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|07-16-2003, 01:44 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: A van...down by the river!
Dealing with comments about weight
I am 24 years old. I am a recovering alcoholic and I've suffered with Bulemia for almost 2 years now. My weight has been up and down and up and down my whole life, and I'm now currently trying to loose weight again. I've been in counseling and have begun to see how my father's comments about my weight and image have affected me throughout my life. He's always making a big deal about the need to be real thin. Hurtful comments. Saying how beautiful I was when I was thin, I have no self control, etc. Basically, making me feel like I have no self worth or beauty as an overweight person. I'm trying to learn, but it's hard to deal with his comments. I know I always don't handle it the right way, but Everytime he says some sarcastic remark it's like another blow to my self esteem and confidence. It makes me feel about 2 inches tall. The thing is, he doesn't seem to realize how this makes me feel, because he never stops with the comments no matter how much I that it hurts me & my mom. We've both told him it does. As a child, I remember him making comments about my mother as well (who also suffers from a weight problem). My counseler is trying to help me to learn to deal with comments and such, but it is hard. And I've got to the point that I can't even eat my food and enjoy it without thinking of the comments he makes. That's why I usually go and throw it up. Because I feel guilty for eating, and enjoying myself. Like deep down, he's made me feel like I'm not supposed too.
Does anyone know of ways I could calmly deal with him when he says things like this? Last time he said something I got mad and called him a jack@#$. lol I didn't mean too, but I'm just so tired of it. Anyone feel like their families view on weight influenced their eating disorder? I'd like to know your experiences.
Thanks very much!
|07-16-2003, 06:37 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: California, USA
I don't know PianoGirl, calling him a JA sounded pretty good to me. LOL
Seriously though, it is terrible when people like our parents or others who are close to us say things like that. There is no way that it wouldn't undermine somebody's self-esteem and confidence. As to why he does it, usually it's due to being extremely insensitive. It's hard to get people to understand just how much they are hurting us. They typically think that if they say those kinds of things enough times that we will change. But it never works that way.
Everytime he says something mean to you continue to let him know how it makes you feel, and how you feel about him saying it. Let him know that you are angry with him. Also know that what he says is not a reflection on you. It is a reflection of him.
|07-16-2003, 07:36 PM||#3 (permalink)|
I like cake
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London, UK
I'm afraid I don't have any insightful insights here.... sorry.... but I do have a lot of empathy and identification and just wanted to say hello and that I pray that you find the strength to allow hurtful comments to go in one ear and straight out the other without any stress in between ears.
I'm also a bulimic (11+ years and approaching, tentatively, recovery) recovering alcoholic (7 years of drinking and now 16 weeks sober). So many women feel sensitive at hearing comments about their weight, size and shape but for anyone who's ever had an eating disorder (I was anorexic for 7 years, from age 15, as well as bulimic from 18 to now - 29) .... they're pure agony. Torture. They cut so deeply, so painfully. They seem to threaten any sense of security, sense of self, self-esteem.... any that's built up can be knocked down so easily with just one comment, which to anyone without the sensitivity or the thin skin or mental defence against the pain, may be regarded as inconsequential, insignificant but to us it's like dripping acid onto an open wound.
In recovery though, for my weight, if not my eating behaviours 100% of the time, is normal now, thank goodness (though I railed against that for a while) my mental defences are being built up. Comments still cut and sting.... but I can accept the truth of who I am, what I look like - and gradually love myself a little.
Just today, a very old and dear, trusted friend, who I hadn't seen since going into recovery, said I'd put on weight. I was HORRIFIED, for that was the auto-reaction my mind has been familiar with for 14 years. I couldn't help myself from saying: 'Are you saying I'm fat?' That was his turn to be horrified! Despite knowing my sensitivities, knowing my history, he clearly hadn't grasped how much it hurt for me to hear a comment about my weight, shape or size that I could possibly perceive as critical or negative. He meant no such thing - he clarified his comment.... last time he'd seen me, I was in a mess, it was not long before I went to rehab, I was much skinnier than I should have been, mind was all over the place, SICK girl.... now, or so he said, I am looking really healthy. I suit the way I look. I am glowing. Well. Sane. Beautiful.
Today I can accept all that, the seemingly negative original comment as well as the more obviously positive further comments.... despite my initial reaction, I could believe him and believe that yes, it's taken years, but I do kind of like the way I look. At least I don't hate it so much. That's a huge relief, for it was a horrible burden for such a long time. Only now I am starting to have the burden lifted do I realise quite how heavy it was and how it drained me.
It was also a lesson, one that in recovery I'm getting a lot: that the world and his wife doesn't actually think or give a damn about me very much, which is the way it should be, and that it's only, or was only, my rampant ego that thought it did or should. Quite a liberating lesson for it gets my mind off myself. Well, no one else's mind is on me so much (OK, some people's have been, but that's not wanted or needed or healthy right now), so why do I waste so much time? I got me a much-needed sense of perspective, a sense of my small place in the world. I'm quite comfortable being there as well! Takes the pressure off when you realise how unimportant your life and your decisions and your actions are to the vast majority of the planet's population. And how NO ONE apart from yourself will ever know exactly how you feel... so you have to expect to be misunderstood, misheard, misread a lot of the time. Just as you will mishear, misunderstand and misread things about others.
Anyway. This was a long-drawn-out and painful way of saying that I'm thinking about you and hoping you can find it in you to be able to let go of the hurt you feel. People don't realise how much they can wound someone who's vulnerable in this way, often they have no idea that we will feel such a stab of pain and that it will linger and we'll dwell on it and carry on hurting ourselves in order to attempt to assuage it.
It must be so difficult for you in that it's coming from within your family, you do have my sympathy in spades..... I didn't have to deal with such overt comments from anyone close to me... once my EDs were known. Just the ones that they thought were positive and would make me happy - like: 'You look well... better... healthier', which I heard, conversely, as: 'You've gained weight, you're fat'. Screwed up perceptions! What a pain in the ass they were.
Take care and if you need to talk, I'm here, OK.
|07-16-2003, 08:32 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Haverhill, MA
The other day someone commented that I have gained weight. Very quickly, knowing my history of anorexia and bulimia, they said how good it looked on me. I feel that I am a bit overweight, but today I know I am healthy. I was a 82 lb eighteen year old and suffered with my disease for 20 years. It began when I was 16. My mother struggled with weight all her life and to this day is always on a diet. I grew up living with her and Italian grandparents who were always feeding us. Although I was never really fat, my mother's obsession with weight somehow found its way to me. When we would have pasta, she would eat bean sprouts and canned tomatoes...zero calories. When this person made the comment about my weight, my mother said jokingly that I lost my anorexia. I said that it was her fault that I had this disease and was lucky that it didn't kill me. Her obsession with weight taught me that I had a way to control my life through my weight. It was something that I became an expert at. And it did almost kill me. As a teenager, under a doctor's care, I was beginning to gain weight. One day one of my fellow cheerleaders told me I was getting heavy and to stop gaining weight...I weighed about 100. This simple comment from someone who didn't understand was devastating. It set me back about 10 lbs...Very dangerous. As difficult as it is to hear your father's comments, you are aware of your illness. Maybe you could give him the facts...his comments are hurting you and causing you to do harm to yourself. Give him the facts on this disease and tell him that it KILLS. See if you can find statistics. As a child, I was taught "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". Maybe you could suggest this to him.
People can say hurtful things whether they mean to or not. It is their ignorance. If you feel that you need to lose weight, consult your doctor and ask him/her what is the best way for you. Remember, you main goal is to be a healthy, happy and whole person.
I wish you the best in all you do. Happiness and Love to you.
|07-16-2003, 09:10 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Culver City, CA
Hi Piano Girl:
I am not a Bulimic, but I am a compulsive overeater who after struggling in O.A. since 1976 being in and out. I have finally been able to admit and accept that I am a compulsive overeat, that my life is unmanageable. I have finally quit fighting, my disease, the program, myself and God. I have truly hit bottom and I surrender all of me to Him Jesus Christ my persoanl Savior and Lord.
I have been blessed with a little over 26 years of being clean and sober PTL.
See other posts in Eating Disorders or Christians in Recovery.
Regarding dealing with your father or anyone who is close to you, it is usually the ones who love us that hurt us the most. It is also the ones that we love and are the closest to that we also hurt the most.
If you believe that your father really loves you and truly wants the best for you, which I hope is the truth in your relationship with your father.
A lot of people do not know how to talk to people about what may be a delicate thing to to about in a loving and caring manner for your father. So he responds to you in a negative and unencouraging way. Possibly this is the way his father or mother responded to him in some situations.
See if the next time this happens and he speaks to you in this way and tone of voice. Instead of reacting out of the hurt and anger that you feel toward him. Try and cool off, and not respond back to him in anger, count to ten, walk away and come back later when you are more calm. Don't react, respond in a proper manner.
Try saying something like this to him. Dad or whatever you call him I would like you to know that when you talk to me in that way, that it really hurts me very much and I feel thay you don't love me as I am, and I am angry at you. This is not a way of encouraging me to work on my recovery to eat properly. In fact it makes me want to either express my anger toward you or eat over this.
If you can talk to me in a more encouraging and uplifting way it would help a lot.
Confrontation is not easy for a lot of us, but it does get easier once we take that first big step and start.
I hope and pray that this helps.
Keep Smilin & Keep Prayin!!
"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice"
Last edited by Tom Henderson; 07-16-2003 at 09:24 PM.
|07-17-2003, 08:12 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: A van...down by the river!
Thanks to everyone for your comments and support! It is hard to learn to deal with someone that is insulting you (especially a member of your own family). I think it's true the comment being made about his family treating him that way. His family has always been really outspoken with their comments (sort of like "tough love"), so maybe that's why he is the way he is. I know he loves me, and I told him that when he says things like that it only makes me feel worse. He always apologizes, but it end up coming around again at some point. Maybe I can learn to talk to him more calmly when he says things like that. When I get mad and say things I shouldn't it doesn't really make me feel any better either.
I need to have a better view of my own self though. It's sad the society we live in encourages us to feel like we're ugly if we're not really thin (with all those skinny supermodels running around). I think that's one thing I can do is have more confidence in myself. I mean, we don't have to be stick thin to look good OR feel good about ourselves!!! Can I get an Amen?! lol
"As I watched the light change from red, to green..then orange and back to red again; I thought about my life. Was it all just a bunch of honking and yelling?! Sometimes it seemed that way."
|08-03-2003, 06:37 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2002
I know where you are coming from, Piano. My parents were both compulsive overeaters. My father told me once to watch my weight right before I was to be married. I was not overweight at that time. I took it wrong, like a lecture.
But since then, my first husband had trouble with my weight issues. My current husband has told me that he is no longer attracted to me. This is an addiction that can show on the outside and society makes you a second class citizen. It makes me so insecure, self righteous, and angry.
Yesterday, I was at my ex's family reunion, my ex started in on my daughter about how fat she was. She has gained weight, but he started in on her when she was only 10-15 pounds over. Yes, I can see she has my addiction. But to be so judgemental about other people, when you have problems that they don't have is just hypocritical.
It is hard to deal with this issue for me and not want to throw stones back. Thanks for letting me share. And to remind me, that this is something I need to be working on myself.
|08-03-2003, 01:06 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Northen Europe and France
An advice from Paris, France:
This is rude! And I don´t care if they mean well.
I usually go from being quite thin to 7-12 pounds over my usual weight. Usually people stare and look away, embarrassed. But sometimes a rude person in the family or circle of friends will say: “Oh, my God! You have put on weight!”
I usually smile and say nothing when in a crowd. Then I ask the person to speak to me privately. And then I tell the person that this was not very nice to say to me! Then the usual crap comes, like: “You look so much better thinner,” etc. My answer: “Well, it´s my problem, I´m dealing with it and what you said hurt me deeply.”
In Paris, people talk a lot in the streets. They comment on your clothes, the way you walk, smile or grimace. If your dog is dirty, they say so. It can be a curse or blessing. I was on my way to a formal dinner party, wearing nice clothes, thin and feeling good about myself. I crossed a woman in the streets who was at lest 15-20 pounds overweight.
A very handsome man passed us. He stopped on the sidewalk and gazed with admiration after the heavier woman.
“Vow,” he said to her. “This is the right weight! All women should be like this, feminine and beautiful. You look terrific!”
I hope this helps your self-esteem. And don´t let anyone criticize you again in public or otherwise!
|08-29-2003, 02:05 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
My wife has the same type of family -- completely obsessed with weight -- and in her it has played out in the forms of anorexia, depression, drug abuse and social phobias. My wife is a little skinny right now, not a huge concern at the moment because she's relatively healthy as far as her eating habits. But what kills me is that her parents STILL affect her in this way. Even telling her she looks "good" when she is too skinny is like a dagger in my heart because it feeds her problem. They don't get it. All I can do is keep telling her I love her and that she's beautiful, and that I want her to be healthy. But that really doesn't help too much, because it's all so engrained in her.
|09-03-2003, 11:54 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2002
i have been on the up and down the scale for years lived with insults from my parents my mom is the worst for it. she has always put me down by her insults her stabs at me about my weight i think i started stealing diet pills as a young kid of course with moms valuim so i didnt have to feel cuz i hated me so much... at times ... but what i have learned today is this.. if u dont like what you see then dont look and dont comment.. to others cuz what i know is it has taken me 5yrs of being clean to actually be able to like me today and if i am a size 22 24 or a size 18 or under i am able to accept me today and that is all that matters a few weeks ago.. my mom sends me in the mail her weight watchers stuff with a letter attached to it please try this u will look so much prettier and no man wants a fat girlfriend period .. wow that made my self esteem soar to lows but im telling you this i emailed her thanked her and i didnt even open the rest of its in a drawer so maybe in the next 5yrs of recovery is my time to work on my weight issues since i have used the steps to stop sticking needles in my arm 5yrs ago and now a yr ago stop cutting myself when i get so numb from life on lifes terms here i used to use drugs to help me get thin recently i dropped alot of weight without even trying hummm maybe it was caused by stress of my son not with me right now , now i am dealing with a loss of my bestest male friend for awhile my sons father until he can work on his own issues that are around the loss of this relationship whether it was just friends or whatever we were now we barely speak the stress and pain in my heart are high level i miss him terribly but one thing i can say is having someone in recovery he too accepted me at first for who i was too ... by not by my outsides but my insides
peace in recovery
i so related to this share
|09-08-2003, 11:27 AM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2003
Well luckily my parents were never that hurtful... (btw.. that jackass comment was pretty good! lol)
Im 19 and have had a weight problem all my life.. i used to over eat and i never knew it was in the class of eating disorders... i always thought i was just greedy and lazy.. i dont think my parents knew it was actually a disease either.. they were very blunt with some of the things they said at times when i wanted more desert or a bigger serving of chips/fries... it made me feel so bad and guilty and as if i was a really bad person...
But really i was mentally ill, depressed anxious etc...
Now.. i starve myself...
Im not sure how you can deal with your father... does he know you are bulimic?
If not tell him that his comments hurt you deeply and that you are actually bulimic now thru years of comments made by him..
i hope things work out for you!
|09-21-2003, 06:05 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: A van...down by the river!
Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories. It really helps to know that others have to go through the same types of situations. My dad does know I am a bulemic, and he has gotten better about the comments he makes. In fact, he hasn't said anything in quite a while...after I had a little talk with him. But, what hurts me is that I wanted him to not just STOP saying these things, but to apologize for all the hurtful comments he's made in the past too. You know what I mean? And he says he doesn't want me throwing up anymore, but he embarreses me in the way he shows it, like a few weeks back we were out to lunch and I was eating and enjoying my meal, and all the sudden he says really loud, "You're not gonna throw this up when you get home are you??". It was really embarressing. My dad grew up in a loud dispondant family, that is emotionally unattached - so I can't fully blame him for the way he acts, I guess. It's like whatever comes up, comes out. I think it will always be hard for us to understand each other. By the way, he has never had a weight problem....
I think the main thing is for me to work on my own self esteem, how I feel about myself, and not worrying about how OTHER people view me. Coz I know lots of women that are overweight, and they always look beautiful and have guys asking them out - and it's because they have that confident aura around them, that people like! You know the ones I mean. That's what I want to be like - no matter what size I am. I want to have confidence in myself. I've just got this darned image in my head of a thin woman being confident, even though I know that won't make me confident in itself. Lots of thin people lack confidence too. Since I've quit drinking I've really had a problem with purging. It's become the release that alcohol used to give me....and that's not good.
It has to end. Like that catch phrase a couple years ago - it's time to stop the insanity!!!! LOL Thanks guys, for letting me babble....I wish everyone the best. One foot at a time, one day at a time.
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