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Don't ask, " Do I look fat?"

It is almost August. Whether it be foggy Ventura or sunny East Hampton, women all over the country are worrying about this one thing.

How will I look if I wear the bathing suit, bikini, tankini, skirted sarong thing all in an effort to not look fat, feel fat, be fat. This thinking isn’t limited to the slightly overweight and extends to the rail thin, the 8 year old, and the morbidly obese among us.

So much time spent on the wrong issue. Instead of enjoying the sun, the sand, the smells, the grit, the sandcastles, the sandy sandwich, the great feeling of washing the beach off after a day in the sun we are wrapped up in our own misery.

The look of satisfaction on the child that got mom to join them in the pool or in the surf far outweighs the emphasis we put on how we look and yet for some it does not.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

As a new study from the UK points out, body dissatisfaction, which contributes to eating disorders, can start at an alarmingly young age — eight years old.

Combatting body image issues starts with addressing the relationship between young people and the messages of perfection they receive from the media and even their own families.

So this is directed at all the moms out there who insist on critiquing their body in the mirror in front of their small, impressionable children. Knock it off.

Our bodies are temples and even if you haven’t been treating it as such this is your chance to pretend as if you believe this.

Our children see us as beautiful … Believe what they say.

Before you know it, if you have been modeling self hatred every time you get dressed to go, then guess what you have created? Another child who is excellent at finding fault with their stomach, their thighs, their less than taut arms.

And if your kids are subject to the world’s image of perfection in the form of magazine covers, YouTube, Facebook, TV, you need to re think this exposure.

We are in the world, no doubt.

We don’t need to be of the world. Counter the messages that your children are exposed to. Minimize or eliminate the wrong messages they are receiving about beauty, bodies and what is ideal.

Our bodies are amazing. We are complex creatures created by God and a combination of the DNA of many generations.

Our bodies are a gift. Try to encourage your children to see themselves the way God sees them. Wholly and dearly loved.

You, too.