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Old 02-17-2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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Default Are there other families like this?

I saw this on another thread and I was really taken with it. I thought we were the only family that dealt with this...




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Originally Posted by busker

I blame a lot of my poor eating habits and obliviousness on my mother. She'd always go on about eating healthy and the 4 food groups and such, but she'd give adult-sized portions to us and insisted we didn't leave anything on our plate.

She'd hoarde the cookies to herself, and we'd have to "compete" with her to get any by eating as many as quickly as possible (just like she did) as soon as they were home from the store.
Now, I can't say it's entirely her fault - not even close, as I was plenty guilty of stashing cookies, going to MacDonalds with my friends on the sly, and trading my good sandwich for cupcakes at lunch-time. (And I discovered that instead of using the money given to me for the hot school lunch, I could save some money if I bought soda and a hostess pie).

Oh my goodness. Honey, this is how it was in my house as a kid. I went through chunky phases and skinny phases all through school. When I reached my twenties I was 110 pounds until I had my children, then I gave up.

But my sister was really affected by this eat bad and horde behavior on the part of my Mother. My sister cannot let go of McDonald's now and I really believe it is because we were raised on it. My mother cooked maybe 3 times a year- the rest was Mc. D or some other such thing. We never had food in the house, and if we did it was cookies and junk food- and you had to grab and hide if you wanted it. We rarely ate lunch at school by the time we were in high school- we weren't given the money to do so.

You'd think we'd be skinny, right? No. I refused to eat it anymore and never got too overweight as a kid, but my sister always did. And even if she only ate once a day, she still became morbidly obese. Because of the kind of food we were made accustomed to. And the behavior towards food we were taught to have. You know, the race to the cubboard to get your cookies before they all dissappeared.

Also to this day... my Mom will get up in the middle of the night and get into the ice cream. Then she acts like she never eats and can't understand why she gained weight. I guess you might call it a closet eater. She also hides food in her room. Boxes of muffins, zingers, whatever...

Honestly- I considered the way my mother did things to be a form of child abuse. We were hungry all day, then fed crap food. There were no healthy options as far as the eye could see.
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:25 PM   #2
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My childhood was very different, but I'm still overweight. My mother cooked healthy food and served appropriately sized portions. We were also "outdoorsy" kids, so we burned off any extra. If there weren't enough treats to go around, kids got them first and Mom was last.

However, I have a vivid memory of a relative buying a bunch of junk food for herself and giving her three kids a Mr. Freeze (you know, the sugar water frozen in plastic tubes) each. I remember my mother muttering (I don't think I was supposed to hear) that it just wasn't right. It made a big impression on me.

I guess food always means more to us than simple fuel. For me, a homemade meal is more valuable than fast food or even a meal at a fancy restaurant. For me, preparing a meal means love and comfort and family and tradition. I also remember studying a Dickens' novel and discussing how different "mother" characters were protrayed as "good" or "bad" based on whether they provided food readily or horded it to maintain power.
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:36 PM   #3
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I also remember studying a Dickens' novel and discussing how different "mother" characters were protrayed as "good" or "bad" based on whether they provided food readily or horded it to maintain power.



Well that certainly is interesting. My mother tries all kinds of things to be in control. I guess the food thing was another tactic. My husband has said over and over not to even tell my mother how hard I am trying to lose weight because his theory is her first reaction will be to ask me to go to a buffet and try to sabotage it for me. Of course, my childhood was totally messed up, so maybe that novel certainly was onto a symptom.

For me, preparing a meal means love and comfort and family and tradition.

That is so cool. I like this for my family too. Somewhere down the line I started a sugar addiction, but since I haven't touched it in nearly two weeks and have gone vegetarian and excersise religiously the weight is absolutely melting off. I have been going through withdrawl though. Especially at night.
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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Sounds like some major denial going on!

I should know...I am the queen of denial (just call me Cleopatra! LOL)

I still have issues with denial...I think for me it is now a habit--a BAD one!
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:39 PM   #5
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I should know...I am the queen of denial (just call me Cleopatra! LOL)


lol... Yeah... there are definately some issues with food in my family.
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:50 PM   #6
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That's funny. I just read the same thread right before I came here.
Parts of it I can relate too. Growing up my mom always limited what we could have and I was still fat. We weren't allowed to have pop during the week, no sugary cerals, only sugarless gum. Now that I'm grown I find that often I crave all of things that I wasn't allowed to have as a kid.
For many years and think still to this day, my mom is a midnight snacker. We would find that she would wait until the kids went to bed and then enduldge on junk food.
Ironically my mom and I are now in the same boat. For many years she was always 2+ sizes smaller than me, now we are the same size only she is 7" shorter.
My mother and I are fierce competitors so I tend not to share my successes with her. It's like jealousy sets in when one or the other of us does well.
That's probally why I here and not sharing with her. Not that I don't wish her well, its just not the same.
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Old 02-17-2006, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen415
Sounds like some major denial going on!
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I'm overweight because I consume more calories than I burn. Usually I eat otherwise healthy food, just too much. Mostly, I eat too much because I love the taste of food and I'm not as active as I was as a kid. Sometimes I eat too much because it's comforting when I feel stressed. My challenge is to still enjoy food without overindulging and to find ways to be more active.

For others, there are learned patterns to overcome. I know someone who had to worry about when he would get his next meal. He loves buffets and quantity is more important than quality in food. Even if he is completely full, he still can't turn down "just a little more."
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Old 02-17-2006, 03:16 PM   #8
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I think the emotional relationship I have developed with food came from issues my mother had with her father. He made some poor choices in his so-called efforts to keep her from being chunky in those impressionable teen years, one of which was to take away all but one outfit she was expected to wear all week! Eek gad! No wonder she obsessed about it!

So on one end, I had my mom getting us on SlimFast, Jenny Craig and I vaguely recall Nutrisystem powder food. But then when the latest fad petered out it would be back to the normal dinners, treats and not thinking about it. Plus my family was very sedentary - neither of my parents instilled the value of exercise in us.

I think it was a catch-22 for my mom... she wanted us to be 'thin', but never having resolved her own emotional battles with food, her best intentions were tinged with her own inability to feel good about herself. If I managed to lose the weight, because I do include the exercise, I sometimes would get the impression she wanted to sabotage my efforts because she couldn't do the same.

Anyway, now that I have my own daughter with, ironically, an overweight ex-husband who obsesses about her gaining weight, I try to downplay food and work on the importance of exercise... I try to set an example, rollerblading, skiing and setting aside time to exercise. I'm hoping to counteract a lot factors so she doesn't think about food like I do. She's already terrified of being "fat" at 8 years of age.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:10 PM   #9
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I had the opposite problem growing up. Growing up in the South, every meal pretty much had something fried. And it always had to include meat, cheese, and bread. Mac & cheese and rice were both considered "veggies." Our afternoon snacks after school would be a hot dog or (and you might find this disgusting) a fried bologna sandwich (white bread and mayo, of course). Needless to say, my whole family is pretty big.

Whenever I go home now, I'm always asked why I'm not eating more - why I'm only eating one of grandma's biscuits instead of three like everyone else. Or someone makes a smart comment when I go to the high school's track to walk around in the afternoon. These, of course, are the same people who complain about wanting to lose weight. They honestly don't believe that I'm not hoarding away some sort of magic diet pill or something!
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:17 PM   #10
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I can totally relate. I kinda got a double wammy growing up. My dad is from the south and my mom is full blooded mexican. Often our dinners would be a combination of both. In my household mexican rice and beans and tortillas were served with almost every meal. Sunday's were ridiculus. Big breakfast, big lunch and huge dinner.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:28 PM   #11
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I can trace back a lot of my food issues to being a latchkey kid starting in 5th grade. My mom went back to work (which was a good thing for her) and my brother and I were expected to come home from school and stay in the house until she got home. During the summer, we were expected to stay in the house all day while my mom and dad went to work.

TV + boredom + constant snacks + 0 activity = bad habits that lasted a lifetime

There was nothing to do BUT eat. I remember sprinkling white sugar on pieces of bread and eating it, just to have something to do.

Cooking, junk food, fast food-wise, my mom did a good job. No pop in the house, no sugary breakfast cereals allowed, healthy lunches and home made dinner every night (meat + starch + veggie).
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:40 PM   #12
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AquaChick - some of those patterns sound so similar to my own family's!

My mother was by no means abusive in the quite the same ways, but if we had a candy bar or something we always had to hide it for fear she'd nibble or just eat the whole thing. My parents both also forced us to clean our plates (which I think is a terrible habit, especially if your children aren't *that* active and you are giving them adult sized portions). We were a little low on money always, so I never had money for school lunches and was often too lazy to make my own. If I did scrounge up money I'd have cookies or a candy bar for lunch. My father didn't know how to spoil us with anything but goodies, so he was always bringing home candy bars and ice cream (only when it was on sale of course) as his way of loving us.

My parents "dieted" the whole time I was growing up, but they never exercised, sold exercise machines (even when I, as a semi-active kid would still be using them) and never reduced dinner portions. Because money was tight, eating out became a treat. We couldn't afford nice, so it had to be Taco Bell or Burger King and now I'm mentally over-attached to fast food. I definitely would not blame my parents for "making" me overweight. They didn't know any better and indeed I am still wondering if what they did or did not do had a strong affect. Very interesting posts. I am happy to see some of the ladies here really thinking past their own health and working on getting their kids to eat healthy *and* be active without making them self-conscious in the process.
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:57 PM   #13
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Wow.

It's kind of comforting to meet some other people who have similar situations. I think our situation was some type of extreme, but I can see everyone has a story behind where the weight battle began.

Thank you all for sharing with me.

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Old 02-17-2006, 11:48 PM   #14
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I couldn't even begin to discribe my family. Being that my youngest brother and I are 16 yrs different I was able to see how my mom mothered my brother. Everytime he squaked she would shove some junk food into his mouth,,,never a healthy food just to shut him up. Hes now 5'11 and over 300 lbs.
There was just too much abuse, never enough money for basics and alot of guilt which has left me unable to control my battle with food.
I worry, Im over weight,,,obesely so. My sons are over weight,,,I have never teased them, or hopefully made them feel they were bad. What I have said was,,,we need to eat healthier, I need for you all to agree. I tell them that heart disease is on both sides of the families. Diabetis on both,,,that if they can stop the junk food being brought in,,,and the night eating it would help.
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Old 02-17-2006, 11:55 PM   #15
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yeah we always had slimfast etc around the house and no junk. i used to have dreams that i finally found a little bowl of candy in the study and realized my family was normal. haha. wierd. my mom actually put me (both of us) actually on herbalife while i was in college telling me it was a vitimin that helped with wieght loss (think the commercials for 1 a day) later i find out its a bonnafide diet pill. sigh. needless to say it didnt help. i dont eat because im hungry so a pill to make me not hungry was ineffective.

i could go on.... she once stood me infront of a mirror and pointed out all the places i should lose wieght (two lbs from this thigh, two lbs from this one, half a pound from under your chin etc and then added it all up and told me how much i should lose.)

well....it sucks... i hope im NEVER like that with my kids. i dont think i will be- i am more aware that i actually have issues- while my mom is in Complete (yes with a capital c) denial. hopefully i can use that to my advantage.


hugs to everyone- thats some tough stuff!!


i try to remember that im an adult (most of the time) and i control what i do, what i eat and who i am!!
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