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My Mother

Thursday, April 04, 2013

My mother is tremendously unhealthy. Her idea of a "good breakfast" is a big plate of biscuits and gravy. Exercise is something she does slowly...and maybe once or twice a month. She never breaks a sweat while doing that exercise. It's not surprising that she went from being thin to obese and pre-diabetic to diabetic. It wasn't a shock at all.

Before she was married and had me, she was a cheerleader and a model. She weighed 98lbs until my sister was born. Then when she had me, she "plumped up," to 127. I can't even tell you have many times she told me how I had "ruined her figure." You'd think I had set out with some sort of evil plan to ruin her life...before I was born.

When she would meet my friends' moms, she would immediately compare herself to them. She'd point out that she was cuter than THAT mom...or that she hated THAT mom because the other mom was thinner. She wouldn't just think these things in her head. She'd say them out loud to me. She went on and on about it.

When I gained a few pounds during puberty, my dad started cracking the fat jokes. "We're going to have to send you to a fat farm if you keep eating like that!" he'd say. I weighed 110lbs the first time he made one of those jokes. I remember, because my mother almost immediately started explaining to me HOW to lose weight....quickly. She had me hop on a scale an told me what would be a good amount to weight to lose. I was eleven years old.

I lost weight. Oh boy did I! By high school, I was nursing a good little eating disorder. I ended up in the hospital for that. My parents didn't take me to the hospital. My grandparents did. My mother resented the fact that I had "got sick." She made me feel terrible because she was going to have to pay my medical bills.

Today, my mother was in the hospital, having surgery done. Before she could get that surgery done, she had to get her blood sugar under control. The doctor simply refused to do the surgery until she did as he asked.

So, she came to me...weeks ago. She wanted to know how I had stayed so "thin and healthy," while she had gained weight and become obese. I told her. I exercise. I gave up dairy. I watch how many calories I take in. After a day of explaining how to do what I do, she dismissed me entirely. I didn't hear another word about it until today.

Her boyfriend said to me, while she was having the surgery done, that my mother had lost 20 pounds since I last saw her. He might as well have said, "No thanks to YOU." That was the tone in his voice. I said that it was good that she found something that worked. He said that she had...she'd given up carbs and was living off of bacon and eggs.

I swear you could have hit me over the head with a hammer and it probably would've have shocked me less. I SHOULDN'T have been shocked. She was always the queen of the fad diets...unhealthy diets...quick fix diets. Why would she do something different now?

I pleaded with him to get her to consider a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. He looked at me and shrugged. That was the end of the conversation.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's really tough to watch loved ones eat unhealthy stuff. I am going through this with some family members as well.
    1836 days ago
    Wow, as someone else said earlier, this really sucks. I don't know why family can be more cruel than strangers. I am so glad that you have been able to take care of yourself given all of the negativity around you. You tried to help when your mom asked, but that's all you can do. If she chooses not to like what you say, well, that's her problem and you can't fix that.
    1836 days ago
    Jesus. That sucks.

    Part of being an adult is having the autonomy to decide how to relate to your family. We love them, or don't, but we don't need to feel guilty (or judge ourselves) about our frustration. Family is a weird thing. I hope you have plenty of positive relationships to balance it out.
    1839 days ago
    Thankfully you see the issues in dealing with your family and try not top let them affect you negatively. My obese chain smoking SIL is busting blood vessel's in her eyes due to mini strokes, was put on high blood pressure medication, was told to quit smoking due to fluid in lung, bronchitis and is on the path to emphysema. She won't make changes. She's only 43 and basically killing herself. It hurts to watch but All you can do is offer to help because they won't do it unless they really want.
    1840 days ago
    I love my Mother but she has served as a constant example to me of how NOT to be. She doesn't understand me and I don't understand her. I'm 53, she's 85 next month. It took me years to come to terms with the fact that it won't ever be different and we'll never have a friendship. It is what it is. If I don't learn from her and work on making my relationship "more" with my kids then any angst I've felt over the years has been a waste.

    Do what you can and learn to speak up as lovingly as possible. Her boyfriend may need to be reminded that his girlfriend is an adult and is responsible for all her own choices.

    I hope/pray her health improves. emoticon Pat
    1842 days ago
    I hear you! emoticon
    My best wishes for a quick recovery after the surgery! And I hope she will take better care of herself!

    But anyway, you can only do what is the best for yourself. Your mother's well-being is not your responsibility, it is only hers!
    Don't let it affect your life negatively!!!

    Ufff...parents, from my own experience it is such a messed up relationship! So much emotional blackmail and guilt are included, and sometimes even from the best intentions!!!
    But from the way you write you seem to be your own woman!!!! emoticon
    Just take care of yourself everyday! (physically and mentally)
    1842 days ago
    Wow! Having come from a toxic family myself, it took years of therapy to learn to understand why they are like they are. With that understanding I learned to forgive almost everything and everyone but I still can't forget. And for that I carry an extra 50 pounds around. Don't let them get you down!!!!! Who knows why your mom is the way she is? She may not even see that there is anything wrong with herself. She would be wrong but you are young enough to work on your habits and overcome your inherited self-talk and negative self-image. You cannot change anyone else but yourself. And I have found that my friends are my family, much more supportive.
    1842 days ago
    Parents. Can't live with them.......Can't push them off a cliff either emoticon

    Good parents are a luxury. It's good that you follow your own path.

    I hear you. I totally hear you.

    kind regards,

    1842 days ago
    Vent away! You suffered a lot and I am glad to see you are now your own, marvelous and well-balanced self! emoticon
    1842 days ago
    Thanks everyone. I had to vent a bit after having to deal with my family yesterday.
    1843 days ago
  • DS9KIE
    emoticon to your negative mom. The best thing to do is to stay away so you don't have to be around the negativity. don't let her drag you down, your better than that emoticon (your emoticon )
    1843 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/4/2013 7:20:10 AM
    Oh dear. I am sorry your family was so effed up around food/body stuff - good for you for finding a healthier path with such poor examples in front of you!

    (I had a mom trying to control my eating when I was 9... Feel your pain, there.)


    1843 days ago
    1843 days ago
    It sounds like your mom judged/judges a lot and you have learned to judge her too. I urge you to let go of your negative feelings toward her. After all is that how you want to use your energy? Also, consider that she herself may be negative and insecure and it's really hard for her to face it so she may lash out you...kind of like the tale about the lion with a thorn in his paw. Everyone just thought was a scary and mean lion, but it was just in A LOT of pain until a young man noticed and pulled the thorn out. After that, the lion became his best friend. Maybe your mom's thorn will never be pulled out. But, you don't have to be the same way.

    It may take time to explore and let go of the anger and pain, but it's one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and I suspect it will have a positive effect on all your relationships too. I wish you the best!
    1843 days ago
    I have parental issues myself but I will save it for now. It is such a waste of breath to talk to someone who isn't going to take your advice or guidence. Maybe introduce her to sparkpeople? She can see that what you are doing is working so maybe she will come around eventually. If so, great. If no, then that isn't your fault. It is such a dichotomy of emotions when dealing with parents. I understand it well, my friend. You just gotta stay real to yourself and put good ole mom and boyfriend out of your mind for now. Let us wait and see what happens. (I want to add a MUWAHAHA, but that might seem creepy). Oodles of sympathy.
    1843 days ago
    Wow - It's so hard to not be able to help people who come to you asking for it. I'm glad you're a good example for her though. Every one needs someone to look up to.
    1843 days ago
    I know it's hard, but one person can not make another person do anything the other person does not want to do. all you can do is stand by and wait until she wants to get healthy for herself.
    1843 days ago
  • ALICIA214

    It is very difficult to watch a parent {or anyone for that matter}on the road to self
    destruction and no matter how much you try to help it won't work until your parent
    admits they need help.Take care of yourself and be there for your Mum if and when
    she asks for it. emoticon emoticon

    1843 days ago
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