By Amy & Amanda
March 31, 2018
When meeting this lively redheaded entrepreneur, our first impression was her fun personality. But Molly Perry is no stranger to body image issues. She grew up in the competitive figure skating world and went on to become a professional figure skater as an adult. As a teenager, she became anorexic and bulimic, and that struggle stayed with her until just 8 years ago, with the arrival of her first child.
Growing up, she was constantly being told she had to be a certain size and maintain a certain physique. Constant poking and prodding would have been enough on its own, but coupled with people saying things such as, “Oh that looks like a little fat right there…you look a little fat over there,” it was a body image calamity waiting to happen. Molly says, “It just gets in you and you just don’t see yourself right in the mirror anymore.”
When Molly became a mom she made a conscious decision not to pass her body image struggles onto her children. She wanted to be a positive model, rather than continuing to shoulder a burden of insecurity and self doubt. Having such critical adult role models in her own life, it was an important step for her. “I didn’t want them to have that voice in their head for themselves.”
But learning to feel more positive about her body is a work in progress. One step she and her husband took was removing full length mirrors from their home for a long time. She also avoided using scales. “I just get dressed in what I feel comfortable in, and I don’t go by a scale. I go by how comfortable I am in my clothes.” Sometimes after holidays, for example, things start to feel tight and Molly recalibrates, trying to eat and exercise in a more mindful way. “I’m just doing what I can, I’m not going to make myself crazy, I exercise and I take care of myself. I’m active with my kids and active at home.”
Molly works hard to prioritize herself. “It’s difficult, but you know, I’ll tell the kids, ‘Mommy going to exercise right now.’ If they’re home from school I tell them it’s my turn to do an exercise video. Sometimes they join me, other times not. I think it’s healthy for them to see me doing things for myself and taking care of myself.”
Molly’s lifelong struggle and journey to a more healthy self perspective has taught her that she is only worth as much as she can give. “ Your value isn’t what you have for money or anything, but in what you can do. Your health. If I’m not healthy I can’t take care of my kids, I can’t take care of my home, I can’t take care of my business. My yardstick is in how good I feel and how much I’m able to participate in life.”