Weight Loss Support - Discovering hidden food related childhood memories?

01-31-2007, 11:19 AM
Ok so this seems strange to me. I can't say that I really remember much of anything before jr. high and that's just always how it's been but since I've started getting healthy, eating right, not drinking and smoking etc. I've noticed myself remembering things from when I was a kid that is showing me how far back and deep my issues with food go and although its a very interesting part of my journey its also just really strange.

Things I've remembered:
I must've been about 7 or 8 and I went bathing suit shopping (must've been with my mother) and got the only bikini that I think I've ever owned...well a 2 piece at least, I remember it had palm trees. I remember being told that I 'just didn't have the figure to pull of something like that' The same trip I got a full piece too...a real hideous bright pink number that when I would wear it and be convinced I was fat was told it was just baby fat and it would go away.

4th grade, we were asked the question do you 'live to eat' or 'eat to live' I remember answering that I 'eat to live' and knowing that I was lying

I remember fantasizing about when I had a license and a car because then I could drive off and eat all the mcdonalds cheeseburgers that I wanted because no one would know about it

Being on vacation at the beach at the Cape, and even though friends were with me I often forfeited going off to do fun things so I could stay at the cabin and just eat...eat anything.

I remember sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night, all the time really, at many ages and really through high school, to raid the kitchen cabinets for anything I could get my hands on. I mean anything, bowls of cereal, spoonfuls of peanut butter, toast, chips, ohhhh and the time I thought that the bakers chocolate was meant to eat....that was a bad thought.

Stealing money from my parents (never much, a couple of dollars here or there) to stop at the store after school on the way home and buy candy...they sold those 'air heads' candies 10 for $1 and I would eat them all before I got home (which was less than a mile away)

These are only a few that I've remembered but its really been helping me realize some of my adult habits... a couple of months ago I couldn't have told you about these because I had literally blocked them all out. I look at it now and see where my habit to stand in the kitchen and eat a box of cereal in the middle of the night began, why once I lived alone I would go out and get takeout be it burger king, or mcdonalds, or Chinese food etc and often order way more than for one person and just stuff my face in the car getting it home then stuff more when I got there. I've been able to begin to recognize and amend these habits recently but I can't say before now I remembered when they started or that they really started so young.
Anyway I'm not sure this even makes sense but I just thought it was interesting how the more aware I become of my body and how I use it and what I put into it the clearer my mind becomes so I thought I'd share it. Has anyone else recognized things like this along their journeys?

01-31-2007, 12:21 PM
I remember stealing money from my folks for candy, too. And my Mother constantly told me that I didn't have the figure to wear certain things. But would she help me to lose weight? No. She was big on foods with sauces and gravies. I guess that's where I get my craving for rich, creamy casseroles--my comfort food.

I remember being in 5th grade. We had some sort of pentathalon and one of the requirements was that we all had to be weighed. My girlfriend, who was easiest the fattest in the class, was teased relentlessly about her weight. When she told me what she weighed, I was astonished to learn that she weighed LESS than I did. Ok, I was the tallest in the class, but come on. I obviously had a problem.

In junior high, there was a fat boy 2 years ahead of me. On his last year (9th grade) he decided to go on a diet. I have never seen anyone so determined! He had to have lost 80 pounds that year--mostly by eating lots of salads and by taking up running. It motivated a lot of us to try and lose weight, but of course we didn't do it the right way. I remember my staple lunch back then was Doritos and Dr. Pepper (and not diet Dr. Pepper). I'd starve all afternoon. No wonder I'd binge when I got home.

It's good to remember these things and put them into perspective. If we remember, we won't repeat them (hopefully).

01-31-2007, 12:47 PM
My earliest memories regarding weight, I don't know that I have any memories without weight being an issue. My entire family is tall, naturally thin and the women seem to all have a size B or less cup size. I'm tall, I've fought my weight my entire life and I was in a C cup at 9 years old. I always carried an extra 10-15 pounds around, but to me, as a kid, looking back as an adult, I was just as active as all the other kids, I played the sports, ran the neighbourhood, rode horses, did everything they did. The only difference is, I was ALWAYS on a diet, my mom had me on Herbalife at age 8. An 8 year old on a liquid supplement diet. Then, I would sneak food, because I was HUNGRY. And, I watched my brothers and sister, and cousins, all eat fried chickem, mashed potatos, popcorn, candy etc, and I was having an iceberg lettuce salad for dinner. I didn't understand the WHY of it. Through the years, the extra weight I was carrying steadily got to be more, from an extra 10-15 pounds of what I am still convinced was strictly baby fat and more than likely would have been used when I had that ginormous growth spurt in 7th grade, taking me from 5'4" to 5'9", I would have actually been a tad underweight and needed to gain weight. That extra 10-15 pounds, grew to an extra 20-30 pounds by my teen years, to an extra 30-50 pounds in my 20's to what it is now. I've thought over my childhood, and the reactions to my parents, my family and my weight. At one time, I was 13, 14 yrs old, I was 5'9"'s tall and weighed 160 pounds, just slightly over the upper range for that height and my build. My stepdad, put me on a diet. I ate the same things everyone else did, just smaller portions, and he introduced me to REAL excersize. When I got home from school, I had to do Jane Fonda videos, 3 times in a row, and then run 2 miles. Everyday. I lost 40 pounds in 2 months. Yes, I lost it the "right" way, via improved diet and increased excersize, but it wasn't long term. I still didn't know HOW to manage the loss, how to maintain the loss HOW to make healthy choices. Now, I do. Now I know to NOT ever let my daughter hear the "I'm on a diet" refrain pass my lips. I just serve healthy, whole foods and excersize, I include trips to the park on weekends when they aren't at day-care, we do trips to flea markets where we walk, slowly, but we're moving, we DO things, instead of WATCH things. She's only 3 yrs old, but for me, its vitally important that she never look back and see weight, mine or hers being the prime focus of her childhood.

01-31-2007, 02:08 PM
This is a really good thread-I am on my way to a meeting, I plan on posting later today when I have more time. :)

01-31-2007, 02:50 PM
My mom was always on a diet. My grandmas were always on a diet. My family is big-boned, somewhat tall, and tending towards plumpness in the women. When I saw pictures of my grandma and her three sisters recently taken when they were young adult/middle aged, I was like, wow, they're ALL plump. I have very few slender blood relatives. I remember my great-aunt's funeral last year, paying last respects at the coffin, and noticing her HUGE man-hands, bless her heart.

Following family genetics (and probably culture) I was a plump child. I thought I was fat, huge, grotesque. I sometimes had to get pants in "pretty plus" sizes. I see pictures of myself as a child and go, uh, that's a normal-looking kid. A little chubby, but it's baby fat. My mother was a very chubby child, and as a result of that I think she wanted to make sure her kids didn't have to feel what she did.

The net result was to confuse me. :p Old-fashioned traditions existed with the new in a bizarre melange. Clean your plate. You'll sit there until it's all gone. Oh, don't just have one slice. Try all three birthday cakes and two flavors of ice cream. Then there were the new-fangled admonitions. That's fattening. You can't eat like your friend/cousin/whomever does because you'll get fat. Isn't that wonderful, when your cousin wants a snack, she gets a carrot out of the fridge.

I actually ate normally until puberty. In 9th grade gym class one assignment was to record what you ate for a week. I remember comparing lists with other kids. My weight was 153, and like above, I thought I was grossly fat but I was only chubby, and the lists really comforted me. I saw that my eating was nearly identical to the other kids, except I always had 2 cookies after school, and no one else seemed to. I thought, "Wow. I bet if I cut out those 2 cookies, I'd lose this bit of extra weight." And I was probably right, though I really liked my after school snack and didn't do it. :)

Then I hit puberty and everything went pear shaped. :lol: As I've noticed earlier (and probably rambled about in another thread) the eating "habits" I developed then—"use food for comfort under any kind of stress"—became so ingrained that they persisted even when I wasn't under stress, or under miniscule levels of stress. It's a crude, childlike solution arrived at by, well, a child. I'm not a child anymore and I have more elegant ways to handle stress, boredom, and anxiety nowadays.

01-31-2007, 03:23 PM
This is facinating. I also have started remebering some key moments. I think as a young child I always felt ignored or in the way. I was never the sparkle in anyones eye, that's for sure.
-I remember at the age of maybe 7 or 8 asking my mom one morning before school what we would have for dinner that night. She said " Is that all you think about, food?" Well, it was.
-We'd go to my grandparents house all the time and I would just look for food and sneak into the cabinets. I now see that I did that because I was being ignored. I was either looking for food or sleeping. Food was a nice warm hug.
-I even remember at the age of 5 or 6, I had a skinny little friend, her mom picked her up and said "light as a feather" she picked me up and said "heavy as a rock". Talk about messing a kid up.

They keep creeping up to the surface. I try to understand these memories and feelings they bring with them. I have people to hug me now. I don't need the food for that. We're all worthy of good health.

01-31-2007, 04:09 PM
ohhh and another one. My grandmother was obsessed with food...and I suppose I really just forgot about it because we weren't really close and she was actually a bit nuts...like legit mentally ill kind of sick. Obsessed with food, and she would always poke at me and make off comments.
When I was little and would spend the night there, my cousins too...who never got poked cause they were thin...we would have to discuss (it was almost like a rule) what we were having for breakfast the next day the night before, in detail down to the last crumb, I suppose thats nothing major except it was always more of obsessively detailing not fun planning. huh

01-31-2007, 06:59 PM
Ok...what is it with grandmas? To this day, (that's right, I haven't let it go) I'm bitter at my grandma for her verbal abuse. First of all, she's the reason I began to gain weight...it all started in 2nd grade when I would walk from school to her house. School was about a block away so it wasn't much of a walk. I would stay at her house until my mom picked me up, so from about 3 to 6 o'clock. In those 3 hours I got to eat pretty much whatever I wanted and it was so fun. I ate cheetos, doritos, cookies, soda, candy...whatever! She had good food, well junk food, all the time. So I would sit there all afternoon and eat and watch cartoons and she didn't care. Well about fourth grade is when I started putting on the pounds and boy did she let me know, she told me I was fat all the time. I distinctly remember one time coming in the house from the pool, we swam there all summer, and I had my swim suit on and she said, boy you're getting fat with this snobby look on her face. No one in my family is fat, only my brother and my cousins. I'm really the only one who has been able to lose the weight and I think it's because I've analyzed the crap out of why I eat so much.

01-31-2007, 07:24 PM
What really burn me are the people who tell children they're fat, but don't do a darn thing to help them lose the weight or make better choices. What eight-year-old knows anything about Doritos and potato chips, other than that they taste good?!?

01-31-2007, 07:26 PM
When I think back, I had a very nurturing childhood. Yes, there was the usual "clean your plate" type thing, but if I was full I sat there at the table until my mom said I could go. I would NOT eat if I was full. My family would call me beautiful no matter what. They never mentioned weight, and even though I always had a low self esteem... I don't think it ever had to do with them commenting on my weight. The first time I think I ever felt bad about my weight, was when I got in a fight with my best friends little brother, and he called me "Killer Cow." It hurt, but, being a child I got over it in a day and that was the end of it. I was always running around and playing outside, and I ate just like everyone else did. I think the thing that was bad for me was all of the soda. I drank tons and tons of soda. In Jr. High I always thought that I was a little big, but I wasn't huge. There were boys who had crushes on me, and I had good friends and my weight wasn't a big issue.

One summer I lost a bunch of weight (growth spurt) and christmas of that year, my mom had bought me some new pants and i went and tried them on. My grandpa was there and told me to turn to the side, so I did, and he says "HEY! Where'd Melissa go?!" So, my family was always proud of me, big or small.

I got depressed when I was 16 (I'm going to be 19 in March) and that's when I started to gain weight and use food to make me feel better. It was just easier for me to relate to food, I lost my friends and I had no one to talk to and food was there for me. I've been depresssed since then, and 2 years as using food as comfort has deffinately made it an addiction for me. Now that I'm getting my depression under control, I'm realizing that food is losing it's importance with me. The thing that I have the most issues with now, is conventionality. It's easier for me to heat up a hot pocket in the microwave than to broil some chicken and cook vegetables, etc.

Great thread, btw!

01-31-2007, 08:03 PM
Hi, Sunshine!

This is a GREAT thread! I'm a BIG believer that weight loss is A LOT more complicated than just "calories in/calories out", and I think that the fact that we spend so much time agonizing over our weight certainly is proof that there is MUCH to learn about ourselves!

We are a combination of all the things that have ever happened to us, words that helped us and hurt us, people who made us feel special and those who helped us feel more inferior than we already felt.

The good news is that we have each other! We can become more than we ever hoped we could be. We can be the person we only dreamed of before we found one another here at this special place!

I am grateful for a safe place like this to share our valleys and our mountaintops!

What I Know:

I remember my mom telling me that I was a very small baby- just four pounds, and I was full term! Back in those days doctors didn't want women to gain much weight with their pregnancies. I also remember that my mom tells me that they put two diapers on me and gave me two bottles of milk so that I would weigh the five pounds that was required to be released from the hospital. When I got home they fed me and fed me and I got chubby. I had lots of baby fat rolls in pictures! I think now- What if the doctors had encouraged my mom to eat well during her pregnancy so that I would have been a healthier full-term weight? Maybe then there wouldn't have been the need to "fatten me up" and maybe I would have fewer fat cells in my body now! I think that my weight issues just might have begun in utero!!!:?:


01-31-2007, 08:18 PM
I was big as a kid. Not big as in fat, but big as in tall. I hit 5'5" by the end of sixth grade, and 5'7" by the end of seventh. I had my full adult height at age 13. Because of that, I pretty much towered over all the other kids, except for Katie F. and Katie R. I still remember their names because they were the only other kids anywhere near my height. So I always felt terribly self-conscious. Add in the boobs that developed WAY early - wearing C cups by 7th grade, D's by frosh/soph year of high school - and I was always getting stared at. I was so uncomfortable with myself, I started tuning my body out. I was a cerebral kid already - the only sport I liked was horseback riding, I hated running or soccer or all the other "usual" sports at that age - and just got more sedentary.

Then, my father. Ah, my dad. Emotional abuser, and very good at what he does. Around that age, I was tall, but I hadn't developed the curve of waist and hip that comes a bit later. I was pretty much (except for the boobs) straight up-and-down, which made me look thick in the waist. So my dad took to prodding my stomach or sides every time I ate, including at mealtimes, saying "Do you really NEED that?" in a very snide tone.

My family loved pasta, too, and whenever my mom cooked spaghetti, she would make TONS of it. I mean, this is a standard family of four, and she'd make enough pasta so that when she drained it, it'd be overflowing out of our biggest colander. Overflowing. Literally. So I grew up thinking huge portions were normal, and hiding my eating from my dad, and spending my time hidden in books instead of up and moving around. Kept my weight in check pretty well all through high school, but then I came to college, and suddenly I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted, as much as I wanted. And I had NO concept of balanced eating or how to cook for myself. So I started eating macaroni and cheese all the time. Pure refined carbs, and soda with it.

I'm having to retrain myself from the ground up, basically.

01-31-2007, 08:44 PM
This is a great thread. It is really intersting to hear people's stories. :hug: to all of you.
When I was in second grade, I was a little plump but my sister was extremely thin and tall for her age (she's a year older) My mom would only buy any kind of junk food (cakes, pies) for after Sunday dinners. She would always give me a little portion, telling me I didn't need it and then gave all my brothers and sister, my father and herself huge portions. She fed my sister all the time and always telling me I didn't need it. My sister was always the "perfect" child, pretty and thin. Thus I began to hide food and stuff my face whenever I could before my mother would tell me that I couldn't have it and then feeling guilty. I was always about 10 -15 pounds overweight when I was young. At 18, I went to England as a foreign exchange program and worked my butt off to get money to go. I lost the excess weight and my mom for the first time told me I was beautiful. Now that I know how to eat right, I teach my kids how to eat healthy but I still feel that I need to feed people to show them my love. Even though the food I make is healthy, I need to teach my kids that love isn't about food.

01-31-2007, 11:47 PM
I was a skinny skinny kid until 4th grade. My parents were always trying to get me to eat..well they succeeded. In 4th grade I weighed a mere 50 lbs, by 7th grade I weighed 100 at only 4'8"

I remember eating huge quantities of food, stuffing myself til I was sick. I ate when I was bored or lonely.

Miss DC
02-01-2007, 01:28 PM
I was jolted into a childhood flashback just this week. I went to the doctor for a checkup, but since it was my first time there, the doctor brought me into his little office to talk to me after. Then, next thing i know, he's telling me that i am overweight. I laughed. Then i told him that i had lost almost 40 lbs this year! He shifted nervously and then congratulated me on my loss and went on to explain that according to BMI...

Well, there i was, right back to being a kid. I'm sitting in Dr. Baraway's office with my mom while he tells me (like he tells me every year) that i am in the upper weight percentiles for my height. All i heard though is that i was fat. He never told me what to do about it or offered any support. He just kind of threw it out there. "You're fat". Gee, thanks, that was helpful. You're fat too! :)

Do i really have to hit some magic BMI number before i stop hearing that? And to top it all off, this way my gynecologist!!! Leave me alone about my weight or at least offer something constructive! God, this is why i love the dentist! They don't weight you!

02-01-2007, 11:14 PM
Oh god, I think about this everyday! What memory do you want? I've got alot (seriously). Let's see, I was a small little thing when I was little. I was my mama's smallest child at birth and now I'm her biggest. I gained weight like any other kid but was never OVERweight because I was a very active, happy kid. Then when I was 9, my mama met my stepfather and that was it. I still have alot of resentment towards my mama for this. We met him one day and he moved in the NEXT day and took over everything. I grew deeply depressed, stopped going outside, stopped having fun, stopped living. I was always a shy kid but after that, I became a recluse which is why I'm such a social reject now. That was just the beginning. I was overweight, out of region, super sensitive, just DIFFERENT so I was always the primary target of every kid at school. I remember in middle school, we had the homecoming nominations and someone nominated me (to get a laugh I'm sure) and everyone just laughed and laughed. I remember finally getting the guts to try out for basketball, making the team, then during our introduction assembly, having the whole school laughing at me, one guy yelling 'Look at the pig!', as I jogged across the gym when my name was announced. I remember opening my locker door, a note falling out, my heart catching and filling with pitiful hope (maybe someone liked me, like in all the romance novels I spent hours and hours consuming), then shaking with humiliation and pain as the author questioned whether or not I was a dyke. I remember countless days of coming home in silent tears because a group of kids had followed me on the walk home, making fun and taunting me. My mama was never there for me emotionally (****, it took my last suicide attempt, the first she knew of, for her to start saying 'I love you' on a regular basis), I didn't want to freak out what few friends I had, so I had no one to turn to....except food of course. So I ate and ate and grew and grew and hated myself more and more everyday. I still have those days. I'm still really messed up emotionally but I do know now that at least I can be screwed up with a kickass body! LOL My weight is basically the only thing I have any real control over.

broke away
02-02-2007, 06:22 PM
I agree, this is fascinating. I think the thing that sticks out the most for me... I was chubby, but not fat at all... the only girl with 3 brothers, very active. Once when I was about 8ish, I went to the doctor for a check up. Of course you are always weighed, and they made note of the fact that I had lost 5 pounds, I was really proud. To celebrate, after we left the doctor's office, my mother took me to Baskin Robbins for a banana split.

.... :dz:

Yeah, I don't get it either.

I also remember during the same time frame, my aunt and uncle came to visit from out of state. My uncle offered me a single Hershey's kiss, and my Papaw happened to be walking by. As my uncle was placing it in my hand, Papaw says "Don't you think you're fat enough, already?"... I'll never forget that moment. Never forget making eye contact with my uncle as the realization of what Papaw said registered, and a complete feeling of worthlessness washed over me. My mother is also large, knowing that she grew up in a household with the man who said that to me helps me understand why she set such horrible food examples, and I don't resent her quite so much.

02-02-2007, 07:40 PM
This thread is so thought provoking. It's kind of sad in way, to see how we all have some unhappy or hurtful memories attached to our weight issues. But what came first the chicken or the egg? I guess the upside is we are all aware of this stuff, or becoming aware, and we're now trying to rise above it. What a great place this is that we can share these things with eachother. I've never shared those memories with anyone. Saying that stuff out loud is pretty hard. But sharing it here is comforting. :hug: for all of us!

02-03-2007, 12:33 AM
My mom set a horrible example, she wasn't a very good cook to begin with and she never ate. All I can ever really remember her eating is popcorn and Pepsi. I found out years later that my stepdad (VERY EVIL MAN) had threatened her on a regular basis..........if she got fat he would divorce her!
Then on top of that I ended up having to isolate myself to protect myself. I never had very close friends growing up because I had too many secrets. The one time I tried to tell I paid dearly. So I stole food, mostly junk food that my stepdad would buy for himself. When I was little I was able to burn off the extra calories, I would ride my bike or go for REALLY long walks to stay out of the house. After I moved into foster care, I still stole food but I wasn't as active anymore. I wasn't overweight, but I was starting to pack on the pounds and I had no idea how to be healthy and fit. It just snow balled from there. I don't even know if the food was even really a comfort or just something to do in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep and I was so good at being sneaky.:(

02-03-2007, 05:26 AM
The only thing I can remember about my childhood that relates to eating is that I liked to eat the fat off the pork chop or steak. My brothers and sisters wouldn't eat it, so they gave me theirs. My parents neither one ever said a word that this wasn't healthy. I really don't hold it against them, I don't think they knew any better.

I was never overweight at all until I went to college and discovered pizza and junk food. We never had soda/cola in the house when I was growing up. It was always just milk or water, that was our choice.

I do remember a drunk neighbor man telling me that the reason me and my siblings were all "skinny" was because we were poor. I think it stuck with me negatively and unconsciously I may have wanted to "fatten up" so I didn't look poor anymore. I can say now by the time I reached my top weight, he would have thought I was a millionaire. lOl. It is so strange how such small things from childhood can be remembered for 40 yrs.

02-03-2007, 10:13 AM
This is such an interesting thread.

My mother had phases of bulimia and anorexia when I was a child. I can remember her being so proud to be a GIRL's size 14 at one point - I was around 7 or 8. I thought she looked terrible, my step dad thought she looked terrible, but it's the one time in her life she was happy with herself. I was ALWAYS chubby. My mother never put me on a diet, ever, but she was obsessed with it herself. I didn't end up inheriting my mother's eating disorders, but my own (more of a binge eater).

I know I started sneaking some food here and there around 10 or 11. When I was a little older, things got worse. My parents were alcoholics and drug users, and there were some bad times in our life ... bouncing checks for food in a different state, and collecting cans to make elbow macaroni and margarine (this makes me shudder to think about now). Then there are the times when we did have money, and I realize how crazy we ate. Two pizzas split evenly between our family of 4 - four slices each! I was 15, my brother was 12. Ice cream, any time we had it as far back as I can remember, it was bought specifically for that evening and was also split evenly. They'd unwrap the block of half gallon of ice cream and cut it into 4 slices. There was never ice cream in the freezer to just have a scoop of, because that wasn't the way we ate at our house. It was always feast or famine for us.

I can't explain why, but for some reason (and this still stands) food just makes me HAPPY. I suppose it's my drug of choice. A lot of my family had some addiction of some sort, and mine is food. Thankfully, I think I have a handle on it. I look back at my life growing up, and compared to my life now and my children's lives - they are NOTHING ALIKE and never will be.

02-03-2007, 10:10 PM
Some of you might be interested in perspectives from a person who had problems gaining weight. Some memories I have:

We were Italian-American and all about, pasta, meat, red wine, pizza, cheese, bread, and veggies.

Maternal great-grandfather was a huckster- he drove a truck with fresh produce and had a stall in the city market.

Maternal grandfather owned an Italian restaurant.

On both sides of my family, they had at least a tomato garden. They "made over" vegetables all the time, as in "oh, what a beautiful tomato!"

My maternal grandmother used to say about other people, "They don't eat like we do."

Italian weddings: each member of the wedding party would use 5 lbs of flour to make a batch of cookies for the wedding reception. Guests would line up with paper bags to take home the cookies.

Christmas: lots of cookies to give to neighbors.

Alcohol: Made their own wine at least once a year. Drank red wine with meals.

Activity level: mostly manual laborers, walked everywhere (store, church, etc.) so the activity level off-set the calorie consumption (my guess).

My mother's wedding dress: My mother was petite, but she only weighed 86 pounds when she married at age 19. I tried on her wedding dress when I was a teenager, and it was printed in my mind that I wanted to be that size when I married (didn't think that I would still be single at 37, and I don't want to weigh 86 lbs.).

My mother didn't buy candy or soda at the store. I never craved candy. I never had a cavity in my life. The most candy I would see was at Halloween and Easter.

I think that I have my mother to thank for good genes, but mostly for the type of groceries she bought and the meals she made.

One thing though, is that I was always the skinniest kid, teenager, and even young adult. People had no problems telling me, "you're so skinny," when I would never tell them that they were fat. People don't seem to have a problem making fun of the skinny. It was just as difficult for me to gain weight, as it probably was for some to lose weight. Some might say it was metabolism, but I'm not sure if it was that or I was really active and I didn't eat a lot of junk food.

When I wanted to gain weight (really become more shapely and fit), I was told to eat whatever I wanted, milkshakes, french fries, just junk! That didn't really work either, except it was affecting my energy level and my blood sugar. After about age 25, I started gaining weight (maybe from 102 to 110 to 115, and then I maintained my weight at 118 for about 12 years).

Recently gained 9 lbs, and now I've lost 4 lbs, and would like to be at 115 again.

That's my story.

I used to teach 4th grade and saw first-hand at that age what was happening to the girls. If their mothers talked about looking fat, so did they, or if their mothers were on diets, so were they. Mothers really influence this area of a daughter's life. I had two girls in my class who were overweight, and the truth was, they ate more than the other kids, at least during the day. Or when they had snacks presented to them, they wouldn't take just one.

Also, when I was studying to be a teacher and took a child and adolescent development class, I learned that some girls develop earlier than others. Girls who develop earlier, often experience a change in how much weight they gain. Sometimes they get unwanted attention from older guys, before they are ready to handle it. Because of this unwanted attention, they subconscioulsy gain weight as a an extra "protective" layer against unwanted male attention.

For girls who develop later, they usually have more positive experiences, looking like a "little girl" longer means they don't have to deal too early with attention from guys.

Those are just psychological theories.

02-03-2007, 10:52 PM
I wanted to add my "two cents" about my childhood. Then I read through all of yours and my childhood seems to have been blessed compared to some of yours. I am amazed at the will you all have to deal with it and get through this. You are so deserving of all the wonderful things life has to offer and the strength to get to the weight you want to be -- I wish everyone here the best of luck with their weight loss.

I had a food obsessed mother, who when she was dieting, we were too but when she wasn't -- we were rationed the foods she was gorging on. I remember thawing an apple pie out of the freezer just enough so I could eat it all, eating boxes of cereal, etc. before everyone else got home. Unfortunately, these memories also include the 13 gallon brown garbage can I would inevitably use after I became so sick I couldn't hold all the food down. My father was constantly criticizing me about my weight and picking on me but now I look back I think it was because he was so upset with all the weight my mother had gained it was his way of "helping" me. I also remember at the age of 12 or 13 wearing a size 14 and being extremely overweight but thinking back if I had stayed that size I would be a good shape now (5'9"). After I moved out I lost a lot of weight without even trying, there was no one to tempt me or make me eat a meal -- but I still binged, using a coin collection my grandmother had given me to buy ice cream in the middle of the night.

After reading through everything here I've realized that I can no longer hold my mother accountable for my being overweight. She made poor choices that included us but it's up to me now to make the right ones now -- I can' feel responsible for her -- she's still overweight by her own chosing, I have to worry about myself.

02-06-2007, 12:20 AM
This is a great conversation-I have been thinking about this a lot.
When I was 7 years old, my dad moved back to South Africa (where my family had immigrated from when I was baby). My world fell apart when he did that. I had to live with my mom and I resented her sooooo much for it. I love my mother very very much now and we have a great relationship, bit at the time it seemed to me that she took my dad away. I gained ALOT of weight VERY QUICKLY. I would use my allowance to buy candy and I would come home from school at lunch and stuff my face. My mother worked, so there was no one at home to monitor my eating. Boy, that's when it all started. Before my dad left and I got fat in reaction to my mother, I was a super outgoing kid with lots of energy and friends-I was fearless. After that, I just totally retreated into myself. While I have made significant progress in my life, I am still resentful that the little girl I was goteen taken away and I never got to experience my life as someone who is fearless...maybe now I can?

02-06-2007, 11:46 AM
keepon...its never too late to start living your life fearless! never, never, never:carrot:

06-01-2007, 04:25 PM
This is a thread that really hits home for me...as I am someone who firmly believes that my NEED for food started in my childhood. I was never abused as a child...but I was basicly abandoned by my parents. I was left alone basicly all the time...they worked 24/7...and my siblings were all alot older that me so I was just in the way.

I turned to food...Food was my love and my comfort. It was there waiting for me when I got home. I went on my first diet at age 9...and was picked on by my family..My nickname given me by my brother was 2 ton.:( I remember one time being on a diet and keeping my eating log on the ref. and he wrote one time...Now you are just 1.5 ton. Big Sigh.

As I approached middle school..I thankfully did not get picked on to much in school as I found a way to use humour to get me buy. I did become extremely self-conscious of eating at school..so I would not eat at lunch and then when my Dad picked me up I would beg to go the the local Dairy Freeze and get a steak sandwich with fries...then he would drop me off at home..and it was just me and the tv for hours. My mom worked the graveyard shift alot and on the weekends...So I ate and ate. It never occurred to anyone why I was the only one FAT in my family???

I thankfully was blessed with the "such a pretty face" syndrome...and I had thick naturally curly hair...So I had to hear constantly.."If you would only lose weight..you would be so pretty." Man...that one was the worse!!!!:devil: Like God wasted a pretty face on me?? I remember the really cute guy moving in next door and I was talking to his sister one day in her room..and he came in a peeped his head in the door and she laughed. I could not see him...but she later told me...He did the balloon face at her...referring to me. Funny how a couple of months later...he jumped at the chance to play a game of spin the bottle with me...and Yeap..He was my first kiss.:o And he dated and married a chubby girl...LOL!

I remember how a friend called a invited me to dinner and I said..no thanks..I am on a diet..and her mom yelled in the background.."Tell her to come on..She is just doomed to be big." Man..that one still hurts like h*ll!!!!

I remember at my highest weight..my sister having "the worry talk" with me..when for years she was basicly never there for me..when I really needed attention.

I remember having to buy my clothes at Sears only and look for the pretty plus tag. Yuck.:p And last but not least...I remember my mom telling me over and over ..."Don't eat my food..it is my diet food." Of which she was referring to fruit and cottage cheese...She should of been encouraging me to eat fruit.

Big, big Sigh. This is a great thread..but so sad..how your childhood can really mess with your head forever.

Like another poster...I have someone to love me now..I don't need the food. But the pull is always there...you just have to keep telling yourself..You know better now...but I wish someone would of known better for me all those years ago when I needed someone.

06-01-2007, 05:18 PM
I was a the fat kid in school. I got tormented a lot by my peers. In fact, I remember coming home most days crying because I was teased so ruthlessly. Kids can be mean and parents should teach their children to be more tolerant. In between 7th and 8th grade I had a growth spurt and thinned out. I still thought I was fat. The worst part was that everyone thought that since I had lost the weight so quickly that I must have been pregnant and had an abortion. Where's the logic there? As if jr. high wasn't bad enough already. I went on to High School thinking I was overweight. Now looking back I think I looked great for my frame and that's what I'm trying to get back to. I was more active (and younger) though, so I certainly can't eat like I did back then.

As far as family history, my mother came from a "large" German farming family. The problem was that no one farmed anymore and they still ate like they were laboring for 14 hours a day. Now granted I come from a long line of "big boned" people (we truly are), but I still think a healthy weight is attainable regardless of frame size.

I distinctly remember one family reunion. My mom had lost some weight (she didn't do it in a healthy way, but that's another matter) and was down to a size 14. Everyone was coming up to me concerned that my mother wasn't eating enough! Are you serious? She was a size 14 for goodness sake, she looked great. She wasn't starving! To top it all off I was 12 at the time when I was hearing that generations view on my mother's weight.

I don't remember negative comments about my weight in childhood, but I wasn't given a very good example in regards to healthy eating. I was Daddy's little girl and tried to emulate him. So if Daddy had 4 servings of dinner, then I wanted more too. We always had bread, butter, and salad (iceberg) with every meal. Meals were typically meat heavy and my mother was notorious for overcooking vegetables. We also had a lot of sweets (to this day I swear my mother could have eaten sugar straight out of the bag) and sodas. I also got the "clean your plate there are starving children in Ethiopia/China" bit. If I took extra helpings I had to finish it. I think the only thing healthy we had growing up was red beans & rice (Dad jumped on the Cajun bandwagon in the 80's~I still love spicy food, the one thing good I took away from childhood food memories.)

I remember my sister always being on a diet in high school (she's 7 yrs older.) I always thought she was weird for forgoing French fries for yogurt. What did I know at 7/8yrs old? About 5 years ago she lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers and she eats very healthy. She has been great inspiration for me on this journey.

Both of my parents have both past on due to heart related diseases (at 56 & 68 yrs of age.) Sometimes I still get angry at them for not taking better care of themselves, but in a way their deaths have spurred me to be healthier and not follow in their footsteps.

This thread has been great for me to read! I think what we should all take from these stories is that there is hope in breaking these ingrained habits! It's hard, but doable and I think acknowledging the past can help with healing.

06-01-2007, 06:50 PM
With me, I remember dreaming about food. I still do, but it's about binges and complicated guilty feelings.

But the earliest I remember was just eating at my grandma's. Eating and eating. I didn't have a lot of friends or things I liked to do except to eat. Eating a lot has just been a big part of my life my entire life. It's the hardest thing to kill the habit.

It's not even eating a lot for comfort, it's just eating to eat. And I still eat to eat. I don't understand how to make it stop. It's so ingrained as part of me.

06-01-2007, 08:40 PM
Wow, I always thought that I didn't have any "weird" childhood things affecting my weight, but this thread has made me remember so much!
I was always TALL as a child, I just reread my baby book a few weeks ago and my mom wrote that as soon as she bought clothes, I had grown out of them. People constantly thought I was much much older than I was (I think that contributed to my maturity growing up as well) and I was always towering above all the other kids. My best friend going up was a short, tiny, thin little girl and I was a tall, about average sized kid. I remember sitting across from her at many meals and she ate so little and so slowly, while I would gobble up my food and ask for seconds. At the time however, I really was growing and I think I did need that food and I was very hungry. I think my overeating habits, however, definitely carried over past the time I was growing!
Another main thing is that my mom was VERY adamant about dieting and "eating healthy". Unfortunately, as I have recently learned as we are both trying to lose some weight (her 10 lbs and me 50 though haha), her ideas of healthy are very skewed! She was, however, very adamant about not having "junk" (chips and chocolate and sweet things) in the house, and I remember being so jealous of all the other kids lunches. I would have a granola bar, bread with little things in it (I HATE THAT to this day. I have just recently trained myself to like whole wheat bread, but I cannot touch bread if it has little seeds or whatever those things are in it), a bruised apple, just stuff that did NOT seem appealing next to the devil dogs and lunchables that other kids got. I remember begging to trade like everyday, and of course no one wanted to!
Eventually my mom decided to go back to school, and she started giving me lunch money instead of packing lunches (just easier) and I started eating school food, which was so grossly unhealthy in the first place. Besides that, I now had money and the ability to make my own food choices, so I went a little wild throughout middle school. It was always a HUGE thing when I was very young if we got to go to a restaurant, if we had access to chocolate or anything, and so it became like a "special event" in which I would splurge. At the time, those things were very rare. As I got older and went out with my friends often, I was at a restaurant at least once or twice a week, but I was still in a "splurge" mindset.
Finally, weight issues which I am still dealing with. To many here I am probably still a child (I am 18) and I am VERY recently (in the past month) learning how wrong I am about certain things. I was first called "fat" in 4th grade, when this boy came up to me and did the whole "this little piggy..." thing. It really hit home with me, even though I am pretty sure I was NOT even close to overweight. I might have been slightly above average, but I think I just seemed so much bigger to the other kids because I was probably half a foot taller than everyone, including the boys! I told my mom that I thought I was fat (I think I remember looking at the scale and seeing 130 something... I was probably somwhere between 5'2 and 5'6) and she blew it off (surprising to me now, because she never blows it off when I talk about how I am overweight now), but the next time I went to the doctor, I naively asked her if I was overweight. I was treated with a full on RANT about how celebrities were making children think they had to be skinny, and my mom joined in talking about courtney cox and rachel aniston and the tv show "friends". Mind you, I RARELY watched tv back then. It basically wasn't allowed in the house, so I don't even know how my mom knew who these girls were :lol:. It was pretty ridiculous, and it stuck with me and I guess I didn't want to be "anorexic" like she had described.

Thats about all I can remember now, I'm sure theres more! haha

06-01-2007, 09:22 PM
i was always taller and bigger than the other kids through grade school, and I remember some excruciating xperiences, like an obstancle course where we had to wriggle under a bench, except i couldnt fit. and my mom had to buy me "adult" clothes when I was in like grade 5 b/c no kids clothes would fit me. i always stood out like a sore thumb b/c i was too big and tall and ungainly. :(

when Mama Cass died my brothers told me it was b/c she was fat and that i would die soon b/c i was so fat too. they scared the bejebbers out of me and it took my mom a lot of effort to calm me down. Of course they also told me that Dracula would get me and that if there was a fly in the bedroom it would suck out all my juices whilst I slept. They were nasty so and so's as kids and I was very gullible. :mad:

what kills me is that I was actually not that fat, just had curves and a nice figure, but this was the post-twiggy era and real women had no place in popular life.

i also had no real friends and was different, awkward, bookish, not sporty at all. I don;t know what was cause and what was effect. I was certainly a magnet for bullies, meanies, and other lowlifes. ( was tempted to use some rather nasty words there but am respecting the rules of the board. use your imagination ifd you wish).

my mostly absent dad would also make mean comments about weight, and after my parents got divorced the wannabe stepmother would make comments about my weight and buy me tummy control panties. when I was twelve years old, for pete's sake!!

my mom was always on diets and stuff, i remember one group she went to where they would wegih the women in public, shout out the loss or gain and cheer or boo accordingly. It was horrendous. But my mom never seemed to lose any significant amount. She was the same dress size throughout my childhood and still is now. She wasn;t sporty or anything either but she was always active and walked the dog every evening. She was a little bigger than average but not "obese". Of her two sisters, one is taller and stocky/solid build, the other was tiny, like a little bird.

i also have very little self confidence and I don;t know if it's b/c i was always big and awkward, or if the awkwardness stems from lack of confidence. :(

At least reading this thread I know I am not alone.

06-01-2007, 10:01 PM
One specific memory I have is regarding my jeans, they would always wear at the inside seams of my thighs and I thought it was because I did so much horse back riding (every day, sometimes twice a day I would ride), when I commented on this one time it was pointed out (very gently) that it wasn't from all the riding, it was actually from my thighs rubbing together when I walked, I was devastated when I realized she was right!

A younger childhood memory I have was sort of "eating in secret" with my dad. My mom was the healthy one, she made good dinners and didn't keep any junk food in the house. But when my dad took his daily trip to the gas station down the street and I went with him he would buy me soda, candy, chips or other treats. I specifically remember getting reeses peanut butter cups or those bright pink pickled sausages in the big jar at the register. I thought it was so great getting these "treats" but I would still feel bad and not tell my mom everything I ate because I knew she wanted us all to eat so healthy. This still carries over into today, I do my worst eating when no one else is around and I still will hide the wrappers and things under other stuff in the garbage. I'm proud to say it doesn't happen much anymore but I still have a relapse every now and then.

In general my weight wasn't much of an issue because I was never really "obese" until college, I was just a bit "hefty." My dad never commented once on my weight, and my mom didn't really either but she was always supportive and gentle if I happened to comment on my weight. Nowadays I'm trying to be like my mom, she is still a very healthy eater, consuming very little processed foods and at a healthy weight of 130 for her 59 years of age. I hope I can be like her now as well as when I'm her age!

06-02-2007, 12:44 AM
My sister and I were thin up until college. Even in college, I really wasn't that overweight. I wasn't until I was into my 30's that I started to have an overweight BMI. Despite that, I remember looking at myself in junior high and thinking I was fat. I wore a lot of baggy clothes in high school to try to disguise how "fat" I was. My freshman year of college was one long year of dieting and binging. My roommate was even more obsessed with her weight tha I was with mine and it didn't have a positive effect on me. After that year, I gave up on trying to lose weight

As kids, my mom was a fanatic about my sister and I eating whatever she prepared for dinner. Nobody got special meals. As a result, we were very unfussy eaters and we both ate A LOT. People were always telling my parents what "good eaters" we were. When I ate over at friends houses, I never felt like I got enough to eat and their parents were always shocked at the amount of food I consumed. But it was considered a good; my friends parents would compliment my parents on having raised such "good eaters." Talk about encouraging a portion control problem later in life....

In high school, my friends and I were always trying to lose wieght. I never ate breakfast because I couldn't waste the time on it (the morning hair and makeup routine took a couple of hours). Freshman year, for lunch, we always had one envelope of french fries, a diet soda, and a Twix bar. I remember the lunchroom ladies would really stuff those envelopes full of fries, I think because they knew it was all we were eating.

After that, it got worse. I know there were many days when I did not eat breakfast or lunch. Then, when my sister and I would get home from school, we would inhale massive amounts of junk food. I think ice cream and peanut butter was a favorite treat. Once I think we ate most of a 9x13 sheet cake. We would laugh about being able to eat such huge quantities of food but looking back I realize it is because we were starving. My mom did insist on dinner every night, so I think that was at least semi-healthy (although nothing compared to what I eat now).

Then there were all the crazy diets my freshman year of college. At the end of that year, my mom died and I lost interest in food. For that entire summer, about all I ate every day was a bowl of cereal in morning (at least I was eating breakfast). I was also working really long days lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons--nothing like catching kids jumping from a diving board to get your legs in shape, so I did lose a lot of weight. But looking back I can see that I was completely overwhelmed with grief and how unhealthy my eating habits (or lack thereof) were.

I do give my mom a lot of credit for never suggesting that I needed to lose weight. I don't know why I had such body image issues, but it wasn't from her. She was never anything but supportive. Some of my friends parents hassled them about their weight and it has really damaged their relationships.

06-02-2007, 02:01 PM
My family had unlimited access to some of the best beef in the world and it showed in our diets. I was eating a full porterhouse as a supper by age 10.

I always ate a lot. I ate more than my slender sister and rail-thin dad. I ate more than my mom. I could put away more food than the three of them by junior high.

I guzzled pop and ate anything. Was never a picky eater.

I was bigger than my other family members and bigger than most of the kids in my classes, etc. However, I wasn't crazy-round-obese, I was able to participate and do well in sports, etc. I was a big guy, but I didn't really give a hoot.

Same in high school. I was still dating the "creme de la creme" in terms of looks and didn't really feel out of place. Same in college. Why would I worry about my size when I was shacking up with a beauty queen and functioning without limitation? No one was staring at me and things were going well. I could have my cake and it eat it, too. And then have seconds.

Then, the worm turned about the time I hit 30.

The funny thing is that I always knew I ate way too much and indiscriminately and I knew that was the reason behind my size and eventual growth.

No deeply-held food issues here. It was more that I just didn't really care about being bigger-than-average until I reached a personal sort of breaking point.