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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » mother and weight

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Author Topic: mother and weight
LucysDiamonds
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So, I've gained about 15 pounds since I went to college in August. I'm very much aware of it, but it seems like unless I eat salads for every meal of the day, the dining hall food is just inherently unhealthier and is going to cause some weight gain. Also, I was eating rather badly at the beginning of the year, but I'm working on changing my habits and I'm also starting to exercise a lot more.

The problem is my mother. She has always been very involved in my weight struggles, mostly for the worse - I think she's mildly anorexic, at the very least obsessive over calorie counting, and I don't want her influence in this, because I was borderline anorexic once and I don't want to go there again. She came into my room just now and said, and I quote, "So what are we going to do about your weight?" I told her that WE were going to do nothing, but that I was working on it and could do so without her help, thankyouverymuch. But I'm afraid that she's going to keep badgering me, and every time she does it pushes me to tears and lowers my body image even more, which really does NOT help this whole process.

Thoughts? Advice? I'm on winter break, so I have to live with her for the next month. Oy vey. Thanks in advance, guys.

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So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly

Posts: 365 | From: DC | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cool87
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Have you tried sitting down with your mother and having a straight talk with her about all of that ? Told her why you don't really want her help (not just telling her you can do without her help thanksyouverymuch [Smile] , explaining her why)? Told her that it made you feel even worse after that, that's it's even more difficult for you when she tries to help ? I mean not just for a few seconds or so but for some minutes. A true talk.

I think that's what I would personally try to do first : having a talk with her.

[ 12-21-2006, 09:45 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Aquamarine
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Both my parents are hypersensitive to changes in my weight. This was never a huge problem until I went to college -- I too gained weight, about 30 lbs in the first year (I was very underweight to begin with, but my parents forget that) and went through subsequent loss/gain cycles (all of which were observed and commented on by my parents over breaks) until my weight reached a stable set point.

I would try approaching your mom very honestly -- "Look, I'm aware that my weight has changed, and I'm trying to live my life now, and the rest of my life, as healthfully as possible. I have been at a point where I was leaning toward an unhealthy way of thinking about food, and I really, really don't want to go there again. So I appreciate your support, but I'm grown up enough to take care of my own body."

Good luck. It can be tough, especially when your mom has some unresolved issues about weight. However, as someone who has been in the situation you're in, I advise you not to try to lose a lot of weight quickly by dieting and major exercise (ie over break). It may be tempting to try, but it's better to just try to eat when you're hungry and until you're full, to up your veggie and water intake, etc. and to go out and have fun with your exercise. It sounds from your post that you are going about things in a sensible way anyway, but I couldn't help throwing in some personal experience.

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LucysDiamonds
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Thanks for your advice, guys. I tried to talk to her today. Unfortunately I tend to get very emotional about this sort of thing, but I tried to keep myself calm; anyway, we were shopping, and she wanted me to look at all these clothes I didn't need - I haven't gained so much weight that my clothes no longer fit (they're just a little bit tighter, but definitely still wearable), plus I want to keep wearing all my clothes as a reminder for getting in shape. So I told her that I'm fine on clothes. She insisted that I wasn't, that my clothes looked horrible on me, and on and on... it was really upsetting. Later in the car on the way home, I told her that I am not unhappy with myself. I love my body because it's mine, so while I would like to get in shape, I still have a positive self-image, and I felt like her influence was negative in that respect. It seemed like she didn't understand how acceptance of oneself and a desire to get healthier could coexist. She told me that she had gained a lot of weight in college too, and had hated herself for it, so she knows what I'm going through - but she doesn't, because I don't hate myself, and I don't want her to keep implying that I should, or that it's weird that I can gain 15 pounds and not go into depression. She claimed that she was unaware of my shift in perspective - that since I'd been obsessive about food in high school, she'd assumed that I still was. She also said that "all high-school girls are obsessive about food." I almost exploded at that. If she believes that, then no wonder she didn't even try to guide me away from anorexia. She thought it was normal. I'm kind of shocked.

But the problem is that I don't know how to respond to her. She's almost hypersensitive to anything you say about her - she can twist it to have negative connotations no matter what, and if she brings this up again, I don't know if I can control myself. How do I tell her that I'm NOT her, I DON'T have the same body issues she did/does, and I therefore would prefer to have her stay OUT of my efforts to get in shape?

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So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly

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Heather
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Do you all have a family doctor?

If you do, then what I'd suggest is asking your family doctor to explain these things to her. It might actually be a very good thing for her, period, especially if she is still struggling with disordered eating. EDs and poor body image are bad for people of every age, after all.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LucysDiamonds
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We all go to separate doctors. And I feel like she wouldn't want to go - she doesn't like hearing that she's wrong.

Actually, something that might be better just occurred to me... do you know of any good books on the subject?

--------------------
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly

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Heather
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Depends on what sort of thing you think she might be recpetive to.

For a really borad treatment of the whole sort of history of the idea of the body as this thing that needs fixing and perfecting, especially in young women, Joan Blumberg's The Body Project is sheer awesomeness, and it being more broad and not, like, "Dieting Mothers Who Make Their Daughters Insane," might be a good call. A new one I've been waiting to get my hands on is a collaboration between Blumberg and documentary photographer Lauren Greenfield (even though I was a little underwhelmed with Girl Culture visually) is aptly titled Thin.

For something a little more specific, but personal, Marya Hornbacher's Wasted or Lori Gottlieb's Stick Figure are really good personal narratives about ED and body image struggles, and both touch on issues with mothers.

A more direct mother/daughter ED idea might be The Anorexia Diaries: A Mother and Daughter's Triumph Over Teenage Eating Disorders -- that one would be a pretty direct hit, showing a mother HELPING her daughter recover, rather than enabling her.

If you look at the library, too, and dig a little, you'll find that you're hard-pressed to find any clinical info on EDs in women that does NOT mention modeling by mothers and other female relatives. It's very well-established that a leading cause of EDs is poor modeling. [Frown]

Hope that helps! Off with me for now, and I'm about to have a houseful of women over who very much are not eating disordred and are expecting some food on the table! [Smile]

[ 12-29-2006, 05:15 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LucysDiamonds
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Thanks so much, Heather. You're a godsend. [Smile] I'll look into those books.

--------------------
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves the chance to fly

Posts: 365 | From: DC | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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