Mind you, we were both bean poles and spent our summers running and biking around town and swimming for hours at the outdoor city pool. Neither of us were fat… we were fit, active kids who were just built differently!
That said, no 10-year-old girl should ever have negative body image thoughts – because she’s TEN – but it’s the unfortunate reality for so many today. How can we change this and instead instill a positive, I’m-strong-and-capable-of-anything body image in young girls today? By participating in Girls on the Run Twin Cities!
GOTR-TC is a 10-week curriculum-based development program offered in 35 elementary and middle schools across the Twin Cities. More than 150 volunteer coaches lead these girls through the program.
Along with a community service project, a 5k is the culmination of 20 lessons that focus on “The Five Cs Plus One” – confidence, competence, caring, strength of character, connection and contribution – to prevent unhealthy and risky behaviors, including inactivity and negative body image.
It’s working, too, according to GOTR-TC participants and their parents. One mom, whose daughter participated in GOTR in both third and fourth grade, said, “She’s taller and heavier than most girls in her grade, and GOTR has helped her with self-image and healthy choices. She’s already excited about her next two seasons of GOTR in fifth grade. And, we talked about volunteering at the 5Ks once she’s too old for GOTR.”