Author Topic: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight  (Read 21589 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2732
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2012, 05:26:26 PM »
"Oh, Mom. You would be so much prettier if you lost 20-30 years"

"Wow, Mom, your face looks really prune-like today! Adding on wrinkles by the minute, huh?"
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Suzume

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2012, 09:15:21 PM »
This I know is an incredibly unhealthy attitude to have and detest feeling that sense of having to match up to her standards.

I really like the insight in your post, and especially this.  I wish for you that you match up to only your own standards, and that at some point your mother's words cease to hurt you.

The messages our parents put in our heads can be very difficult to erase. Over time, those comments about appearance just seem to magnify and shake our self-confidence. My mother began commenting on my weight when I was in college. "You're looking a little wide in the rear," she said.

But I remember comments like that when I was even younger. When I was 11, I was getting a haircut, and she told the hairdresser that she preferred me in bangs because my forward is too narrow. I still have bangs, and I'm 44. As a teen, if I did not spend the 30 minutes it took to curl my long hair with a curling iron, I was asked, "why don't you do something with that hair?" In fact, I still wear my long hair straight, and I'm still asked "when are you going to do something with your hair?" As if the style I've chosen isn't sufficient.

Then there was the acne. I heard endlessly about how bad my skin looked. When I was high school, I began refusing to leave the house without makeup, and I do the same to this day. I'm extremely self-conscious about my skin.

She does the same with my brother. At Thanksgiving, she asked him why he hadn't gotten a haircut, as if his hairstyle were a poor choice on his part. If we respond with, "I like it this way," she will respond with a sarcastic, "Oh. Whatever."

These comments that are meant to "help" often are not helpful at all. They are destructive. It's not as if we are unaware of our weight, our skin, our hair, our weak chins. As a child and teen, I did not feel accepted for who I was, and this feeling carried through well into adulthood. However, I know that the comments come from my mother's fear that my appearance is/was a reflection on her. It's a narcissistic tendency on her part.

That the comments continue into our adulthood is rude. Our mothers likely would be respectful enough not comment on their friends' appearances. "Oh, Marion, you're looking a bit wide in the rear. You could stand to lose some weight." The perception of "ownership" where children are concerned does not exist with friendships, and the boundaries are clearer. Imagine if I said to my mother, "Gosh, when are you going to touch up your roots?" When I was a teen, I once told my mother that I wasn't sure her blouse matched her skirt. She came unglued.

I have been able to overcome many of the boundary issues where my mother is concerned, but my lack of confidence about my appearance is still there. I wish I could say otherwise. There is the feeling that acceptance only comes when you meet all the criteria that have been set for you; however, I have learned the hard way that the bar always shifts. No matter how hard I try to meet the standards, they seem to change, and there will always be something wrong. To counter that, I am working at bean dipping and other deflections so the stings don't hurt as much.

Deep down, I know I'm not the one with the problem. The problem is my mother's own self-confidence.

I agree with this 100% and have always had self esteem and boundary issues. It's only recently, after some things happened that shouldn't have, where my boundaries were pushed to dangerous limits (as in people attempting to make me do illegal and dangerous things at a company I tried to work for) that I've realized how bad it is and am consciously trying to do better. My mother was the issue some of the time, with body comments, but being big herself she ended up complaining about it intermittently - like accusing me of eating all of something if she found it missing, and most especially any time I needed to go to the doctor. I'd be weighed as part of the process and as soon as she had a number, she'd let me have it in the examination room before the doctor would get there.

Of course she never thought to ask the doctor why I was overweight or to get me help for it. It's only now as I'm in my 30's that I've discovered that I have a thyroid problem, which I now have to take medication for daily. I believe I've had a slight problem with it all along, but no one ever thought to check. The instinct is to just blame the person who has the problem.

It also wasn't just my mother, but my late grandmother would join in on the judgemental statements. I remember vividly one time when I was a teenager that she said "You could be a model if you would just lose weight." Slipping an insincere complement (I would look ordinary even if I were slim) in with an insult makes it more insulting. It doesn't soften the blow for things that should never have been said in the first place.

Even though these things are bad enough, I realize that they are symptoms of a larger issue - that people do this because they refuse to show respect. Comments and hurtful actions have always been common in my family and largely directed at me because I look a lot like my mother, who is the freeloader type, and it's not just restricted to food/weight/appearance issues. I've cut my family off until I get my own feelings sorted out and develop the stronger backbone that I need to function. I'm at a point where I have to demand better treatment because until I do people will feel entitled to treat me however they like.

Oh and off topic - this is my first post, so hello everyone!

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5273
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2012, 01:14:59 AM »
This I know is an incredibly unhealthy attitude to have and detest feeling that sense of having to match up to her standards.

I really like the insight in your post, and especially this.  I wish for you that you match up to only your own standards, and that at some point your mother's words cease to hurt you.

The messages our parents put in our heads can be very difficult to erase. Over time, those comments about appearance just seem to magnify and shake our self-confidence. My mother began commenting on my weight when I was in college. "You're looking a little wide in the rear," she said.

But I remember comments like that when I was even younger. When I was 11, I was getting a haircut, and she told the hairdresser that she preferred me in bangs because my forward is too narrow. I still have bangs, and I'm 44. As a teen, if I did not spend the 30 minutes it took to curl my long hair with a curling iron, I was asked, "why don't you do something with that hair?" In fact, I still wear my long hair straight, and I'm still asked "when are you going to do something with your hair?" As if the style I've chosen isn't sufficient.

Then there was the acne. I heard endlessly about how bad my skin looked. When I was high school, I began refusing to leave the house without makeup, and I do the same to this day. I'm extremely self-conscious about my skin.

She does the same with my brother. At Thanksgiving, she asked him why he hadn't gotten a haircut, as if his hairstyle were a poor choice on his part. If we respond with, "I like it this way," she will respond with a sarcastic, "Oh. Whatever."

These comments that are meant to "help" often are not helpful at all. They are destructive. It's not as if we are unaware of our weight, our skin, our hair, our weak chins. As a child and teen, I did not feel accepted for who I was, and this feeling carried through well into adulthood. However, I know that the comments come from my mother's fear that my appearance is/was a reflection on her. It's a narcissistic tendency on her part.

That the comments continue into our adulthood is rude. Our mothers likely would be respectful enough not comment on their friends' appearances. "Oh, Marion, you're looking a bit wide in the rear. You could stand to lose some weight." The perception of "ownership" where children are concerned does not exist with friendships, and the boundaries are clearer. Imagine if I said to my mother, "Gosh, when are you going to touch up your roots?" When I was a teen, I once told my mother that I wasn't sure her blouse matched her skirt. She came unglued.

I have been able to overcome many of the boundary issues where my mother is concerned, but my lack of confidence about my appearance is still there. I wish I could say otherwise. There is the feeling that acceptance only comes when you meet all the criteria that have been set for you; however, I have learned the hard way that the bar always shifts. No matter how hard I try to meet the standards, they seem to change, and there will always be something wrong. To counter that, I am working at bean dipping and other deflections so the stings don't hurt as much.

Deep down, I know I'm not the one with the problem. The problem is my mother's own self-confidence.

I agree with this 100% and have always had self esteem and boundary issues. It's only recently, after some things happened that shouldn't have, where my boundaries were pushed to dangerous limits (as in people attempting to make me do illegal and dangerous things at a company I tried to work for) that I've realized how bad it is and am consciously trying to do better. My mother was the issue some of the time, with body comments, but being big herself she ended up complaining about it intermittently - like accusing me of eating all of something if she found it missing, and most especially any time I needed to go to the doctor. I'd be weighed as part of the process and as soon as she had a number, she'd let me have it in the examination room before the doctor would get there.

Of course she never thought to ask the doctor why I was overweight or to get me help for it. It's only now as I'm in my 30's that I've discovered that I have a thyroid problem, which I now have to take medication for daily. I believe I've had a slight problem with it all along, but no one ever thought to check. The instinct is to just blame the person who has the problem.

It also wasn't just my mother, but my late grandmother would join in on the judgemental statements. I remember vividly one time when I was a teenager that she said "You could be a model if you would just lose weight." Slipping an insincere complement (I would look ordinary even if I were slim) in with an insult makes it more insulting. It doesn't soften the blow for things that should never have been said in the first place.

Even though these things are bad enough, I realize that they are symptoms of a larger issue - that people do this because they refuse to show respect. Comments and hurtful actions have always been common in my family and largely directed at me because I look a lot like my mother, who is the freeloader type, and it's not just restricted to food/weight/appearance issues. I've cut my family off until I get my own feelings sorted out and develop the stronger backbone that I need to function. I'm at a point where I have to demand better treatment because until I do people will feel entitled to treat me however they like.

Oh and off topic - this is my first post, so hello everyone!

Hi, Suzume, and welcome to E-Hell, where we'll help you develop that backbone and cheer for you when you use it!
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

greencat

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2463
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2012, 04:43:13 AM »
Ugh.  I was the perpetually-hungry-beanpole as a teen, but as a young adult, I gained some weight abruptly (freshman 15 anyone?) and immediately my mother started asking me if I was pregnant.  I lost the weight (changed my eating habits back to something healthier) but after I hit my mid-twenties I gained it back and then a little extra - I never passed out of the "normal" BMI range for my height though.  The pregnancy comments started again.  I did eventually get her to stop with that.  My mom also LOVES to buy me clothes (I can't stop her.  She works in a department store and loves leveraging her knowledge of the clearance racks and her employee discount to get a great sale.)  Sometimes she finds GREAT stuff in my size, which is awesome...but when I made the mistake of telling her that I gained 5 pounds and went up ONE size...she went from buying me size 4 clothes to buying me size 14 clothes.  I wish I was exaggerating.  She really did that.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11010
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2012, 10:24:50 AM »
Count me in as  yet another one who's mother had weight and self-esteem issues that she pushed on me. In fact, for a long time I was actually afraid to have a daughter cause I worried I'd end up doing the same thing to her without meaning to!   

I was always a really slender kid, and on the short side, and then roundabout the end of 8th grade, when puberty finally seemed to finally hit me, I started rounding out like girls are supposed to, and that's when the comments of "Keep  your girlish figure!"  started.  My mom would point at pictures of me in a bathing suit and note where I had "fat" or when I was sitting down, she'd poke my thighs and tell me they were getting chubby, and if I was in a bathing suit, she'd frown and point out I had stretch marks on my hips and thighs. 

To this day I am still very uncomfortable in a bathing suit, and DH has a hard time convincing me to wear a two piece.  I have one...a tankini that covers my belly.  The last few times I went to the beach I just wore athletic capris or shorts that could get wet and dry quickly.

In fact, about 2 years ago I lost a dangerous amount of weight and slipped into the mindset of an anorexic.  I was on ADD meds which have the side effect of removing your appetite and well, I didn't exactly fight it.  I never lost enough to be officially anorexic but I got down to 103, which with my height (5'2") and build, was not very healthy at all and I looked way too thin and not attractive.   I threw away the meds and started putting on weight.   Course, ironically as soon as I got to a healthy weight, I got pregnant. LOL

I'm now between 127-130 and actually feel pretty good about myself.  My belly could use some toning but I've accepted that it'll never be what it was before I had kids.  It was funny, I went into a Kohl's recently and bought a couple pairs of size 10 Lee's (used to wear 8's, 6's at my thinnest and they were falling off my hips) and I've never felt so good as I do wearing those size 10's. :) :)

My now  9 year old middle son used to think he was fat.  He's not at all, heck we have to buy him the slim fit jeans to keep them from falling off his hips.  But he is a strongly built boy.  My oldest is built like I was as a kid, like a reed, and my parents used to make remarks to Pirateboy2 like "Well you're not going to starve to death anytime soon." While poking his belly...when he was 4 and 5.  They never came out and said he was fat, they were very careful about that, but they'd make comments on how much he ate, while praising Pirateboy1 for being so slim.  I once told PB2 to take a look at myself and my bff one day, and told him "Look. If Auntie J weighed the same as me, she'd be too thin, because she is simply built bigger than I am.  (She's 5'7" and as she calls herself, "rawboned") She's not fat, she's just bigger. You are built bigger than your brother and if you weighed the same as him, you'd be too skinny."  He got it, and feels good about himself, now. :)

One of the reasons we do not speak to my parents anymore.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8855
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2012, 10:33:09 AM »
I once told PB2 to take a look at myself and my bff one day, and told him "Look. If Auntie J weighed the same as me, she'd be too thin, because she is simply built bigger than I am.  (She's 5'7" and as she calls herself, "rawboned") She's not fat, she's just bigger. You are built bigger than your brother and if you weighed the same as him, you'd be too skinny."  He got it, and feels good about himself, now. :)

I wish I'd had you around to explain things when I was a teen! It took forever for me to "get it" about big bones. I'm overweight now, but when I was in high school I was quite thin but always thought I was fat. Why? Because in pictures I often looked wider than the other girls. But looking back, it was all shoulders and ribcage then.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11010
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2012, 10:47:18 AM »
I once told PB2 to take a look at myself and my bff one day, and told him "Look. If Auntie J weighed the same as me, she'd be too thin, because she is simply built bigger than I am.  (She's 5'7" and as she calls herself, "rawboned") She's not fat, she's just bigger. You are built bigger than your brother and if you weighed the same as him, you'd be too skinny."  He got it, and feels good about himself, now. :)

I wish I'd had you around to explain things when I was a teen! It took forever for me to "get it" about big bones. I'm overweight now, but when I was in high school I was quite thin but always thought I was fat. Why? Because in pictures I often looked wider than the other girls. But looking back, it was all shoulders and ribcage then.

Thanks!  Funny, I don't remember anyone explaining it to me when I was a teen but it was just something I noticed.  One of my bff's at the time was a girl who was not only much taller than myself (I think she was almost 5'11" in 8th grade) but she was also big boned and like you said, all shoulders and ribcage.   And this was where I really saw my mother's shallowness rear it's ugly head.  When friend wasn't around she'd say "Why does she dress like that? She always dresses like a BOY!" (flannel shirts over t-shirts and jeans, and usually she shopped in the boys/men's department) 

Then when we went to a dance at the middle school and my friend did wear a dress, when my mother dropped me off at the school and saw friend in her dress, she snorted and said "She looks like a man dressing in drag..." So poor friend couldn't win in my mother's eyes, I'm just glad my mother never said it to friend's face.  I stuck up for her plenty of times saying "Knock it off, Mom.  She's just taller and bigger boned than we are." (mom is even shorter than I am, at 5' even)

She'd snort and say "Big boned is just a euphemism for fat!"  >:( >:( >:(
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8855
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #37 on: March 07, 2012, 10:49:19 AM »
She'd snort and say "Big boned is just a euphemism for fat!"  >:( >:( >:(

Grr!  >:( Here's how I know I'm big-boned...I did get fat, and I can still feel my ribs! They're right under the surface. I can be a fatter tank or a thinner tank, but I'll always be a tank!  ;D

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11010
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2012, 10:55:54 AM »
The funny thing is that most of my good and best friends from middle school on were girls who were "big boned."  There were a few who would disappear if they turned sideways and my parents always liked them.   They didn't like my friends who were heavier and curvy in a Marilyn Monroe/Mae West kinda way.

And it wasn't that I picked them for that trait to annoy my parents, I picked friends based on their personalities and it was a coincidence that they just turned out to look that way.  Heck my bff I met online so I couldn't even see what she  looked like until she finally sent me a picture and by then we were already thick as thieves.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5886
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2012, 10:57:44 AM »
She'd snort and say "Big boned is just a euphemism for fat!"  >:( >:( >:(

Grr!  >:( Here's how I know I'm big-boned...I did get fat, and I can still feel my ribs! They're right under the surface. I can be a fatter tank or a thinner tank, but I'll always be a tank!  ;D

Most people would consider me thin, or "fit," but I have big bones - at 5'5" my wrists are bigger around than most 6 foot plus men I know!  Big bones do not make a person fat!

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8855
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2012, 11:00:29 AM »
The funny thing is that most of my good and best friends from middle school on were girls who were "big boned."  There were a few who would disappear if they turned sideways and my parents always liked them.   They didn't like my friends who were heavier and curvy in a Marilyn Monroe/Mae West kinda way.

And it wasn't that I picked them for that trait to annoy my parents, I picked friends based on their personalities and it was a coincidence that they just turned out to look that way.  Heck my bff I met online so I couldn't even see what she  looked like until she finally sent me a picture and by then we were already thick as thieves.

In college I seemed to have accidentally ended up collecting tiny friends. Short, small-boned, and thin. That's actually when I started figuring out the bone thing, because I had gotten more fit, knew I was fit, and yet couldn't wear my friends' clothes because they were just so dang tiny! I was like "...wait, I think the problem here is bone..."  ;D

Drawberry

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 130
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2012, 11:21:03 AM »
I don't know if I feel better that I am not alone in this, or worse because other people have felt the same.

A bit of background for my mother, she was always a very slender woman. One might venture to say too skinny even. She grew up in a poor household and I think the eating habits she developed as a child where to be honest, unhealthy and she continued to eat very little even into her adult life when she could afford to feed herself better. For example, about a year or two ago my mother would eat nothing but a bowl of cereal all day-that was it. She did this for so long it got to the point where she became so thin her head looked too large for her body. She admits now this was unhealthy and say's that it was a stressful time for her and she simply wasn't hungry based on the stress. But at the same time, I think she always prided herself somehow on being as thin as she was. After her first child (my brother), she was around 22 years old and when she was given a physical the doctor couldn't believe that just a few months prior she'd given birth-she was so slender looking and didn't have any indication of stretch marks or weight gain. She looked as if she'd never been pregnant and the doctor was very hesitant to believe she'd just given birth.

So in a way I think she see's this as the standard for me, and other women as well. If she was able to have a child at 22 and still have the body of someone who'd never carried a child then why was I chubby or bigger then her? Even at my smallest I was a size 6 (This was less then 6 months ago mind you) she was a size 4 and was talking to me about how I could lose some weight in my thighs. It always felt like I was being compared to her, and that she took some kind of pleasure in being smaller sized then her daughter.

She's seems to have this need to point out obese women, if we're at lunch, or where driving around and we passed by a large woman (almost never men) she would always have some comment to make.During my high school years as previously detailed, even SHE was at her heaviest. I don't know if she just didn't notice, or didn't want to admit it, but for someone who had not been the perfect imagine of svelte athlete at one point herself it can get annoying to try and 'bean dip' my way around these comments she goes into.

I am feeling worlds better since getting into a serious healthy routine. I am eating better, working out for at least an hour a day (often it goes well over two hours-yay!) and as long as I stick to it I'll be at my goal in no time.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15893
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2012, 02:43:17 PM »
My mother was small-boned and may have been the only one like that in the family.  I have heavier bones than she ever did and a behind like J Lo.  This last doesn't please me, but to her this was very low class, along with the fact that I had oily skin.  As soon as I was about 12 I started hearing criticism about my looks, starting with the acne that got me teased in school.

I'm surprised she didn't disown me.

It took years for me to realize that this was all about her and not me.

Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2012, 01:43:49 PM »
She's seems to have this need to point out obese women, if we're at lunch, or where driving around and we passed by a large woman (almost never men) she would always have some comment to make.

This sentence reminded me: My family moved to another town when I was 12 and starting junior high. This was the first time that I made new friends without my mother's influence. Before then, my friends were mostly kids from families with whom we socialized.

One day, my mother sat me down and asked me why all my friends were fat. I hadn't thought about them that way before. These were girls I happened to like, and they seemed to accept me as a new kid in school. I remember sitting there on the couch with her feeling very uncomfortable about the way she was talking about them. One thing she said that stuck with me is how no one would want to be my friend because I was spending all my time hanging around with the fat girls. I asked her why, and she said everyone would judge me because my friends were fat.  ::)

I didn't cut off my "fat" friends because of my mother; however, I didn't invite them over very much because of her attitude. My mother always had something negative to say about most of my friends -- too fat, too unattractive, too weird, too loud, too shy, too ... whatever. Despite my mother, I'm still close friends with one of the "fat" girls from way back then. We've been friends for 32 years.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11010
Re: Had to use some form of this - my mother and my weight
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2012, 03:25:05 PM »
Your mother sounds like mine, though in my case I didn't really have to worry too much about inviting them over. Most of them didn't really want to come over and to avoid always going to their house (to avoid me wearing out my welcome) we'd go somewhere else like the mall or somewhere else to shop or hang out. 

Ironically the friend I had for the longest, since I was 2, ended up being a drug addict but my parents still liked her cause she was thin and pretty, and oh the bonus (in their eyes that is) was that friend came from a middle class broken home and weren't they nice to take her with us on vacations that her mother wouldn't have been able to afford to take her on?  Even though their daughter and this girl grew apart and in their teen years hardly ever even spent time together while on these trips cause they had nothing in common anymore, she was still brought along. 

Sadly I don't think my parents would have done it if my friend had been overweight and unattractive to them. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata