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Do You Blame your Mother?

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Old 09-04-2009, 10:58 AM   #1
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Default Do You Blame your Mother?

I was wondering if anyone else on the forum has done some soul searching or therapy and discovered that their childhood upbringing is in part to blame for your current state of health? I don't blame my parents for being overweight since they're both healthy and average weight, but there are some things that I wish they did differently while growing up. For example:

Portion control - we were allowed to serve ourselves every day and take as much as we wanted of whatever we wanted. We weren't really guided as to how much protein versus vegetables to have.

Indulgences were ok - we were allowed to order as many appetizers as we wanted at restaurants, whatever entrees we felt like, and dessert was a must.

Shopping- When we went to the grocery store we were allowed to put whatever we wanted into the grocery cart, no questions asked.

Movies - we would always get buttered popcorn... always!!

I can see by reading back on this list that these all have a common thread: choice. While I think it's great that my parents didn't try to control me and let me make my own choices I wish that there was better guidance under these circumstances. Instead of my Mom sending me off to get whatever snack I wanted in the store she could've told me to go and choose whatever fruit I wanted! That way I still had the choice but I would've at least been guided in the right direction. Now I'm trying really hard to reign in my self-indulgences and make up for all this gluttony.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:04 AM   #2
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Sometimes yes, sometimes no. My mum died when I was twelve, and I only seriously gained weight afterwards, eating after I came home from school when I was alone in the house.

In some ways, I blame my dad and brother more. They're both naturally slim, and eat whatever they want whenever they want. I was only able to make positive changes once I changed the way that they ate. So now I do all the grocery shopping, cook the evening meals, etc.

So I thought that when I moved out and went to uni it would all just fall into place. But it didn't. So maybe I am to blame...
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #3
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I can't really say I had the same experience you did. My parents with both obese. Our lifestyle growing up was beyond, BEYOND sedentary. Not once did I ever see my parents do ANYTHING like take a walk, swim, bike ride. Never. We had tons of meat and fat laden entrees and bread. Lots of full fat milk and eggs. Very little fresh veggies. My biological mother (although an RN) did nothing to educate me about about proper diet. (Among other things)

I am through blaming or thinking about anymore though. Full steam ahead.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:11 AM   #4
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nope, i would never blame my parents. When i became a old enough to make my own choices, i should had started making the propper ones. I blame myself, if i am going to blame anybody at all.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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Never have I blamed my parents.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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I'll preface this by saying I have worked THROUGH my demons

My food issues are from my parents. Hands down. When I was very young (up to the age of 11) my dad had a great job, lots of money, lots of rich high fats food and yet... I was thin. When I was 11 though we moved to a new town and depression hit him... he didn't really work again until I moved out and we were hungry all of the time. There was never any fresh foods and eating ramen for a WEEK so they could buy their drugs and smokes ... well that happened often. When they DID have money THEY gorged on pizza and chinese AFTER we went to bed... and we still ate... ramen.

So when I moved out on my own, my boyfriend dumped me and I GAINED 150 pounds in just under two years. I spent ALL of my money on food and ate it all. And of course I didn't CARE what was a healthy choice... I just didn't. I just ate whatever the heck I wanted.

So that's my sordid story. I still to this day HAVE to have my cupboards stocked FULL (of healthy foods of course) and the SECOND I run out of ANY fruits and veggies I have to go and replenish it... so I clearly still have SOME issues but maybe good ones.

Phew!
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:18 AM   #7
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I don't blame my mom or my dad - I grew up like you did. My mom & dad learned from their mom and dad. And during the time I was growing up, info on nutrition and health was not promoted like it is today. Nor did we have the internet where you could look up anything you wanted about health & nutrition. When I started gaining weight as a child, my mom tried to talk to me about it.. but I was a sensitive little girl and it just made me mad. I didn't like parents - or any authority really - telling me what to do. Childish, I know.. but I was a child. So if I blame anyone, it is myself for not taking control when I got to be an adult. Moms & Dads have their own struggles with these issues, and at the time I was growing up, they were struggling, too.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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I personally don't think blame is effective in trying to move forward. It is useful to try to figure out the root of the issues but I also think it is good to work towards the solution and look forward, not backward.

My mom dragged me from nutritionist to nutritionist, doctor to doctor since I was 9 years old to figure out my weight problem. I couldn't blame her although she said she blamed herself a lot for my issues.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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I had a similar upbringing. Food and eating education was never brought up. It was never explained that certain foods did nothing to nourish my body. I gained most of my weight after having an eating disorder brought on by some awful comments made during college. While parents should educate their children, I think there is only so much they can do before the child's peers take over. Although I think if I had known more about diet and exercise, I would have lost the weight in a healthy way.

And just to be difficult... My neighbor had two little girls. She will ONLY feed them organic health food (my husband calls is rabbit feed). The little girls (no older than 6) are already sneaking treats and candy behind their mother's back. Good intentions can backfire too.

As a parent, I feel the need to teach my child the difference between a nourishing food, and a sometimes food. That way, he know which choice to make when he is older and needs to decide on his own...
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:57 AM   #10
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Wow, dad gets a free ride in the thread title Must be nice.

I think our diet could have been better, but then so does my mother. She doesn't eat that way anymore either. She did the best she knew how. I am thankful every time I read about the ways posters say their parents treat and act toward them now regarding their food and appearance - my mother is positively a gem in comparison. Dad still doesn't do the best he knows how and I worry about his health. He doesn't have anything to say about my food/health, which is at least neutral. He's a man of few words.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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My mother screwed me up in just about every possible area including my relationship with food, but I'm a grown woman and I'm over it and I only really think about it in the context of what not to do when I have my own kids.

That said, she instilled in me a VERY screwed up sense of what is normal with food - there were gender divides with food in my house - my brother could eat whatever he wanted, I was on hairbrained, half baked "diets" as far back as I could remember and when we went shopping she'd make a point of putting something in the cart and saying "this is for boys, not girls, girls are dainty!". If I wanted more of something I'd get told I was turning into a disgusting truck driver (offensive on many levels) and by 3rd grade me and the other fat kid in my school were stealing money from our parents and riding our bikes around the neighborhood buying a little bit of candy at every corner store. My mother is the kind of woman who will starve herself all day because she thinks it's inappropriate for a woman to eat in public and then down an entire half gallon of low-end ice cream in the middle of the night. Her husband has helped her deal with a lot of this and I'm glad he has, but I am still wary of being around her at a food-event like a holiday.

So my food issues are not just emotional/comfort laced but gendered as well.

But like I said, I realize that she screwed me up big time but I had the choice to stay screwed up or to deal with it and I dealt with it. My husband helped me get over a lot of the gender stuff by having me over to his parents' house for dinner a lot so I could see that it's not okay to be told that women aren't supposed to eat meals.

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Old 09-04-2009, 12:09 PM   #12
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Just a tiny bit. Desserts were an every day occurrence, just part of the meal. Save room for 'em! That and the feeling of needing to eat every time I come through the door. Just because I arrive home doesn't mean it's an occasion to look in the fridge.

I'm trying not to screw up my own kids. Good luck to me!
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:09 PM   #13
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I almost blame my family. My mom was raised in a very wealthy family (until the late 70s) and she always had whatever she wanted. That meant a lot of fresh foods to go along with the "tasty" high fat foods.

My dad comes from a Old Deep South type family. His mother was a product of the Depression. She eats an extremely high fat diet, but is also ridiculously active, even at 84. She's very very healthy, probably because the fried-in-lard pork chops always go with a side of butter beans, carrots and whatever other veggies she gets at the store.

Then throw in that they were raised in an era where prepackaged, high sodium, high calorie convenience meals were the trend. It was a sign of affluence to be able to provide your family with these things and, frankly, they were hyped as "good for you".

So, yeah, I kind of blame my parents. But with that blame comes the understanding that they were doing what was "best". My mom still considers Mac n Cheese to be healthy. A serving of grain and a serving of dairy, just like the Food Pyramid says!
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:19 PM   #14
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I wouldn't say I necessarily blame my mom. I was in the same situation as you Wanabeskinny, I got to eat whenever, whatever and how much I wanted. I can't blame my mom though. She didn't know any beter and throughout my life its be ME who has raised her. She didn't and doesn't eat and fruit and veggies, yet she has always been thin because she doesn't eat a lot and when I was younger(not now) she used to throw up her dinner. That made me sad and it also taught me that when I got older, I could too... and I did. Anyways, I just want to be more involved with my children's (futre children's)eating habits and be a good role model for healthy eating and exercise.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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I started gaining weight (and developed my bad eating habits) after my father died when I was 11. When he died people brought us food along with their condolences, lots and lots of food and I remember snacking on it constantly until it was all gone. It made me feel good and made the strange and unreal fact that my father was gone bearable.

After that my mom was working, a lot, and would bring me home whatever fast food I wanted, it made me happy and she didn't know what else to do.

As a child I blamed her, as an adult I hold absolutely no blame over her. She was grieving too and in addition to that she was struggling to keep our home, pay off my fathers debts and keep her children happy and fed. She did her best and I will never hold that against her.
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