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Dieting with Obstacles needs a "saboteurs" section

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Old 06-04-2011, 10:33 AM   #1
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Default Dieting with Obstacles needs a "saboteurs" section

I'm feeling sorry for myself at the moment and I need a place to vent. Because in my everyday life, I'm the nice girl, the dutiful daughter, the doting mother, the great friend. And while most of the people in my life are great and I love them all, there's one who thinks it her mission in life to cast her dark cloud over me and makes me miserable. She's wired to be miserable, and she finds joy in creating drama and misery in my life. And innocent people who hear my stories about her say things like, "But she's your mother and she cared for you and raised you and loved you when you were a baby..." And then I let them know that the moment I grew past the age of five, she's made sure that every moment of my life is an extension of her misery! And I'm now 50!

I'm doing intermittent fasting, and it's been working fabulously for me. Except for when I'm around my mother. Yesterday was a planned fasting day for me, and I did great with the fasting. But I had to spend several hours with my mother during most of the day, and in the end, she upset me so much (and was so smug about it when she knew she got me). I went home to have my dinner at the end of the fast. I made wise choices and stuck to my plan. But I don't like eating when I'm upset. I'm really trying to avoid it because I tend to make terrible decisions about food in that state. I stayed within my caloric limit for the day, and I made mostly healthy choices, but they were definitely on the fatty, salty side and not really balanced. And I also didn't get enough water to drink because I was at the hospital for hours (for a non-event!!!!!) and couldn't get away to get even a bottle of water. So today I didn't realize any weight loss. And I'm still angry, because I can't do anything about her!

I don't need advice. I don't need an attitude adjustment. I have a support system. I just needed to write this down and vent! My mother sabotages my life, every darn day!
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:44 AM   #2
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You can't do anything about her, but you can do something about you. You know what she is like, have known for most of your life. Don't buy into it. You did make healthy choices, maybe not the best ones but you did stay in your calorie count. Remember this we don't always lose weight every day. It's the bottom line that counts, how much did you lose during the week ?You have done a fantastic job at weight loss. Over 50 pounds, that is a great accomplishment.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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Yes, it is an obstacle. However, this part of the Forum is for physical obstacles.

I am going to move this thread to the Weightloss Support part of the Forum and leave a redirect.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:26 AM   #4
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Honestly, your mother sounds toxic. And it's ok to stop talking to your mother. Really, it's ok! She can't ground you or take your toys away anymore. Just because she birthed you doesn't give her the right to treat you that way. You wouldn't spend time with a stranger like that, right? If I were you I'd cut your mother out of my life and ignore the people that say you can't because she's your mother. Not everyone gets a good one.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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I think the label "saboteur" gives the person too much credit and too much power over our lives. When I thought of people in my life as saboteurs, it legitimized my choice to allow the sabotage. After all, it wasn't my fault (or at least not ALL my fault) that I was eating - they DROVE me to it.

I do think most of the time, people aren't intentional obstacles in your path, but even when it is intentional, it can only affect you if you let it.

I've been dieting for 40 years, since I was placed on my first diet in kindergarten, and I used the word saboteur as soon as I learned it (probably in Weight Watchers when I joined with my mother at 8 years old).

No one can sabotage you without your cooperation. No one can upset you without your cooperation. No one can bully, intimidate, or influence you without your cooperation. And refusing to cooperate doesn't have to be stressful or unpleasant.


Learning to refuse to cooperate isn't always easy, but it is possible and gets easier with practice.

I've had to learn to walk away mentally, or if necessarily physically. I once drove back home (an hours drive) only 15 minutes into what was supposed to be a weekend visit, because my family wouldn't get off my back about my weight. I'd warned them that I was going to do it, and I did. I got a reputation in the family for "being touchy" but they did stop pressing my buttons, because when they tried, I left the room, and if they started up again when I came back, I went home.

And most importantly for me, I did it without anger or hostility. Their problem, their choice, their consequences.

Labeling their behavior sabotage though, gave it too much power over me. It put me on the defensive (if I'm sabotaged, I'm a victim - and if I think of myself as a victim, I will act like one).

Learning to stay calm and remove myself from the situation has been such an incredible gift. Most of the time I can do it mentally. When people are used to riling you, they don't know how to react when you refuse to be riled. At first they try to rile you even more, but when it doesn't work, ever - they tend to give up more easily. If it's not worth the effort, most people will learn not to make the effort. You often can change people's behavior if you change your reaction to it (and if you don't change the behavior, at least you've still changed your reaction to it)...

but it's like dealing with a tantruming child. Giving in, or getting upset will only increase the severity of the tantrums in the future. You have to stay calm and be consistent.

Calmly change the subject or walk away, every time you don't like what your mother is saying. Every time. Walk out of the room. Turn away. Don't react. React in a way that's positive for you and doesn't give her the result you believe she's expecting (laughing kindly and rolling your eyes as if she's being ridiculously silly, can work).

but most important of all is your interpretation of the events. If you see it as sabotage, you will feel it as sabotage. Don't give away that power. Understand that you have all the power in this situation, no one can make you feel anything. You can learn how to feel what you want to feel, and the more successful you are at it, the less other people's crap becomes your crap.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
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My mother has practically no one left in her life. My dad just died in February. She's 82. She needs to be cared for in many ways. I live in town, so I'm the one who has the duty. I care for her because if I didn't, I couldn't walk away from her grave with a clear conscious. I care for her because I believe it's the civilized thing to do. Her behavior will not diminish my integrity.

That doesn't mean I don't have the right to vent off my frustrations. She's a difficult woman. I have spent years learning that wishing otherwise is futile. Part of me remains hopeful in this situation, mostly for myself, I guess. She taught me my eating disorder. My eating disorder helped me survive until I could learn to do things differently. I'm still in the process of learning. When I have to deal with my mother's mental illness, it provides opportunities for me to practice not going to food for solace.

My mother is the only toxic person in my life. The rest have been removed. I used to be surrounded by them. She's the last one. I'm going with natural attrition. One of us is bound to outlast the other.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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Of course you have a right to vent your frustrations - but there's a way to prevent and eliminate the frustration in the first place. Eliminating and diminishing the stress works better than finding ways to deal with the stress.

You can choose not to, of course.

My mother is one of the most negative people on the planet. I've been telling her for more than 20 years to consider asking the doctor about an antidepressant (because I strongly suspect she's bipolar). But, I'm just her psychologist daughter telling her she's crazy.

The only person she respects at all, is my youngest sister (I suspect because they have similar personalities).

Almost every contact I had with my mother as an adult, was a negative one.

When I chose to see her behavior as sabotage, it had control over me. I had to react to her behavior. That reaction was often bingeing or venting (or both).

But I learned to deal with her without letting it upset and control me. Sure I still get upset once in a while, because I sometimes forget how much control I really have - but when I remember I do have control over MY feelings, I can interact with my mother without making her feelings my feelings.

If you don't want suggestions for ways to cope with your mother's issues in order to prevent them from becoming yours, then please say so, so no one else makes the mistake of offering unwanted advice.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:00 PM   #8
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I always thought as my mom as toxic... Then 2 weeks after her 50th birthday, after a brief but furious bout with cancer she died. That was 19 years ago almost to the day. Poof...Problem solved. The moral of my sad little tale is, "be careful what you wish for".

Today in church the pastors sermon was about how every human that rises up also falls...and how our time on earth is just a tiny speck of eternity. He pretty much said what you said....ya just gotta deal with it until one of you kicks the bucket, it will all be over soon enough. In the mean while smile and nod...smile and nod.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Your mother must be very unhappy with her own life if she finds joy in upsetting and hurting you. Try to ignore her comments and dont let her push your buttons as she knows how to do it. After all there only words.

Just pity her for what she does and carry on with your dieting/weightloss you are the one in control there not her.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #10
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Hi, Georgia!

Yes, she knows how to push your buttons--because she installed them.

It is hard for you to deal with her. I think you're right that you'll have a clearer conscience after she is gone because you have helped her. So make that your challenge--help no matter what. At age 82, she's probably not going to change. At age 50, you might not, either. But I'll tell you this, you will never regret the times you treated her with kindness.

And think of some other ways you can de-stress after you've been with her. Maybe a brisk walk around the block. Maybe a movie you've wanted to watch. Maybe putting on some favorite music and dancing. Whatever it might be, plan ahead and make sure you have these strategies ready to support yourself. You'll be less likely to want to turn to food.


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Old 06-05-2011, 11:33 PM   #11
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Just wanted to send you some , and more !
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayEll View Post
But I'll tell you this, you will never regret the times you treated her with kindness.

A
Jay
This really stood out to me and I believe this is true.
On another note I do believe that people will take power away from us if we let them. But for our own happiness, health and sanity, we do need to acknowledge the fact that there are and will be toxic people, sabators, whatever you decide to call them. Then act accordingly, but that doesn't mean you can't do things in a loving and kind manner. I think the fact that you are caring for her and loving her in spite of her attitude is a huge indicator of your wonderful character, but it wouldn't hurt for you to say "mother, please stop" or "I will not talk about this right now". I wish for you the best, and at any age we posses the option to wake up in the morning and decide to do better and be different.
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