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How can I stop stabotaging myself?


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#1 Caribou

Posted 11 April 2019 - 07:06 AM

I’ve lost a lot of weight 10kilos in 4 months. I shouldn’t blame anyone for my long term weight issues, much of them are my own, but a part is my mother.

Every time I see my mother, she comments on my weight. I’ve always felt self conscious to lose weight because she’d comment. She comments on my skin (I have PCOS acne), she comments on my weight, and it’s uncomfortable. I keep telling myself it doesn’t matter what she thinks. You don’t need her validation or her disapproval or anything. She’s just a old woman who doesn’t have a filter where her children are concerned.

I like being complimented on my outfit choices, but it my body shape. Funnily enough, if a friend said to me wow you look great, have you lose weight? (None of them have commented though!!!, even though I’ve dropped a dress size!) I’d be fine with that. Just not my mother. How does that even work?!

I don’t want to gain it back, I’m sleeping better, feeling better, and more energetic. My blood pressure is dropping low enough I may be able to come off my BP tablets. I’m no longer in Obese category and in overweight category.

But my insecure feelings around my mothers opinions... help! :(

#2 overlytired

Posted 11 April 2019 - 07:16 AM

How do you respond or react when your mother makes those comments?

I'd be inclined to tell her that it's rude, and make a similar comment toward her if she persists.

#3 Caribou

Posted 11 April 2019 - 07:24 AM

It sounds so stupid, but I deny I’ve lost anything. I change the topic really quick.

#4 BrainFart

Posted 11 April 2019 - 07:40 AM

My mum and Aunty discuss my weight and then my mum tells me about their conversation.. I cringe inside but know it’s purely concern for my wellbeing and I remind myself not to choose to think their being judgemental or mean.

If, on the other hand mum started telling me that I look fat or am a terrible person for putting on this much weight, I’d crack the poops and tell her to bugger off.

I guess it depends on how you feel about her comments. If their hurting your feelings then it’s worth telling her and asking her to stop.

Edited by BrainFart, 11 April 2019 - 07:41 AM.


#5 Silverstreak

Posted 11 April 2019 - 07:46 AM

I'm sorry, that sounds really hard.

You have every right to change the topic when it comes to your mum and weight. You don't need to discuss any weight gain or loss with her. Unlike your friends, your mum's comments are critical and no doubt that reflects on her own insecurities.

With your friends, they're probably dying to say something, but don't know how to bring it up! Weight can be such a fraught issue. I try to get around this by saying to friends "You look fantastic!" and that can be a lead in to whatever it is they want to discuss or tell me.

I'm in the middle of losing weight and when people say I look nice and I can tell they're curious, I'll follow that up with "Thank you, I'm losing weight on the 5:2" and we can discuss my weight loss or not depending on whether or not they're interested.

With weight loss, sometimes you don't want to come out and say "OMG, you are so skinny now, you've lost soo much weight" as that could imply that they were very overweight before etc.

Anyway, you are doing a super job and I'm sure you look and feel fantastic. Keep doing what feels right and good for you. You can call your mother out on her rude comments, or you can avoid the topic, it's completely up to you. At my age, I'm now going for whatever is easiest, personally!

#6 Natasha123

Posted 11 April 2019 - 07:56 AM

First of all, congrats on all the weight loss so far, that’s great!

Unfortunately some mothers are our greatest critics. My mother would constantly tell me to “suck your stomach in” when I was a teenager. Of course, when I lost weight in my early twenties, she thought I was starving myself through a restrictive diet (I exercised and was vegetarian at the time).
Now that I have had a baby, she tells me I could start on abdominal exercises. I reply with “I can’t, I have abdominal separation”.
When I was younger I used to put up with all sorts of comments, even from coworkers. An approach I have found works is just to repeat what they say, but with different intonation, e.g. “YOU are telling ME...that I ...should lose WEIGHT?” With a kind of Oprah Winfrey style tone to it. Hard to convey in this text. I don’t think it would work on my mother though. I think having having anything to critique gives her some validation.

Good luck and wishing you all the best.

#7 ~J_WTF~

Posted 11 April 2019 - 08:02 AM

Maybe you could see a counsellor or psych to work through why your mothers comments hit so hard?

#8 Caribou

Posted 11 April 2019 - 08:16 AM

That was essentially my mother. As a teen she’d tell me I was either too fat or too thin. Soon it became easier to go hide at maccas than listen to her.

She’s incredibly critical of anything about me. Parenting I can brush off and push back. But weight? For some reason weight is really more sensitive than my parenting (which is stellar by the way :p)

#9 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 11 April 2019 - 08:30 AM

I agree with JF, see a psychologist to see if you can understand the dynamic better and then you will have a long term solution. I know getting to appointments isn’t the easiest for you.

#10 Beancat

Posted 11 April 2019 - 09:11 AM

Well done on losing the weight.  I am following a similar journey and have lost 6 kg in the last 2 months and am hoping to hit the magic 10 in about 4 weeks.  It feels great doesn't it - as you say much better sleep, energy etc.  Its so nice not having to squeeze into my work uniform

Now onto the mother issue.  Oh mothers, why do they do this to us?  My mum passed away nearly 20 years ago but I suspect I'd be having the same conversations. I too was told I was too skinny as a teenager/20something.  I know if Mum saw me now she'd be having a dig at me.  Many of my food issues are actually deeply rooted in the fractious relationship I had with my mother.

How is your mother's relationship with food?  Is she over weight? Is she living her food issues through you now?  Is she projecting her own issues on to  your and its actually not about you at all?  If there is some merit in this perspective perhaps it could help you see that her comments are actually not about  you at all and this might make it easier to ignore them or quickly shut them down.

#11 Lady Monteagle

Posted 11 April 2019 - 09:56 AM

I'm totally with you.  One's own mother's comments are so different to non-family members.  Even a rude, ignorant non-family person can be brushed away by seeing through what kind of person they are, in a way that doesn't work with immediate family.  

I find that to 'get through' to my mother, whether to shut her up, or shut her down, or make her damn well see another perspective, I have to be forceful (always), repetitive, strong willed, and sometimes aggressive/angry.  Getting angry helps me not let her words penetrate too far.  

My most recent such occurrence was trying to tell her that no matter how much she raved about it, 5:2 is not a good idea for people with a history of disordered eating. It eventually got through, but only after I got quite detailed and graphic about the pathology of self starvation.  

I'm sorry you're experiencing this when you're doing so well for yourself.  Good luck for Easter.

#12 Caribou

Posted 11 April 2019 - 10:18 AM

My mother’s relationship with food isn’t great. She’s overweight herself, though declares she never eats much, and always had a spread for dinner lunch with way too much food heavily oiled and greased.
Makes me take it home with me and I have to bin it because no one can stomach it more than once.

My kids love their grandmother but they always come home from her house feeling sick because she feeds them so much heavily sugared food and fruits. As if having junk food and then fruit on top will fix that. They end up with constipation and sore tummies. I’ve told her not to feed them that much, but she acts like I starve them. (I don’t, they eat well and balanced)

Edited by Caribou, 11 April 2019 - 10:22 AM.


#13 magic_marker

Posted 11 April 2019 - 10:34 AM

Your mother has her own issues and is projecting them onto you.
If it were me, l would seek councelling for strategies in how to deal with her.
Well done on your weigh loss.Stay strong!

#14 Silverstreak

Posted 11 April 2019 - 11:14 AM

It sounds like your mother's relationship with food is complex: she has little idea of what constitutes a healthy, well portioned and balanced meal for either adults or children.

No doubt she eats too much food with too much oil and sugar and then wonders why she can't lose weight. It sounds as though she's in complete denial that she isn't serving healthy meals, but it's not good that your kids end up feeling unwell after visiting.

I would personally pick my battles with this one: leaving aside her rude remarks to yourself, I would focus on what she is feeding your kids and I'd be telling her not to feed your kids sugar, as it will keep them awake at night (whether or not this is the case.)

Of course, you could sit her down and tell her that her idea of nutritious food is completely crap and she is not to comment on your weight or pass judgment on what and how often you feed your children, but it sounds as though your mother isn't the easiest person to deal with.

By the way, what is it about relatives who serve up unhealthy food and then make personal comments? I visited one relative and they kept offering me fried spring rolls and telling me to eat more, before putting their hand on my stomach and commenting about my weight. So annoying.

#15 Jenflea

Posted 11 April 2019 - 12:26 PM

My European relatives were the WORST for feeding us crap then making comments about people's weight.

They just didn't know that you don't need to eat like a Hungarian peasant (lots of sour cream, potatoes, heavy foods) if you're not actually out in the fields working.

Then they'd make comments about how fat people were. It was annoying AF. No wonder mum had weight issues and body image issues when I was growing up. I learnt to tune a lot of it out but it's also part of the reason I don't talk to mum anymore.

'It's so much easier to lose weight at your age than when you're past 30" was one such comment when I was about 18 and not overweight at all.

#16 lucky 2

Posted 11 April 2019 - 12:47 PM

The way she reacts to you may not change and the way you react to her is ingrained from birth.
There is definitely hope for you to change but I'd get some help, online or in person with a psychologist.
Family indoctrination goes deep, it has to come to the surface  before it can be seen.
I'm still going through similar issues and I seek support.
They haven't gone away but I'm learning to see more clearly.

#17 Jenno

Posted 11 April 2019 - 01:41 PM

How often do you see her, if its often I wouldn't be able to hold my tongue.

If its rarely I would just keep changing the topic.

but.... do you have children?  Is they hear her going on about your weight I would definitely be putting a stop to it.

#18 bikingbubs

Posted 11 April 2019 - 01:45 PM

I see a psych for my long term issues with sabotage/eating control.  It stems from my childhood and has been a great journey.  It took a long time, but certainly dont do it as much as I used to.  I lost 40kg over 15 years ago and recognised a few years ago that I needed extra help.

Well done though - sometimes the feeling better etc etc etc isn't enough to convince your logical brain to not be a d*ck.

#19 Caribou

Posted 11 April 2019 - 02:29 PM

I see her once or twice a month. I try limit it to once a month or longer if I can manage it but she’s very pushy. I know when I am about to see  her I’m very  stressed, I putnup with her for kids.

As for kids hearing her, sadly that’s a bit too late, DD Defintely over hears and when she tries to ‘educate’ DD on healthy eating while piling her with food, I get p*ssed and if she offers junk food I say no, and then she turns around and tells the kids, mum said no. You’ll have to talk to her.

And I see the damage it’s done to dD she’s a bit worried about her weight. I’ve told her she’s perfect the way she is, (and she is! Not over or under weight.) and she didn’t need to worry about food. She knows I work out and the more she sees me work out the more she wants to work out too. And I’m torn between wanting to give her a good vibe with exercise I.e, comes for a walk/run with me and ride bike, and telling her she doesn’t need to exercise she’s perfectly fit.

#20 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 11 April 2019 - 02:32 PM

Exercise is for keeping your heart, bones and muscles healthy Caribou, nothing to do with weight loss ;)

#21 Caribou

Posted 11 April 2019 - 02:40 PM

Thanks 22fuitmincepies, that’s a good message to convey to her :)

#22 Manicmum

Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:04 PM

I would go with everybody needs to exercise regardless of weight.

#23 Kallie88

Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:57 PM

If you figure it out let me know! Seeing a psychologist seems like a good idea, it's so tough to try and unlearn what was learnt in childhood. Try to be kind to yourself, you've done such a good job already xx




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