Mom’s Wisdom

imagesAfter reading my Cravings, Sweet Cravings entry this week, my mom e-mailed me with some thoughts she had that really hit home.

Sometimes I think it’s amazing how my family and friends can sometimes make me see things about myself that therapy didn’t unearth.

Anyway, she said thinks sometimes I am like a Depression Era survivor, like my grandmother (her mom, my dear Bubby!) who hoarded/stock-piled food, as if the stuff might never be there again. When she died they found more canned goods than most soup kitchens probably have access to — but they were all expired.

(I’ve always been a hoarder of food: particularly Easter candy and Halloween candy, as I noted a few months back; it’s definitely a part of me.)

Or she said sometimes she thinks I’m like the person who has been told “no” all of her life, and now that I have my own money and freedom, I “buy out of that power”…

But the irony is (and she and I both know this all too well) I was never really told “No” growing up or as an adult … Not to say I was/am spoiled, but I’ve usually found a way to turn even a bad situation into good.

The truth is, I’ve just always been my own harshest critic. And my struggle with my weight/disordered eating issues is just another manifestation of that perfectionism. In fact, used to punish myself when I was little if I didn’t get a good grade, or did something bad (at age 4, I literally sent myself to my room; my parents were shocked when I left the table and punished myself).

She went on to say, “But with you, it’s like YOU were the one who said “NO” to yourself when you began WW, but now you have the power to do what you want and won’t let yourself tell you “NO” anymore. So you still buy it (“I can buy it if I want, and I can’t tell me not to!) So there! And if I buy it, then I also have the power to throw it away.”

“I think that you are rebelling against yourself. Just like punishing yourself when you were a little girl. You don’t have to though, Lis. You’ve already proved that you have the kind of control necessary to lose and maintain the weight, within a few reasonable pounds, even with treats now and then. You need to learn to relax your thoughts … the obsession is still there to think too much about what you have learned to control already.”

I really love and appreciate what she said, and it made so much sense to me. I DO have the control necessary to do this; the control to beat this. And she’s also right that I definitely over-think so many things … and sometimes it’s best to let things happen organically.

The funniest part? Geneen Roth talks about many of these same exact things in the book I’m reading, Breaking Free from Emotional Eating. I’m loving it, and will probably have finished it before the weekend’s end.

So anyway, thank you, Mom. I really appreciated your words, more than you know. I needed to hear this.

How about you? Who are your biggest influences? If you’ve struggled with an ED or DE issues, who do you confide in, or have you gone it alone?

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16 thoughts on “Mom’s Wisdom

  1. I try and talk things out with my mom but I mostly keep things to myself. I feel uncomfortable speaking about it with close friends because the advice is always “just eat”. I started my blog to release my pent-up feelings and have found a great support network.

  2. I think it’s so awesome that you have your mom to chat aboout with this stuff! And it sounds like she had some really amazing input.

    My reason for blogging is because I’m not yet comfortable talking about this stuff with anyone at all really. (My husband, on occasion gets to hear it… but that’s pretty rare!)

    As for my influences? My sister is the worst. Everytime I get on track; I get together with her and it falls flat. I’m working on that though. (I decided if I can’t control myself around her; change her *lol* So I got her doing Weight Watchers too…)

  3. I think it’s wonderful you can talk with your mom about these things. My mom is overweight and has struggled with her weight all her life, so my sister and I (she also had an ED) have a really hard time confiding in her.

    Thankfully, I confide in my sister a lot. She is also my best friend, and she *truly* knows what I’m going through. I do worry sometimes that maybe our concern for each other might have a negative effect on our eating (like if I see she doesn’t have a lot for dinner then I feel guilty, etc.), but for the most part the good outweighs the bad (no pun intended!). I’ve definitely learned NOT to keep this stuff in, which I have a tendency to do with many things. πŸ™‚

  4. I didn’t feel comfortable talking with anyone about it until after I’d decided to do something about it; I worked through the beginning stages on my own, but am grateful for the support of my loved ones now, for sure. Sometimes I feel bad b/c I know they were in the dark … I am so glad blogging is working so well for you, Yasmin!!!

    Thanks!! Oh I was thinking of positive influences πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Holly and that’s great that you can confide in your sister and can relate on such an intimate level. These issues are so hard … we need food to live. It’s not like we can not eat; often it’s the symptom of a more serious problem, and it can’t be avoided.

  6. Moms are great. My mom walked on eggshells in the beginning of things, but I’m 10 years into this now, and now she basically just tells me what she thinks. And I appreciate it. She probably knows me better than anyone. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

  7. I wish I had someone to talk things over with but I’m 49 and no one understands the adult onset thing. My DH tries. My 15 year old daughter, after outing me a year ago, just yells at me. Yeah, that helps. You’re lucky to have your mom. πŸ™‚

  8. I think my episode of bingeing was fueled by the mindset “I can buy it if I want to and no one can stop me”. I was never forbidden to eat treats as a kid but I think the years of dieting and labeling foods good/bad caused me to restrict myself a lot and when I would eat those “bad” foods feel like a failure. The binge eating was a rebellion against my self and that rigidness. Of course it only served to hurt myself mentally and physically, but that inner-teenager needed to have her say!

  9. That’s awesome Kim!! I noticed you, Sam and I all blogged about our moms in the past day or two. Gayle, that is so hard when you feel like there’s no one you can talk to … hang in there!! Lara, that is soooo spot on. I wish I could remember this in the moment so I don’t have regrets later, ya know?

  10. I can completely relate to that rebelling against yourself. My dad always said he never had to discipline me because I was harder on myself than he would be. He said I was my own policeman. I definitely am having trouble finding that balance between allowing myself to have foods I labelled bad and bingeing on them. I have that easter candy or whatever special event candy issue too. It’s like I’m afraid that I won’t have treats after it’s over. Obviously that’s ridiculous. I have to say right now I’m pretty frustrated with myself.

    As for support. My sister is a big support of me in general but she does not understand this disorder. She does listen when I explain and she really tries so I suppose she’s getting a better understanding but at first it was hard. I think she was one of the first people I started talking to about it though. I just find that people who struggled with it understand even things I dont or cant put into words. It’s hard to explain something you barely understand yourself

    At this point, it’s just to complicated to sum it up in a few words. Like I could not say: I binge because of ______. THere are so many reasons and reasons upon reasons.

    Sometimes seeing people are worried about me makes me really upset and uncomfortable. And so I will soften the way I talk about it because they just seem to think it’s a bigger deal than I want them to. I don’t want them to be scared for me.. or in a way I don’t want people to worry about me. I guess that’s part of wanting to appear to have it all together. so I find people I’m pretty closed off about it from the people in my life.

    I wish I had a mom I could talk to about this stuff.

  11. What a great conversation you had with your mom. I really like what you said, because I was kind of the same way…my eating issues didn’t develop because I was told “no” and I was rebelling. I think they mainly just sprung from perfectionistic tendoncies. I always read that in order to gain control of disordered eating, you have to find the underlying cause to what drives you to take part in those behaviors, and I could never really do that. Thanks for helping me realize that it’s probably not anyone else’s fault, it’s not necessarily something traumatic in my childhood (there wasn’t anything!) and that maybe it’s something that has just manifested inside of me. You’re also right about the fact that you CAN take control πŸ™‚ Best wishes!

  12. Lissa, what a great mom! As much as I sometimes don’t get along with my mom, she often provides similar insight – after all, who better to remember your 4-year-old character?!

  13. Hi Susie, amen; my parents would say the same about me, as you can tell. It’s hard not to be upset with ourselves … I am glad you have support in your sister; it’s hard for others to explain. They might think it’s a selfish/self-indulgent/vain thing and it’s not. It’s a real mental illness.

    I like the H.O.W. — honesty, openness, willingness that Shannon Cutts mentions in her book; people are afraid for us and concerned about us — once we expose ourselves and our vulnerabilities, it’s out there … the best we can do is find people we trust to speak with. You can do it!

    Thanks, Sara. I agree it stemmed from perfectionist tendencies, this was a manifestation. Then I rebel when I eat things I “think I shouldn’t” so I “feel bad” and the cycle continues. I really struggle with finding the “whys” but sometimes it’s just a personality trait, not a trigger. Sometimes it is a trigger. I did a little emotional eating and over-exercising this weekend; I admit it. Yes, we can do it!

    Hi Yas! πŸ™‚ Miss you, girl!! I know I’m lucky!

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