my mother tortured me about my weight. or is it tormented me. or is it both! although my mom wasn’t a waif, and never felt good about her body, she had utmost control over what she did and did not consume. and my mother was, ultimately (after many years of trying), super thin.
don’t misunderstand… in every other way i knew my mother was proud of me and loved me intensely. and lived for me. i mean really… in her core she wanted nothing more than to be with me and provide me with a happy go lucky life and make me feel loved.
but my weight enraged her. and as well as she could control her food intake, she could not control this rage.
i believe mothers become mothers with the same issues they had before they were mothers. and i suppose my mom’s own body issues made it very tough for her to teach me how to love and nurture my own body in an appropriate manner.growing up and well into adulthood, i didn’t feel ok about my body. as a child, my “overweightness” fluctuated within the normal realm…more fat some years, less fat others…but always a little bit fat. i was plenty cute without knowing it. had lots of friends. liked some boys who liked me back…and many who did not! and i blamed every moment of sadness and/or failure (practically) on my not being built like a ballerina. and although the rational part of me today knows how nutty a mentality that was to have, that mindset lasted a very long time.when i graduated college, i came home fat…not as fat as i was in recent years, but fat. (probably 25 lbs heavier than i am today) and it was understood that i would spend that summer getting thin. this was of utmost importance because my sister was getting married…and there was NO way i was going to be a fat maid of honor. so i got a personal trainer…ok my parents got me a personal trainer and i exercised every day for many hours a day and lost 25 lbs in about 10 weeks. and at 22 years old…i looked good. i had a hot body. and i had NO idea. and i was nervous and insecure and so not feeling like all of my problems were solved by my being thin. and i was a complete head case. i would wake up in the morning and get on the scale. then i would pee and get on the scale. then i would poop and get on the scale…and then i’d eat something or exercise or drink something and get on the scale. and throughout the day it was like this. on the scale and off the scale and all moods determined by that fucking number on the scale. and thin, i believed, meant no more boy troubles. but while i was thin, the boy i loved said he loved me back and then promptly loved someone else at the same time. and we broke up. and i exercised. a lot. and then i jumped in an aerobics class, landed poorly and tore a ligament in my leg. 2 days later the scale read 5 lbs heavier and i gave up the scale.the next 3 years are a blur weight wise because i didn’t go on the scale. and i am certain my weight must have fluctuated 20lbs… but the next time i did get on the scale i was not happy with what i saw. but i was not obese. technically. according to bmi or whatever i was just fat. close to obese but not. and so i started dieting. and didn’t lose all that much but enough to feel better.
and i met my husband during this time. i was 25 years old. and he loved my body. as it was. and he found it hot. even though i didn’t.
and he nourished me in a way that made me not need food…HA! KIDDING! I WISH! i ate with my then fiance now husband. too much. and gained weight. and laughed. and lived. and because i was getting married to a wonderful boy, my mother wasn’t as obsessed with my body… and i got married. at a NOT thin weight. and i had 2 babies pretty quickly.
and i wound up clinically obese after both babies…and did not do enough to deal with it. and although i cared about what i looked like… i didn’t really want to see what i looked like. for me the reflection in the mirror was always fatter than i felt. i mean i felt plenty fat. but the reflection and the photographs were always way worse than what i expected to see. i exercised and i dieted. but i did both without intensity nor determination. and so…without results.
and then.. at 35 years old i started working. and suddenly so much changed for me. my mother was getting to know me from a different perspective (she was a daily radio listener from day one!) she was so proud of me. so not focused on my body. and my self worth seemed to triple. i was still fat. but not dwelling on it really. aware and insecure but not worried my weight would kill me or cause me to not really live… and then in 2007 i started to take better care of myself and move in a positive direction.
then i lost my mother. and i blew up like a balloon.
then i started to deal with it. really deal with it. in a “i’m going to lose my life if i dont deal with it” kind of way. (read here for details)
and now, 1.5 years after i started, i have lost 65lbs.
and the irony of my mother’s being dead and my finally being thin is not lost on me at all…in fact, it is probably not at all ironic…just kind of sad. she would’ve derived such pleasure from seeing me now.
and the weirdness of people who haven’t seen me in months…their reactions…oy. i don’t know how to respond…if i just say “thank you” am i an asshole? if i respond with “i feel terrific!!” is that gloating?!
people say to me “i didn’t recognize you!” or the “you’re a different person” or the “don’t lose anymore” or the “how much more do you want to lose” or the “what’s your goal now” or the “you look great!” or the “you must be so happy!” or the ” you were so fat!!!!” (yep people say that!)… and i am part of this club where the anti fat people can be open around me and express their disgust for the overweight…because i won’t be offended anymore…ummmm…once a fattie always a fattie!
and the disbelief at how quickly i’ve lost weight…when in reality, it has taken me a long time. i haven’t lost more than 6 lbs in any one month.
don’t get me wrong. i appreciate any and all compliments. it is of course validating and super cool to be referred to as tiny or a peanut or pretty or not fat or thin! those are words that were not used to describe me for many years… someone even called me hot. shocking!
though way out of my comfort zone, i am learning to accept these compliments and let them wash over me. i’m working hard. it should be ok to admit that and accept the positive feedback.
but the other side of these compliments is the knowledge that many are waiting for me to gain it back. statistically most people gain weight back. i don’t want to be that statistic. i’m so afraid of gaining it back. and so when someone asks if i want to lose more or what’s my plan…crap! the only plan i have is to do my darndest to not get fat.
and again, i don’t follow any one program. (although i am a huge fan of weight watchers) my food choices are random but always mindful…meaning i may eat candy but i count all of the calories and just have a little or ill have healthy salad of some sort. my exercise is always at least an hour (often more) almost everyday. and i weigh myself almost every morning.
i don’t see myself as a weight loss success story. 5 years from now when i am (gd willing) still this size then i’ll shout my success from the rooftops.
and although i know i will always be struggling and working hard to do right by my body, i do feel great where i am now- 40 years old and thin with a belly in need of a tummy tuck that i am SO not ready to get!