My mother is a very opinionated person. She thinks everyone needs to do things that she does and that her way is the only way. I am over weight. She is very skinny but still diets. She keeps pushing me to do her diet of drinking shakes and only eating salad and chicken. I do not like the shakes and I have a family to cook for and it would be hard to incorporate this into our lives. I want to lose weight but by eating smaller portions and learning to eat the right way.
Dear Wacky Camper,
I believe the best way to handle any problem is with love and boundaries. The next time your Mom starts telling you what you need to do, perhaps you could say something like this, with as much love in your expression as you can muster, "Mom, I know you love me and want what's best for me. However, you raised me to be an adult and to make my own decisions. I'm so glad that your diet works for you. I will, in my time, find what works for me....and I do thank you for caring. However, I really don't want to waste our special time together by going over this again and again. Please, let's not talk about this again." Again, let her know you love her and you know she loves you. No one ever lost weight by being nagged into it...in fact, the reverse is usually true. People tend to gain weight when being nagged. I had a Mom that was very insistent in some things and I just had to finally tell her that I appreciate what she wanted to do but I was an adult and it wasn't her job to take care of me anymore. She was a bit surprised but she honored my wishes. God bless you and stay strong, but loving.
Bless your heart, I'm sorry for your big predicament.
Your mother won't listen when you tell her she's hurting you. That's a tough one. My mother is the same. Perhaps you've already done this, but I tried this with my mother and it got her attention for a little while at least.
I asked her to meet me at a neutral location, a small dine, like a Denny's. That way I had control over the atmosphere. She could not make a scene (your mother might, I don't know).
We ordered coffee. I looked at her in the eye, reached out my hands across the table and told the truth. Words hurt, Mom. 'I' feel hurt when you say hurtful things to me. 'I' feel sad because it 'sounds like' you don't have caring thoughts for me or accept me for what I look like and for who I am. You might not see it as nagging, but 'I feel' nagged when you speak about my being overweight.
I know you care about my weight, I know you care about my health. AND I ask you to care about me as a PERSON. I ask you to accept me as a person and accept and respect my choices. I am a separate person from you. I do things differently because I am a different person than you. For me, it's okay if you disagree with me; we can agree to disagree (obviously it's NOT okay that she disagrees with you, try saying it if it feels right). I found in my life that saying 'we can agree to disagree' has solved so many problem and issues, you wouldn't believe it.
'I feel' hurt and critized when you speak of my being overweight.
People can dispute what you say, but they can't dispute your feelings. Your feelings are your feelings, period.
Mom, my feelings are my feelings. I asked you to meet me here because I love you and want to be honest with you and don't want anything dishonest to come between us. I just want clean honestly between us.
'I' statements come out differently that 'you always' or 'you make me feel' - I have found that the person gets on the defensive too easily.
Try to make 'I' statements otherwise she'll think you're blaming her and she probably doesn't take responsibility for her actions or words anyway.
I am anorexic and from what little you said about your Mom, she is anorexic or I'll eat my hat. She is addicted to not eating or eating very little and dieting.
Anorexics are VERY critical of overweight people. They are VERY judgemental and think overweight people are weak, and if they were only like THEM and do what THEY say, YOU would be ok. It's a control thing with them. They can't control their own lives or circumstances, but they CAN control what they put in their mouths. They are addicted to what they are doing.
It's like heroin for them; they can't live without controlling what they eat (or don't eat). I speak completely for myself here Wacky, but I know an anorexic when I hear about one and when I see one. I can spot one a mile away, don't ask me how!
Of course, she loves to tell you what she ate today or didn't eat. She has to talk about her heroin, she gets off on it. It gives her a mental, physical and emotional high, an actual high, to talk about it. I speak for myself here.
I have to say that it worked a little with my mother. I still had/have to set boundaries with her because this is what it's about. She doesn't feel separate from me; she feels joined to me. It's called co-dependency. Get a few books on the subject and I'll be you will see yourself and your Mom, I know I did!!
It's about boundaries, Wacky. Addicts have no boundaries. My Mom didn't know where she began and I left off. They don't know that they owe respect to a human by respecting and accepting the other person's choices, beliefs, whatever.
I hope this works for you. Are you religious at all? Can you ask your pastor/priest about trying to handle this issue? You know, most of the time you don't even have to belong to a church and someone from the church will help you. I did it this way at first.
There are also free clinics in most cities where you can talk to someone about your issues.
These are free - I started to go to 12 Step Co-Dependency meetings and that helped me. I started to go to 12 Step Overeaters Anonymous meetings too and they helped also. Even though my main addiction is anorexia, going to overeating meetings still helped. Wild, isn't it?
Try to remember that your mother has a problem.
Maybe you have a problem too, but that's up to YOU to decide and up to YOU if you want to get help.
She needs help, but doesn't see it. She thinks YOU are the one that needs help, because she's just fine because she's thin and you're not.
I'll say a prayer for you, you Wacky Camper you. God bless you, Sweetie.
I don't know why everyone is tiptoeing around in response to your Mom. Apparently she feels no need to be gentle with you. She is being a bully and should be told in no uncertain terms that it is your body and your decision. Everyone needs to decide when and how they will diet -- along with their doctor's guidance or the help of a good nutritionist. I lost 120 lbs. over 10 years and still have a way to go. No prodding, nagging, finger pointing or anything else helped me along the way. When I was ready, I was READY. You will be ready at some point and hopefully you will still have good health at that point. Sometimes a wakeup call from your doctor is all you need to get you started -- but nagging is EXACTLY what won't work. When your mother brings it up again -- just say "Thanks Mom -- have you had your pap smear? checked your cholesterol? gone for your mammogram? had your dental checkup? had your eye exam? See if she feels that her personal medical history is your business! She MIGHT get the idea -- but she might not. I would do it EVERY time she brought up my weight!
If that was my Mom I would avoid her as much as possible. She sounds mean and hurtful and who needs that? Strangers are cruel enough without hearing it from family. Beauty has nothing to do with looks or size. You seem very comfortable in your own skin while your mother does not. I feel sorry for her. Live your life as you wish-make your own decisions and choices. Life is way too short....don't try to live up to anyone else's standards but your own. You would just end up as miserable as she is. Oh, and next time she feels you give a darn about what she ate all day, tell her to get over herself and get a life! Don't let her get you down!
Do you have to see your mum everyday? Maybe by making yourself unavailable will help because just maybe your mum's constant nagging is contributing to your weight issues. When you do see her and she brings up the weight, excuse yourself from her. Go to the bathroom, go to another room, wherever.
No one can make you feel bad without your permission, so if you won't stand up for yourself, no one else will.
I smoke, yes, it's bad for me (but I've at least cut down from two packs a day to one half pack a day) and what I do when someone I know pesters me about it is think about their own personal habits/obsessions be it chocolate, coffee, food, alcohol, over or under exercising, etc, etc. and ask them politely if they are doing better about their problem and ask if they've seeked advice for help ...
In your mother's case I would say something like, "Mom, I am really worried about your obsession with being skinny and perhaps you should speak to your doctor about it because maybe you're anorexic." or something to that effect and then change the subject immediately to something like what a cute thing one of your children did/said the day before ... If she tries to continue or battle over what you said just say, "Oh, mom, I forgot I have to run an errand and better get going but I'll talk to you tomorrow."
If nothing else, it will be food for thought for her and you will have turned the 'power' switch to your side ...
Been there--know what you mean. My mom hollered "Sharon needs to go on a diet!" across a room that was full of strangers. She said she felt that would motivate me. I responded by telling her that was rude and cruel and I never have responded well to those "motivators". I didn't use anything close to "loving" in my response, I just mirrored her style. Surprisingly, it worked--and embarrassed her when the others in the room also told her remark was mean-spirited. BTW I weighed in at 300 pounds then, 10 years later I am 130 and a size 8 (smaller than she is!).
Tune her out and tell her to get a life.
Your Mom needs help and fast she is anorexic and she can die with that, she needs professional help and fast then maybe some family counseling.
Lovingly say to your Mom, 'Mom, I appreciate that you care, but I am working on my life in my own way now that I'm an adult.' She will escalate, so you will repeat this memorized line again. Repeat this line if she starts in again.
If she still hasn't dropped the subject, rise to your feet, and say Script Number Two: "Mom, I'll come by again later, when you've had some time to relax. I appreciate that you care." She may begin crying, shouting or whining. Ignore those and proceed with the script, bravely, even though you feel like surrendering. If she still hasn't given in, walk halfway to the door, repeat.
If she is still not done arguing, with all the usual lines like "I'm only trying to care about you!", then walk to the door, open it, stand in the doorway and repeat.
If she's ready to continue your time together talking about anything but your private life, step outside and close the door. Drive away quickly and stay away for at least three days. Give yourself time to relax and realize what a wonderful piece of your life you've reclaimed.
Stay away for the right amount of time so that your mom can finish grieving for your childhood and be ready to face your adulthood. God bless.
Tell her that you LOVE you & that's what really matters. Tell her if & when she ever loved you she would see that her remarks are painful!
Tell her "opinions are like belly buttons (or other body part) & everyone has one!" Tell her SHE would look great if she put on 50 lbs!
I would dish it all right back to her in effort to get her to see herself. I would also wanna mention that "Christmas is right around the corner.." how about trying to be nice?
I also was the brunt end of comments such as "I guess we will have to take you to Omar the tent maker to get you a new dress!"
You've had lots of advice about Mom. I would like to suggest Weight Watchers or a similar group if you are serious about wanting to lose weight. I have 3 friends who have done wonderfully with Weight Watchers (and Tops). One young gal has used the online Weight watchers programs. I haven't done so myself (although I certainly could do so!!!). You will also find that these programs do not recommend just shakes and salad. They are sensible plans that fit into a family's way of eating. That will give you some ammunition to counter your mom's "diet plan".
Look up narcissist online...you may be surprised to find that your mother fits many parts of the definition (everyone has some of them but others...). If she does, then really there's nothing to be done as you cannot convert a full-blown narcissist.
The simplest method is to agree with them over and over but in the most boring of ways. One suggestion, "Thanks for the caring advice, mom. I'll consider it." Then change the subject. And remember to say it in the most general tone of voice, not angry or sassy, no eye-rolling. Obviously she's not being, or not sounding, "caring" but maybe it will help drive the point home. And if you use the exact same phrase over and over and over every time she gives unsolicited advice or a rude comment about your beautiful body or anything else, eventually it should at least cut down how often it happens. Also remember that if she calls your bluff and says something about you saying "I'll consider it" just respond with "I am." not "I did" because that will just bring on more questions. Again, say it and change the subject. (one tip about the new subject: make it something about her, something good and really listen - it can never hurt to be the friend/listener you would like her to be)
Always best not to answer rude questions or argue with rude advice...it just causes it to build up and up. Love yourself, do what you need to do for you, and enjoy life!
Hi. The first thing you have to do is think of YOURSELF. My mother was the same way all my life. I am 61 and still overweight as far as my mother thinks. We are not all alike. There are small people and big people. You have to be happy with who you are. That is hard and has taken me many years to feel that way but the way I feel now is I am me. I have to live MY life. You just smile at your mother and say ok. Then smile at yourself and feel good about YOU. Good luck and SMILE. I am a mother and a grandmother and my mother doesn't get under my skin anymore. Barb
I agree with Metroplex's posting. It sounds like your mom has an eating disorder. Wacky Camper, it doesn't matter what you weight and it never has mattered. For her, it's all about control. I can appreciate how difficult it is for you, but there is more to you than a number on a bathroom scale. It's easy to say you are going to ignore her, but it does hurt when she says such horrible things. I would establish boundaries with her, but realize that she may not 'get it', but at least you are protecting yourself. I'm praying for you.
Lots of good advice already! I agree most with the person who suggested a sort of neutral, agreeable statement every time she brings it up, along the lines of "Yes, I'll certainly give that some thought." This may cause her to escalate her criticism for a while, but it would be interesting to see what happens over the long run when you refuse to engage in a conversation about it and/or refuse to emotionally engage her on this subject. If this doesn't work after a while, it may be necessary to start to remove yourself from the interaction when she starts up with the criticism. "I need to leave now, maybe we can get together again soon."
The main point is: your weight is really no one else's business, even if they're "right" that you need to lose. Some mothers never stop trying to be in control of every element of their daughters' lives. I know, because I had one <g>.
I'm in the same boat as you and have been for many years. While it's hurtful and insensitive to our feelings. Your Mom is trying to "help" you in the only way she knows how. I've come to realize this, but it doesn't help with our emotions any. My Mom lives in another state, but for years has called me up sometimes several times a month telling me who she's seen recently (that I know) and how nice they looked, how much weight they'd lost, etc. She calls me up when she's watching the tv show, "The Biggest Loser" telling me what's going on, and things like that. My husband says the day my Mom doesn't ridicule me about my weight will be the day she passes away. I'm beginning to think it's true. Mom 'did it again' this week, again for the umteenth time, in my life span. It all started when I was 14. When I look back on it, I wasn't fat, but just a big boned gal. I'm not the same stature of my small boned sister. Anyhow, best of luck with this, it won't end anytime soon. Just know if you're happy with the person you are, that's all that counts, Sweetie. Be the best person you can be, and always smile! Just know you're not in this alone......
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