My mother-in-law came to visit yesterday and almost immediately commented on my weight loss. I’ve lost 15 pounds; I have 105 to go … I’m pleased with my accomplishment, but I’m the first to acknowledge that it’s just a drop in the bucket and REALLY isn’t noticeable. So, instead of her comment flattering me, it PISSED me off! I feel that she constantly scrutinizes people and judges them solely on their weight. I know it has nothing to do with me and EVERYTHING to do with her, but it still bugs me!
Many members of my dh’s family have weight problems, including his mother (my mil!). She is obsessed with weight, not only HER weight but every other family member’s weight, too. It’s really obnoxious. She once pulled me aside and asked if she thought my dh would be motivated to diet if she told him she’d give him $100 for losing 50 pounds. I told her to ask him and she said “no, he’ll get upset”. I said “then I think you know the answer, don’t you?” Her comment “I thought YOU would WANT your husband to be healthy.” I almost told her that when she gets HER husband to lose weight she can tell the rest of us how to do it … but I kept my mouth shut … we all know a person needs to be self-motivated to lose weight permanently!
Another time one of her college-aged grandchildren, “B” spent a good chunk of time – like 4+ months studying in another country. Before going she started to lose weight but while gone she had dropped from like a size 20 to a about a size 6. During a phone conversation her older sister had reported to grandma that “B is a thin as a pin” … mil kept quoting that and couldn’t WAIT to see her. She came to visit and to me she looked unhealthy. Her face was gaunt and I’ve seen healthy 8-year-olds with arms bigger than hers were. Yet my mil was ALL OVER her -- LITERALLY! She kept touching her and stroking her arms and saying things like “look at your nice thin arms” and “you are REALLY beautiful.” This bugged me cuz the girl’s sisters – one 2yrs older, one 6yrs younger -- (both healthy and active and not model-thin) were nearby. I thought grandma was sending terrible messages. When I mentioned to my mil that perhaps B was TOO thin she accused me of being jealous. Well … we later learned that the poor girl was suffering from anorexia.
But, did my mil learn?!?! NO!! When B again became overweight mil whispered “what a shame.” B graduated from college and taught school for a year. This past fall, B went abroad on a Fulbright Scholarship. She came home for Christmas but since they live in another state, mil didn’t even see her. Nonetheless she happily reported to dh and me “B lost weight, but she’s not anorexic!” Why does she know this? Did she ASK? You speak to your granddaughter for the first time in 4 months and you talk about her weight? And … then you ‘spread the news’ about her weight? Not “she’s doing well”, not “she’s happy”. None of that! Here’s a brilliant young person on a FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP for crying out loud … that is a MAJOR accomplishment – and her grandmother measures her success by the number on
I don’t like people scrutinizing me and the fact that the comment about my weight loss came from her really bugs me … it doesn’t matter to her that I’m good at my job, or that I’m a good Mom or a good wife or even a lousy housekeeper (
) I KNOW she’s believes that life will not be good unless I’m thin. Well you know what? I do want to be thin, but I LIKE my life. I AM happy!
Thanks for letting me vent!!