You've got a shelf full of the latest diet books, from the Atkins to the Zone.
You're used to sitting at the dinner table gloomily pushing steamed fish around your plate while everyone else tucks into pizza.
You've never been happy with your weight – and to you, dieting is a way of life.
But is it one that you'd like your kids
We're all concerned about the lessons kids learn from magazines which celebrate skinny celebs and highlight a new crazy diet every week. But perhaps we need to look a bit closer to home.
When we spend weeks living on maple syrup, cutting out carbs or swigging grapefruit juice after every meal, we're also pushing some dangerous ideas. We're teaching our children that dieting, rather than healthy eating, is normal. That a quick fix is better than a long-term change.
And that we don't really believe that what's on the inside counts for much – at least, not when it comes to Mummy's muffin top.
Sarah, mum to two daughters aged seven and three, experienced first hand the effect that a parent's dieting can have on children. She decided to try the Dukan diet, a strict high-protein, no-carb regime.
"I was worried about the effect it would have on the oldest one," she says. "Because we always try to eat as a family, when I started opting out or was eating something different, she wanted to know why.
"At first I said it was because I was fat and needed to lose weight but that really upset her. She got tearful and said she liked me as I was and she didn't want me to change.
"I realised that speaking like that wasn't good in front of her because she had in the past - and did again - asked if she was fat.
At around the same time, another mum we know also lost loads of weight and her daughter stopped eating and ended up in an eating disorder clinic. She was six.
"It was a graphic illustration of how vigilant you need to be about the ways you speak to kids - especially girls - about diets and food."
Mary George, of eating disorders charity Beat
, says: "Negative attitudes towards shape are so contagious.
Mums need to be very careful not to make critical comments about shape and size – both their children's and their own.
"Saying: 'Does my bum look big in this?' may be flippant, but can stay with a child.
"In this day and age, we are bombarded with comments about individuals. It seems to be fine to criticise people's body shape and size - and it's not right."
And she says that it's not just mums of girls who need to watch what they say. "Boys are under just as much pressure from all those celebrity role models who are 'ripped' and have a six-pack."
Of course, there's nothing wrong with losing excess weight for the good of your health.
But do it sensibly – not just for your own sake, but also for your children.
Make sure that they see you're making positive changes for the right reasons
Sarah decided to talk to her daughter again about healthy eating. She says: "We also discussed the differences between adults' bodies and what they need to eat and exercise, as opposed to kids' growing bodies.
"She never really questioned it again and she eats well and healthily and has a good appetite.
Mary advises: "Whoever prepares the food in the household needs to provide the whole family with a balanced meal that doesn't send out the wrong messages.
"A mother sitting down to a bowl of lettuce can do that. If a child has a predisposition to developing an eating disorder, that kind of behaviour can contribute towards it.
So look at what you put on the table. Be conscious of the messages that your children are receiving, and talk to them in a very positive way about their own body shape and size.
"Celebrate the person within. It's so important to build up children's self-esteem and get them thinking positively about these issues."
Despite losing two stone on the Dukan diet, Sarah's now decided to ditch it in favour of healthy eating and exercise. "It was a drag always having to think about what I was eating and making something different to what the rest of the family was having," she says.
"Now I'm just eating healthily and have started running. My family has been really supportive – particularly my eldest, who is always encouraging me to go out for a run, especially if I say I don't think I can face it.
"She's always saying: 'You can do it, mummy.' I'm really pleased that she gets to see me being active and exercising."
More on Parentdish: A diet book for six year olds?? Yes, really
- Beat a drum
<p>Learning how to play the drums is both satisfying and healthy. Drumming increases the heart rate, encourages you to use the whole body and helps with co-ordination and muscle control. It's also enormous fun. Choose between lessons or family drumming days and unleash your inner rock star.</p>
- Go walking
<p>Walk to school, walk to the shops, walk to the park and just keep on going. Little ones can handle a fairly steady pace and, if it's quite a hike, take along some water and a healthy snack.</p>
<p>The simple stride has oodles of <a href="http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/everyone/health.html" target="_blank">health benefits,</a> is easy to do, doesn't need special equipment and it's free.</p>
- Get gaming
<p>A study by a professor of Exercise Science at BYU proved that <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/07/01/why-my-children-dont-need-wii-hab/" target="_blank">exergames</a> (exercise games) burn sufficient calories to form part of a valid exercise regime.</p>
<p>This means that you can enjoy Wii Boxing without feeling guilty. Most fitness and dance games are available for all three consoles (Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 3) and some of the best include <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Take-2-Nickelodeon-Fit-Wii/dp/B004KJECWO" target="_blank">Nickelodeon Fit,</a><a href="http://www.ubi.com/UK/Games/Info.aspx?pId=9410" target="_blank">Dance Juniors </a>, <a href="http://www.majescoentertainment.com/games/display_game.php?PLTFRM=kinect-for-xbox-360&GN=zumba-fitness" target="_blank">Zumba Fitness </a>, <a href="http://www.ubi.com/US/Games/Info.aspx?pId=9808" target="_blank">Just Dance 3</a> and <a href="http://www.konami.com/games/walk-it-out" target="_blank">Walk it Out</a>.</p>
- Try yoga
<p>Yoga is a brilliant way to keep fit and supple and it is available in all sorts of flavours. You can start out healthy with <a href="http://www.nct.org.uk/courses/antenatal-courses/nct-yoga-pregnancy" target="_blank">pregnancy yoga</a>, follow up with baby yoga, upgrade to classes for kids aged two and up, and even use <a href="http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=yoga+for+kids&tbo=p&tbm=vid&source=vgc&hl=en&aq=f" target="_blank">YouTube</a>.</p>
<p>You’ll find classes in your area through the NCT for pregnant mums and the well known <a href="http://www.yogabugs.com/home.aspx" target="_blank">Yoga Bugs </a> offer courses across the UK.</p>
- Create an obstacle course at home
<p>Whip up an obstacle course <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00gmmv8)" target="_blank">Total Wipeout</a> style and prepare to be amazed at how much fun you all have.</p>
<p>Suck in your gut, sweep your legs back and forth and convert yourself into the Crazy Sweeper while giggling offspring jump over your limbs.</p>
<p>You'll get a whopping workout while they burn off energy. Turn yourself into the Sucker Punch, jump from one cushion to another, or clamber around the room without touching the floor.</p>
- Take a dip
Swimming falls into the category of vigorous exercise and is excellent for buoyant workouts that allow for all levels of fitness.</p>
Whether you hover in the shallow end playing with your water wary children or throw down some lengths, you will be moving muscles and burning fat. And thanks to lovely heated pools you don't have to plunge your shivering body into icy water in winter.</p>
- Skip to my Lou
According to the <a href="http://www.brsa.org.uk/pages/skip-yourself-fit.htm" style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;" target="_blank">British Rope Skipping Foundation</a><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;"> a ten minute session of skipping has the same health benefits as a 45 minute run.</span></p>
If you can't remember how to skip, your kids will only be too happy to help, and laughing at a parent is a great motivator.</p>
- Don't spare the horses
Horse riding is great for improving posture, burning fat and keeping the body active. If you've never clambered aboard one of these amazing animals before, then one hour of riding will soon see you groaning at the aches and pains in new places. Horse riding can be tackled by anyone at any age except, of course, pregnant mums and newborn babes.</p>
- Try two wheels
Cycling is something that the entire family can enjoy and children love it. Teaching kids to cycle can be a tad challenging, fortunately <a href="http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files/leaflets/sustrans_cyclingwithchildren_March08.pdf" style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;" target="_blank">Sustrans </a><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 12pt;">has a handy guide on how to introduce your kids to cycling and tips on keeping safe while on the roads.</span></p>
Then took a look at the <a href="http://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-we-do/national-cycle-network)" target="_blank">National Cycle Network </a> for scenic and traffic-free routes in your area.</p>
- Just roll with it
<p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Scooting is a fantastic way to keep fit, have fun and enjoy the outdoors together (and it’s kinder to your purse - they don’t require pricey petrol!). Check out </span><a href="http://9nl.it/MicroscooterTrixx/" style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;" target="_blank">Micro Scooters</a><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"> for wheels suitable for all ages. The range can help improve your child’s balance and co-ordination skills, plus the products are not just for kids – the brand also has a </span><a href="http://www.micro-scooters.co.uk/mums-fit.php" style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;" target="_blank">Mums' Scooter Club</a><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"> (you know you want to…!). </span></p>
<p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">A recent study by Mirco Scooters also found teachers who scoot to work garner greater respect from their pupils and the pupils' parents. </span></p>
For information and advice, logon to Beat
For sensible advice on losing weight, see Shape Solutions