Earlier tonight, my mom said something that really hit me hard.
Like usual, I was blabbering on about healthy living stuff and happened to mention the phenomenon that, when you stop eating sweet stuff, your body learns not to crave it anymore. I was telling her how I was originally worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a big change to eating healthy again after the holidays, but that I’ve barely been craving sweets and have only indulged a few times lately. I mentioned that I’ve been in a really good place for “almost a month.”
My mom argued with me, saying, “Well, we didn’t really get back from the cruise until January 3rd, and since it’s only the 26th, it hasn’t really been that long. More like twenty-something days.” If you were just reading that statement and hadn’t heard it like I did, you might have thought that she was joking – nitpicking my words playfully to bust my chops about bragging that it’s been “about a month.” But she wasn’t kidding. And it really hurt my feelings.
I didn’t say anything to her, I just kind of shrugged it off and dropped the subject. But now it’s hours later and I’m still thinking about that comment. Why would she say something like that? Was she just trying to give me a (slightly too harsh) dose of reality? Does she think I’m over-exaggerating my accomplishment? Does she truly not believe in my ability to sustain a healthy lifestyle?
I think that this is probably common with girls, especially girls with weight problems, but my mom and I have always had this weird relationship when it comes to weight. Even though I truly consider my mom my best friend, I’ve never felt that I can talk comfortably to her about my weight problem. Ever since middle school when I started noticing that I was overweight, I’ve felt that my mom judged me for it. She’s always given me these backhanded compliments or slightly-off comments about my weight. Nothing she said was ever truly straightforward mean, but something about the way she said things in regards to my weight rubbed me the wrong way.
Sometimes I wonder that if, because I look so much like her and remind her of herself, she’s saying some of these things almost like she’s trying to tell them to herself. I know that my mom has struggled with weight her whole life, as does the majority of my maternal family, so maybe some of her harsh comments are actually a way of trying to make me come to terms with the difficult reality of my genes.
I honestly don’t know exactly why she makes these certain comments, but I hope that it’s somehow from a loving place. It’s hard for me to remember at those times how much she really does care about me, since it does feel like she is judging me. I wish that she would support me in my endeavor to become healthy, because negativity won’t help me or anybody else. What I really wish I had from her is her unrelenting support.
Being diagnosed with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome was kind of like this awakening moment for me. Through overcoming the incredible physical and emotional pain that came with that diagnosis (you can read all about my journey here), I feel that I have grown an enormous amount and discovered a lot about myself during these past few months. I went through this sort of life-affirming moment in which I was finally able to understand my body’s need for a healthy life and how to get there. I’ve made so much progress in the last few weeks, which I’d like to build on and continue for a long time coming. I hope that my mom will come to see exactly what I see in myself, and find a way to be able to be just as proud of me as I am of myself.
I love you, Mom.