I live with my grandmother, and I REALLY love her. I just want to put that out there.
That said: I'm about to smash her with a hammer.
She used to be big. She's about 5'1 and at her heaviest she weighed 280. She got gastric bypass and lost a whole bunch of weight and has kept it off for like five years.
She's ALWAYS made comments about my weight and how I need to lose it. But it's gotten really bad this year. Passive aggressive stuff, outright stuff, all the time, and it makes me get b***y, and she can't seem to understand why.
She thinks she's a nutritionist and gets on my case about eating too much pasta and frigging HARPS on me about not eating enough protien, you gotta have protein, protien, protien, protien (I'm a semi-vegetarian, and apparently beans and tofu aren't protien according to Dr. Her.)
Anyhow, I thought starting to lose weight would get her off my back. But NOW all she does is RAVE about how proud of me she is, and how disgusted she used to be by my eating habits.
I'm like HOW is that supposed to be encouraging? I don't want to hear about how disgusted you used to be by me. I've only lost five pounds. Stop counting your MFing CHICKENS!
*deep cleansing breaths*
Then today I made the mistake of letting her overhear a conversation I was having with my best friend who is also overweight. She heard me say that my goal is 133 pounds.
She SCOFFED. "BRENDA-SUE you CAN'T get to a hundred and thirty three pounds!" Like I'm an idiot! Like she's talking to a four year old. I tried to argue and she cuts me off again, "You CAN'T, I've TRIED. I got down to 150 and I didn't feel good. My stomach didn't feel good. No way, I'll give you 150 cause you're taller, but that's ENOUGH."
... I tried to be the bigger person, but I failed. I said, "Well considering I'm not cutting up my digestive system, I don't think it's logical to say my stomach is going to feel the same way as yours does, don't you think?"
She continued to argue and I said: "Meme, I'm younger, taller, and more muscular than you. I'm losing the weight slower, and unlike you, I plan to exercise. I don't think it's fair for you to think you should know what my goals are, and I'm not asking you to sign off on them."
Needless to say we haven't spoken since.
WHAT is her ISSUE? WHY does she feel the need to tear me down for not trying, and then STILL tear me down when I am?!
I'm going insane.
08-26-2010, 12:22 PM
I don't know why she has issues - but you CAN get down to 133. I am your height and I got down to 129 at one point. I am still trying to get back there but I know that I'm struggling because I'm cheating :)
But I was there - so yoiu can too.
Try saying something like "When you say xxx, it makes me feel yyy so please can you not say stuff like that."
It might not work - she has a LONG lifetime of being the way she is, but at least she will know that it bothers you.
Well done, BTW!
08-26-2010, 12:26 PM
Wow- well maybe it's good you aren't talking right now lol- give each other some relief.
I guess all you can do is ask her why she's acting this way and tell her how you feel- in a nice way of course :)
Grandmas.... lol. My husband has MS and his grandmother got so upset at him when he had a drink at his bday party and he was like grandma I'm a grown man, I'm 35 years old, I can have a drink! She insisted it was bad for his MS lol. I was like his one drink a year (cuz he rarely drinks) isn't going to hurt him.
08-26-2010, 12:31 PM
133 should be do-able for you, but why sweat it? Get closer and evaluate as you go.
Now, about your Grandmother, it's a little late to change her. Sometimes the best thing to do is smile, nod and say "that's interesting" and then go on with your life.
08-26-2010, 12:38 PM
I am in a similar situation. My 82 year old grandmother lives with my husband and myself and my whole life she has always said I need to lose weight (while she's making cookies and shoving them at me) and how I have such a pretty face, but I'd be a total package if I could just slim down. Well, now I am losing weight. And all I hear from her is how horrifically overweight I used to be and oh it was so embarrassing to be around me when we went out to eat and how thankful she is that I finally listened to her. For crying out loud, lady! Thanks for making me feel even more awkward about how I used to look! If my own grandma thought that, I wonder what a complete stranger must have thought? And even though I am more than 100 pounds away from my goal weight, she keeps telling me not to get too thin. I'm just at my wits end. I've tried talking to her about it, but she just starts to cry and it's out of control. Oh well. I'm doing this for me and I'll get as small as I want to. Good luck and you're not alone!
08-26-2010, 12:40 PM
You got some great advice. :hug: I can't handle people who give unsolicited advice. I think subtlety isn't going to work with certain people. I would set some clear boundaries regarding what you will or won't tolerate. Start by congratulating her on how far she has come. Gastric bypass is not an easy route to take. However, let her know that you don't want any comments about your weight, your eating habits past, present and future and anything related to weight loss because even though she's trying to be helpful, her comments are not helpful. They are hurtful. Tell her you love her and you want to have a good relationship with her but that you're not interested in discussing this subject with her anymore. If it's too hard to say, or you think you'll get even more upset/emotional if you speak to her, perhaps a letter would do best, with an emphasis on how much you love her and enjoy her company. :hug:
08-26-2010, 12:55 PM
Oh my goodness yes, smile and nod, smile and nod. It's like arguing with a three year old...you won't win. So I don't even try. I do not enter into an argument with my mother. We have a she-is-right policy and then I go home and complain to poor DH. :rofl: I got the same reaction from my mom when she asked early on how much I wanted to lose. I'd lost 30 and said I wanted to lose 100. She argued with me (more like AT me because I did not participate). I think people really don't have a good concept of what pounds translate to in reality.
It doesn't matter anyway. Our bodies often determine where we'll end up. I never said I will lose 100 pounds or die trying...I said I wanted to lose 100 pounds.
08-26-2010, 01:04 PM
That's what drives me crazy. If I get to 150 and realize that's where I should be, I will stay: And I KNOW Meme will spend hours telling me how right she was.
I wish she'd get bent.
08-26-2010, 01:09 PM
I know how you feel, my gramma has been like that with me and my sister our whole lives, i remember her telling me how fat I was when I was 12! And when I was 6 months pregnant she told me I was getting TOO fat, I know it's hard for a lot of people to do, but with me I just roll my eyes, say yes gramma, and walk away. I try not to take to heart what she says
08-26-2010, 01:11 PM
@mellywag -- I think I could probably do that if we didn't live together. But living in the same house, I bite my tongue until it starts to bleed, and then eventually lash out like I did today.
08-26-2010, 01:25 PM
I have the best luck with the smile and nod approach (although I don't always have the forsight to use it). Nothing shuts up unsolicited advice like agreeing with the person.
I usually say "you're probably right," if I can get away with it. Some people use it as a way to keep going "of course I'm right - blah, blah, blah." I just tune out that part, it's amazing what you can tune out with a little effort.
My mom is the biggest food guilter/food pusher in my life. Somehow I'm supposed to eat constantly when I visit her (only what she wants me to, of course) and somehow lose weight. Luckily, hubby and I visit only a couple times a year, and they usually visit once so three times a year is manageable.
Living under the same roof is really difficult though, and I feel for you. I don't think I could live with my mom for an extended period of time, if my life depended on it. And to be honest, I think she feels the same way. I know our visits drain us both if we stay more than a week.
08-26-2010, 02:05 PM
I feel your pain - and, frankly, people like the ones you have described absolutely drive me nuts. :crazy: It's like they don't have anything else to think about or talk about. They love to focus on other people's flaws rather than look at their own. (BTW, Brenda (daughter of Venus), thanks for making me LOL! :lol: I love the way you write!)
It's complicated to know how to handle this when you truly love someone - like your grandmother. Sometimes people say things out of love and sometimes they say things to make themselves feel better.
The person in my life who is a critical B is my MIL - and believe me, I hate her - so there is no concern about saving the relationship. She loves to criticize and monitor everyone's food intake. She also loves making cutting comments to my DH and to me about our weight. On the other hand, the minute I start to lose weight, she is shoving junk food right at me, hoping to sabatoge me.
One day, at a family dinner with my ILs, after my MIL made an embarrassing comment about my FIL's and DH's weight, I was so P***** O**, that I said to everyone at the entire table: "Now that MIL has chosen to point out FIL's and DH's imperfections, I think that we should go around the table and talk about what is wrong with each one of us! Let's start with MIL!" The conversation came to a dead stop. My DH was mad at me and chewed me out later. I came back at him and told him that I will not tolerate that crap from anyone :club: and that someone has to be strong enough to say something. Sometimes you have to be aggressive to get people to shut up.
Now - Whenever she starts to criticize me, I get up and walk out of the room. I never sit next to her at a meal and I never answer the phone when she calls. If she starts to criticize DH, that's his problem. If he loves her so d*** much, he can deal with her himself.
I recommend that if it is really getting bad for you, and you don't want to say something you'll regret, walk out of the room. Stop the conversation immediately. Read a newspaper, turn on loud music, go shopping. That is the only thing that has saved me.
Good luck. I am with you in spirit.
08-26-2010, 03:04 PM
Man, I love you guys. I needed you.
08-26-2010, 03:44 PM
Big huggles - hopefully she will get the picture soon enough and just celebrate with you on what you are achieving!
08-26-2010, 08:38 PM
On the way home from a family party tonight, I had a bit of a breakthrough with her. The conversation started much the same, but she was saying, "You used to eat like a lumberjack, just like I used to. God I used to be able to eat xyz xyz and it made me so sad to see you hurting yourself like I did..."
And suddenly, listening to her word it like that made it so much less accusatory and judgemental... Sometimes she doesn't word things right, but I think I understand now what she was trying to say all those times, and it IS out of love. She's trying to encourage me, I just think she didn't realize how badly it was coming across.
So I feel a lot better.
Even though I ate some no-nos at that party, but I didn't overdo, and it's been two weeks. I have to have a little wiggle once in a while, right? I got right back to plan, and I still doubt I'm over my calories, even if I didn't spend them in the best way nutritionally. Oh well. You win some, you lose some. I highly doubt I'm going to gain from it. When I found myself picking and picking and picking at the mexican dip, I left the room and came here on my IPhone to distract myself, and it totally worked. This place has really become my lifeline.
08-26-2010, 10:17 PM
The best advice I can give you is not say anything to her :lol: I clam up with my mom when I'm around her and just give her a blank look. Drives her freaking crazy....I secretly love it! If it wasn't your weight she'd really find something else to b*tch about!
08-26-2010, 10:38 PM
Good to hear that you and your meme are talking again! I work with a lot of students who struggle communicating with family with various issues and one of the biggest, most effective ways we teach our students to talk to their family is with "I" statements. It seems silly when you practice it by yourself, but it is super effective and really helps others hear how you're feeling. "I feel frustrated when you..." Etc, etc. I hope things consider to improve!
08-26-2010, 10:48 PM
I don't have any advice to give, but I do have some hugs I can offer you. :hug:That would bother me too, and I'm sorry you have to deal with it. A good friend of mine lost a bunch of weight with Nutrisystem a few years ago, and she acted the same way around me. I finally had to stop hanging around her before I ended up hurting her. LOL
08-26-2010, 11:19 PM
This sort of topic is something that has been so eye opening to me on my journey. My Mother who put me on all sorts of diets my whole life still isn't jumping up and down happy that I have lost over 100 pounds. My Mother makes comments that just because I have lost some weight doesn't mean I can dress like a teenager. She also tells me how I am now obsessed with exercise and weight. (What!! Are you KIDDING me??) All my 33 years I thought this lifestyle is what she always wanted from me and here I am living it and it's still not to her liking.
But the difference is my lifestyle change was for ME and ME alone. Through the years I partly stayed fat to prove to her I was great just like I was, I thought losing weight meant I agreed with her. My journey is NOT about her or her crazy ideas. Coming to peace with that really set me free.
You stay focused on YOUR goals and you will succeed. It's your life to live Honey,so Rock IT !!!
08-27-2010, 05:49 AM
I hear you! Its reasons like you are experiencing that I *dont* talk to my grandmother! My life is difficult enough without being reminded of how life would be great - if only you could squeeze your weight down. Sigh. My sister moved in with her for 6 months and she put my sister on a spinach and water diet - no kidding! Sometimes you need to politely and firmly (and for some people, not so politely) tell them where to keep their opinions!
08-27-2010, 09:13 AM
Wow my grandmother and your grandmother must be twins! I was just talking to my therapist about this yesterday! The only difference is that I never realized that my grandmother was wrong for the things she said. I just figured that they were the truth and there was nothing wrong with telling the truth. I wish I could give you a magic answer but I can't even find one for myself! My therapist keeps telling me to use the "I" statements and let her know how much she hurts me but I have already tried that and it doesn't make a difference. Plus its really hard because she is my grandmother and I love her and I know she has a very hard life and I have alot of empathy for her.
Just a piece of advice...don't let her voice stick in your head. I have realized that everytime that negative voice is in my head its usually my grandmothers'! Also like a previous psoter said...a lot of times with that type of person even if you lose the weight....they will just find something else to gripe about. Its tough when they are older though...I mean you can't really expect an 80 year old to change right?!?