100 lb. Club - Mom Visiting...warning long post...




ubergirl
10-28-2009, 11:28 AM
Suffice it to say that my mom and I have a long complicated weight history together.

My mom was a very pretty and petite woman who gained weight (maybe 30 pounds) in middle age. My very tall, very slender dad, gave her a very hard time about it.

My mom, feeling bad about herself, and probably hoping to save me the pain, facilitated every bad thing in me-- starvation diets, unrealistic weight goals, terrible self-image, even a breast reduction. To top it off, I participated in one of those sports where body image is very important, and my mom was emotionally invested in it.

Basically, a toxic mess, from which I emerged with a horrible body image and a lifetime battle with eating issues.

Long story short, my mom, now elderly is now slim again, but she still tells me every five minutes how she wants to lose ten pounds "for her health..."

But she still makes me really uncomfortable about weight issues. For example, she has never been able to refer to plus size clothing as anything other than "your size"... as in "they have that in 'your size'" indicating that it's practically a miracle. I might add that I'm the only obese person in my entire extended family.

She knows I'm losing weight, and saw me when I had lost about 20 pounds. Now, whenever she talks to me, she asks me in this little worried voice, if I'm still exercising or dieting or if I "just got too busy..."

About a month ago, she asked what size I wore, and did I wear "normal sizes now..." (I am still firmly an 18-20/2X) Last night, she wanted to know how much I had lost, and when I said "53 pounds" she said "oh, so you really slowed down, didn't you?"

So, here's the kicker. She is coming to stay with me for a month. I'm delighted because I get along with her well except for the weight thing and my kids love her.

But, I'm scared that all of her weird little comments and advice and desire to talk obsessively about food and weight loss and how fat she is (she has a BMI of 22) is going to trigger old demons in me.... I think, deep down, I used to have a reaction to eat more just to get back at her... (this is a woman who used to pack me a tiny container of tuna fish with no mayo, or half a sandwich and nothing else for lunch when I was growing, and exercising five hours a day...I have memories of being starving all the time and waiting until I could sneak into the kitchen late at night to secretly shove slices of bread into my mouth...)

Also, when she comes, she usually cooks for me. Now she's told me that she's excited about coming because she's going to lose weight since we'll all be dieting. She also has a weird annoying habit of adopting whatever healthy thing I'm eating and eating exactly the same thing, only she always modifies it in some way to make it somehow healthier and lower in calories... like now I eat peanut butter, wheat bread, and banana for breakfast... she'll find some other kind of bread that has ten less calories, swap out the peanut butter for sugar free, eat exactly one slice of banana and sprinkle splenda on it...Ok... I think you all get the picture!!!

Advice, insights on how to prevent old baggage from affecting my new lifestyle?


Thighs Be Gone
10-28-2009, 12:04 PM
I won't even begin to go into my own mother issues.

I wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this. I have two young daughters. I have made the decision that no matter what weight issues are not going to be part of our relationship. We do talk about "healthy" options--like whole wheat rather than white stuff, balanced meals, etc. But I AM NOT and WILL NOT address my thoughts on their weight. Little girls and women really do have ENOUGH to deal with already rather than hearing it from MOM too!

KaCee J
10-28-2009, 12:15 PM
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" they say, and I say most annoying. Kind of sounds like she is jealous that you are able to control and succeed. People are generally afraid of change, even if it is not their own body changing. I agree with thisisnotatest, I think you may just have to be blunt about it, she may actually honestly think those snide remarks would help you, let her know they don't. Remember how far you have come, and don't let her get you down. You have lost 50 lbs already!! Congratulations! You can do it :cp:


sprklemajik
10-28-2009, 12:34 PM
I will just tell you what I tell myself when I have crazy mommy issues:

"We're both adults, and although I can't control her, I don't have to respond to it or let it bother me."

I usually try and take some sort of high road. I know my Mom has issues, and I know that she loves me, although she doesn't always hit the right notes. I just know that this is how she is, and I'm not suprised by it. It no longer hurts me only because I know that although she's wrong, she thinks she's showing me love. It's just filtered through her experiences, and doesn't come out the way I think it should.

You've done a great job on your weight loss. My only suggestion would be to cut your Mom some slack. Yes, you're no longer the little girl that couldn't stand up for yourself. You are a strong woman who doesn't have to take abuse, but can stand up for herself with grace.

Mango30
10-28-2009, 12:44 PM
This is the exact relationship I have with my grandmother. She is a constant food and weight critic, but when she's around she's constantly trying to shove food down my throat while telling me how bad it is for me. At my lowest weight she bought me a nice velvet jacket and said "this is more then we'd normally spend on a grandchild for your birthday but we are so proud of your weight loss" now that I've gained it all back I keep expecting her to ask for the jacket back...lol!

I dont' call my grandma out on those kinds of comments or attitudes, she's 83, anything I say will only hurt her and I don't want our relationship to be rocky when she passes. However, my sister is exactly the same personality type as my grandma and says the same kinds of things, only worse, and when I actually achieve some success in weight loss she starts accusing me of being anorexic. Her I call out. Although, because shes my sister I use words like "shut the **** up" and "get off my porch before I shoot you."

Kae
10-28-2009, 01:09 PM
Oh, that's a tough situation. Family can really be a bugger when it comes to this weight loss thing. Is there anywhere you can escape to when she starts rattling off her diet facts at you? Have you tried talking to her about it?

jay41
10-28-2009, 01:36 PM
yep...same issues here with my mother. She is constantly telling me how I need to lose weight, but shoves food at me whenever I go to visit.

This last visit was a real bummer...I'm down 70 pounds and all she could say was that my face looked a little thinner and "don't worry, it always comes off from your face first and works it's way down -- you have a good start there". OMG!!!! I am down to a size 18 from a 26 and that's all she could say?

Yeah,,,mom's and food issues are a bummer...

CLCSC145
10-28-2009, 01:50 PM
Ah, mothers. Mine makes comments like yours does, but mine has a weight problem that she won't address and I suspect that she is jealous. She's got a warped sense of how many calories something has ("This has practically zero calories!"...when I watched her drop a half a stick of butter in it). And she never says anything nice about my weight loss - only neutral statements like "you lost weight" said without a positive tone.

I wish I had some good advice for you, but just reading about your upcoming visit makes me nervous! I suppose the adult thing to do would be to sit down with her and have a heart to heart talk about how her behavior affects you and what behavior you'd like to see from her. Yikes. My own mother would find a way to turn that conversation into a martyr situation and the whole thing would degrade into a crying fest where I would end up wrongly apologizing for how I feel, so this is purely a do as I say not as I do suggestion!

starfishkitty
10-28-2009, 03:43 PM
This is the exact relationship I have with my grandmother. She is a constant food and weight critic, but when she's around she's constantly trying to shove food down my throat while telling me how bad it is for me. At my lowest weight she bought me a nice velvet jacket and said "this is more then we'd normally spend on a grandchild for your birthday but we are so proud of your weight loss" now that I've gained it all back I keep expecting her to ask for the jacket back...lol!

I dont' call my grandma out on those kinds of comments or attitudes, she's 83, anything I say will only hurt her and I don't want our relationship to be rocky when she passes. However, my sister is exactly the same personality type as my grandma and says the same kinds of things, only worse, and when I actually achieve some success in weight loss she starts accusing me of being anorexic. Her I call out. Although, because shes my sister I use words like "shut the **** up" and "get off my porch before I shoot you."

:rofl: to the sister thing!!!

And I know how you feel.... my grandma's the same way. Love her to death, but she's the first one to shove all that lovely greasy carby Mexican food down my throat while saying I'm fat.... LOL!

Anyways... so... to the poster... have you ever TOLD your mother how those things effected you and perhaps tell her that it's self realizations like that that you've been working on to figure out where your problems stem from? In a non-confrontive ton of voice, preferably. ;)

Mango30
10-28-2009, 04:09 PM
yep...same issues here with my mother. She is constantly telling me how I need to lose weight, but shoves food at me whenever I go to visit.

This last visit was a real bummer...I'm down 70 pounds and all she could say was that my face looked a little thinner and "don't worry, it always comes off from your face first and works it's way down -- you have a good start there". OMG!!!! I am down to a size 18 from a 26 and that's all she could say?

Yeah,,,mom's and food issues are a bummer...

LOL! Yes mom, I lost 70 lbs from my face. Now I can wear my skinny lipgloss!

ubergirl
10-28-2009, 04:25 PM
I will just tell you what I tell myself when I have crazy mommy issues:

"We're both adults, and although I can't control her, I don't have to respond to it or let it bother me."

I usually try and take some sort of high road. I know my Mom has issues, and I know that she loves me, although she doesn't always hit the right notes. I just know that this is how she is, and I'm not suprised by it. It no longer hurts me only because I know that although she's wrong, she thinks she's showing me love. It's just filtered through her experiences, and doesn't come out the way I think it should.

You've done a great job on your weight loss. My only suggestion would be to cut your Mom some slack. Yes, you're no longer the little girl that couldn't stand up for yourself. You are a strong woman who doesn't have to take abuse, but can stand up for herself with grace.

Thanks everybody for "weighing in". I'm glad to know I'm not alone in the mixed up Mommy business.

In most ways, I have a great relationship with my mom, and we worked out the weight thing a long time ago like this: I do what I want, my mom is supportive. I get fatter and fatter and act like I don't care. My mom doesn't comment. That worked out okay for years....but now, I feel like I'm opening the old floodgates now that I am trying to lose weight.

Sparklemajic-- your comments really made sense to me. It's true. I'm a grown-up and a mom myself and my mom is an old lady who definitely knows that she took the wrong approach to my weight when I was younger, from ignorance coupled with good intentions, not from any inherent malice.

So, I think my best bet is remind myself that I'm a grown-up and try to manage with grace.

And I do call my mom out on stuff when it gets too bad. It seems to help us keep the peace.

I appreciate you all listening, and feel free to share mom stories of your own!

Kae
10-28-2009, 05:08 PM
LOL! Yes mom, I lost 70 lbs from my face. Now I can wear my skinny lipgloss!

Funny...

kasmin
10-28-2009, 05:32 PM
You know what they say, "that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger.";) Certainly this seems to be true for my relationship with Mom and food. The good thing about it is it really makes you aware of the psychological aspects of eating. My mom gives me a lot of opportunity to practice my defenses against emotional eating :p:p

WildThings
10-28-2009, 06:37 PM
I really don't have any "mom" stories. My mom and I get along really well and there are no size/food issues between us, but I do have a suggestion. My mom from time to time have become too obsessed with our diet programs (which is the same). Not in a judgmental way, but in a way that it was all we talked about. There have been several times that we have mutually agreed to just not discuss it. No diet talk, no weight talk...I would do what I needed to do, and she would do what she needed to do, but we didn't discuss it. Before your mom comes to visit, could you maybe just tell her that what you are doing is working well and you are really happy with your progress to date, but in order for you to keep your sanity and stay focused, while she was visiting, just not discuss the subject of weight loss. Just an "off limits" topic while she is staying with you.

nikki
10-29-2009, 08:05 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with Amanda. It would be great if you could have an open and candid discussion with your mother about weight, but years of experience advise that she can be a pitbull and probably won't let go of old habits easily. It sounds to me like it would be best to discuss it a little before her visit, and just tell her that weight issues are off the table during the visit. Sometimes a clean break is just easier than trying to ease off topic.

I have totally different issues with my mom - she wants to keep me fat! But I do have similar experience on a different topic. Finally, 12 years ago I took a stand. After she'd gone on a rant about our touchy issue, I told her straight up that I'm just not going to discuss it with her. Ever again. I told her that in the future if she brought it up I would end the conversation immediately. And I did. She learned quickly that I was serious. That was 12 years ago and we now have a better relationship w/o any discussion of "the issue." I wish with all of my heart that we could talk about anything and everything, but this is not a perfect world and we are not perfect people. We just do the best we can, and sometimes that might mean the best approach is avoidance. It works for us.