Jamie Otis is speaking out about how your words can affect your children.
Over the weekend, the 35-year-old “Bachelor” star took to Instagram to share a video of her swimming with her kids in a striped swimsuit and oversized sunglasses, which she paired with an empowering note about parenting and body positivity.
In the clip, Otis splashed and laughed with her children while the words: “I stopped putting my life on hold until I lost weight. I haven’t actually lost the ‘baby weight’ (I’ve actually only gained more weight). But my children won’t remember my cellulite or belly rolls. And my own inner child body image issues are healing by modeling the type of body confidence I want for them. mother didn’t just love them. I truly enjoyed them,” appeared on the screen.
In the caption, the reality star opened up about how her childhood experiences led to disordered thoughts, and how she’s working to change that for her children.
“I’m just a mommy trying to break the cycle of growing up with body image issues for my children. My mom didn’t realize it, but by her constant obsession over how ‘fat’ she thought she was I became super insecure about my own 75 pound body. I began starving myself and staring at myself in the mirror picking myself apart — I was only 10 years old,” she explained. “I know my mom/grandma never wanted me to have an eating disorder. They had no idea that their obsession with their own body fat and cellulite would pass on to me so early. But it did.”
The “Married at First Sight” alum went on to discuss that as she shielded her children from her negative body image thoughts, she actually found self-love and gratitude in the process.
“After becoming a mommy, I knew I needed to do better for my daughter. I tried not to mention about my pant size, how much I weigh in front of her — even when she was just a baby…By trying to shield my children from the awful cycle of body image issues, I began to heal my own inner-child,” she explained.
“There’s nothing wrong with being fat. There’s nothing wrong with being skinny. Our bodies only define us if we let them,” Otis continued. “A lot of times I’m asked, ‘how did you get so confident with your body?!’ And the truth is, I really just faked it at first. I faked it for my kids’ sake…I promise you, you’ll begin to notice a difference and man, it feels so freeing.”
Fans loved the honest and empowering post and praised Otis for her vulnerability.
“Thank you so much for opening up and getting deep about this. I do the same with my kids — I promised myself I wouldn’t let my (previous) body issues stand in the way of me playing with my kids by the beach or any other family activity,” shared a follower.
“I love how real and honest you are! I too am like you and have a husband who loves me for me! Your kids are beautiful and will love you for focusing on them!” wrote another.
“I’m learning so much from your experience in perspective on weight and motherhood. Thanks for sharing my friend, really needed this,” said someone else.