What did your parent(s) tell you about food/your body?

My mom, who has a host of eating disorders and food phobias, is 5'6" and seriously underweight. When I was a kid, she used to call me "Crisco" in front of people, goading them to ask her why. She'd say, "Because she's fat in the can!" She thought it was funny. I was horrified. Meanwhile, I was a scrawny, athletic kid...with a curve given by nature.

Now I'm 50, and whenever I visit, she wonders aloud where I got my "heavy" genes, and asks me how much I weigh. (Correct answer today: 179.6) I've never told her any answer. I've been thin, I've been healthy and I've been fat in a cycle throughout my adult life. THIS time, I'm going to do it right - for me - for the rest of my life. 150 lbs, here I come!

My mom is completely unconscious about the impact of what she says on me and on the other family member she ridicules, despite our repeated attempts to help her see it. Thing is, she loves us to bits and really thinks she's helping us by pointing out some things we don't know about ourselves.

Anybody else have an unconscious parent? Do you carry the message, even though you'd like to discard it?


  • pineapple_peach10
    pineapple_peach10 Posts: 239 Member
    I am sorry you had to go through this as you grew up. For me, it wasn't so much my parents who made comments, it was actually other adults (friends' parents, etc). The things they said/did regarding my weight still affects me mentally and emotionally to this day.
  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,562 Member
    My mom also has disordered eating: when she was younger she would eat and then "purge" by exercising her calories. She talks about food, has it on her mind, makes up special diets for herself that my father and the whole family has to work around.
    For years she has frequent mini-snacks of carbs and low fat food throughout the day. . . .often says she is starving, currently not eating meat -- has a whole host of rules that she randomly picks up and drops.
    She is 5 feet 100 pounds at 70 years old. Her relationship with food has affected my siblings and me. She does not criticizes too much but she is judgmental in her quiet way.
  • duckykissy
    duckykissy Posts: 285 Member
    My mom went the other way with food- she ate her feelings. She still does, although she's not quite as bad now that her depression is being controlled. Still, it was a normal sight to see her consume and entire gallon of ice cream on a bad day. And there was a lot of bad days. I used to try and control her binging if you can imagine that- a preteen/ teenager telling her mother to put something back on the shelf. "We don't need that."

    As my thyroid started going at 7, I was obese by 11. My dr.s pinned it all on my mom, so they just told me to eat better- "less fried foods, no fast food" is all they ever extended that thought with. As nothing I did seemed to help me, I stopped eating breakfasts and lunches for over 2 years and took up smoking. (I heard as a kid that stopping smoking makes you gain weight so I thought smoking would mean weight loss.) I was determined not to become my mom and I thought that eating pretty much anything was sending me in that direction. It all made me very anxious about foods particularly high fat foods as a kid.

    My relationship with food is much better these days, but the anxiety growing up was real and it's made things interesting trying to lose all the extra weight I have.
  • mudmonkeyonwheels
    mudmonkeyonwheels Posts: 426 Member
    I think even the simple act of encouraging children to finish everything on their plates even when they are full has a lot to answer for. I have a hard time leaving food on my plate even when I am stuffed now! Also, my father was an extremely fussy eater. We had no veges other than potato, carrot, corn and peas, no spices/garlic/onion, and lots of processed meat. I now really struggle to try new foods- especially vegetables. I think not being exposed to new tastes when I was young made things more difficult.
  • AnneMelody
    AnneMelody Posts: 51 Member
    My Dad, who is in his mid eighties, even to this day greats me with a hug and "there's plenty there to grab hold of!" And " how much do you weigh now?" The problem being, he has dimentia, so throughout any visit, I am bombarded with the same question, he just never lets up!! He does the same to my sister, he never calls her by her name, always, "fat *kitten* Mary" and now my daughter too!! He is hurtful, and brash, and doesn't care if you get offended, you should have a thick skin according to him, some people have no filter between their brain and mouth, and we have to be the bigger person by, rising above it, and being kind to ourselves, losing weight and getting healthy, is for nobody else but you! Words can destroy someone's confidence, but I learnt to rise above, see it for what it really is, SAD!! And move on in peace with myself!!! That was the begining of me taking back control!!