Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Big Girls Don’t Cry

I haven’t seen my mother in over 12 years.

I’ll be honest. Even if I wanted to outline all of the reasons for this here, I don’t think there’s enough space on my screen or characters on my keyboard to capture it all. Like all relationships, the one I share with my mother is complicated and messy. And, certainly, the fact that she lives nearly 3,000 miles away has played a role in our long separation. But the hard truth is that if we wanted to see each other, we would, and most of the reasons why we haven’t made that effort are personal, emotional and too painful for me to share publicly.

I will say this, however…

I left home when I was 16 years old. I left Washington State for my husband, college and North Carolina when I was 19 and I’ve been here for a little over 18 years now. In all of that time, she’s never been here to see me. She wasn’t there when I graduated from college. She wasn’t there when I got married. She wasn’t there when I earned my master’s degree. You name the event. She wasn’t there. For the first few years after moving here, I went home every year. I headed back during the summer and at Christmas… but then, over time, I stopped making the trek out there too. And before I knew it 12 years had past.

And then… about a month ago, she called and said that she’d bought a ticket and that she was coming to see me. In typical fashion, she didn’t ask if it was ok. She didn’t ask if it was a good time. She just said she’d bought a ticket and was coming.

So… for the last month I’ve been both looking forward to and dreading this “reunion.” Of course, there’s a part of me that has desperately wanted to see her, to show her my life, what I’ve built for myself and that I’m ok. But then there’s the other part that’s been equally afraid of all that could go wrong… and believe me, a lot could. So, for a month I’ve tried not to dwell on it. I’ve tried not to think about it at all.  I’ve tried not to worry. And, most of all, I’ve tried not to get my hopes up.

Anyway, she was supposed to arrive on Sunday evening, but the long and the short of it is that she never showed up. I’d gotten a call the night before about how excited she was, but then her arrival time came and went and she wasn’t on the plane.

One consequence of 911 is that now airlines will provide you with absolutely no information about their passenger lists, so I was left helplessly not knowing what had happened to my mother and no one at the airport was able/willing to tell me whether or not she’d ever even boarded a plane that day. It wasn’t until around 3am, and a million phone calls later that, I learned that she had decided not to come. She claimed that she’d attempted to but that flight delays and poor service on the part of the airlines made it seem like “too much trouble.” I guess it was “too much trouble” to call and let me know too.

So… that was Sunday night.  And since then, I’ve done little besides eat and cry. I’ve spent the last two days almost entirely in bed, getting up just to forage for food. I can’t recall everything I’ve eaten, but there was a point when I literally felt so full, I thought about purging — something I’ve never done before. In short, it’s been a miserable couple of days.

I guess the thing that bothers me the most about it all, is that this is the kind of thing she has pulled my entire life. In fact, since she called with the news that she was coming to visit, both my husband and I joked that she probably wouldn’t even show. And yet, when she didn’t, I was completely broadsided. And as a result, I’ve spiraled, again, into a dangerous pattern of overeating to feel better.

I’ve been eating and eating and eating, but I *don’t* feel better.
Rather, I feel worse.

And yet, I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop yet. Even now, as I type all of this out, I’m fighting the urge to scrap it and just head into the kitchen. I’m not hungry… but there’s a hole in me that needs filling.

And here’s the thing…

I don’t want to be the kind of person who fills those holes with food.
I don’t want to spend the rest of my life letting other people control me.
I don’t want to feel like it’s ok to blame her, or anyone else, for undoing what little I’ve been able to accomplish so far.

As I said in a recent post, I feel like I’m in a strange and unfamiliar place. I’ve attempted to lose weight before, but I’ve never lost as much as I have *this* time. I feel like I’m nowhere near the end of my “journey,” so if there is light at the end of this tunnel, I can’t see it yet. But, on the other hand, for the first time ever, I also feel like I’ve gone too far to turn back.

I don’t want to give up.

Tonight, my husband pulled me out of the bed and made me shower and put on some clean clothes. Then he took me for a drive to the beach with the top down. It was a nearly perfect night… much cooler than most summer nights here and to top it off, after a week filled with thunderstorms, tonight there was a cloudless, star filled sky. As we sat on the cool sand, watching the dark ocean come in, I commented on how beautiful the night was and how my mother was really missing out on something special. As if on cue, David said I was right, but that *I* was the thing she missing out on.

I want so much to believe him.
And I know I have to if I’m going to ever get back on track.

I think a lot of times, people who are overweight struggle with feeling as though they don’t deserve to be thin or healthy or even happy. Self-loathing so often goes along with the obesity package and, as a result, it’s sometimes hard to put ourselves first or to put what *we* need at the top of any list.  Even if doing so means changing or even saving our lives.  We simply don’t believe that we’re worth it.

But we are.  We so are.

And that’s the thing I’m trying to cling to tonight.  I’m trying to remind myself that I am worth treating well.  I am worth all the hard work that goes into losing weight.  My body deserves to be treated with respect.  I deserve to be thin.  I deserve to be healthy.   I deserve to be happy.

Even if my own mother doesn’t think so.


August 12, 2008 - Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Comment by AndrewE | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. [hugz]

    Comment by AndrewE | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. :-(

    I know this might sound weird but don’t take your mother’s behaviour personally. I suspect she’s acting out her own life-long problems and, in a sense, you’re an innocent bystander. Her behaviour reflects how she feels about HERSELF and not about how she feels about YOU.

    I had a couple epiphanies in the last few years. Maybe they’ll help you now.

    1) I was criticised a lot when I was a child and it affected my self-esteem. I much later realised that how they treated me had very little, if anything, to do with ME but all about how they felt about themselves; they each had reasons in their own lives to feel little and powerless. By picking on me they, for that moment, didn’t feel so powerless.

    2) For most of my life I figured I got overweight because of a particular embarrassing medical condition and so I wanted to be invisible. But having recently found out that my brother and mother having similar eating behaviours, I figure that our brains are just not wired right when it comes to food.

    Realising that I couldn’t blame anything or anyone from my childhood for my being fat was a relief. It meant that I could let go of the anger, resentment and disappointment. Instead I faced the fact that I didn’t realise that I was different and didn’t deal with it sooner.

    Comment by Paola | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  4. I don’t have a relationship with my mother, since 2004. And honestly, I have been better off for it. I could tell you why, but then you would probably end up in tears. I learned that she will NEVER be the person I need her to be.

    Then I learned that I am the only one who can make my life worth living. You have to live for you. There is no one else you can live for.

    Comment by Irene | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  5. This is a brave and beautiful post. A person undeserving of happiness/health/a good life could not have written it. My heart goes out to you.

    Listen to your husband. Clearly, he loves you and knows you much better than your mother does.

    Comment by DelightfullyHealthy | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  6. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. It seems that you have tried to make a relationship with your mother but she has to make the attempt as well. You are a good person and it’s her loss if she doesn’t want to see that.

    I hope that things get better real soon.

    Comment by melissa | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  7. I am so sorry this happened. Relationships can be so hard and the mother/daughter relationship holds so much power in it. It doesn’t matter how adult or grown up we become, it seems as though all girls want to be accepted and please their mothers, regardless of how toxic the relationship is. And yours obviously is.

    I hope you can find someway to reconcile this in your mind and move past it. You are a strong woman that has overcome so much and has built a wonderful life without your mom. Believe your husband, she is the one that is missing out. Don’t turn back, you have come to far. You are worth it, and deserve much better than how your mom has treated you.

    Many blessings to you.

    Comment by Big Girl | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  8. What everyone else said, especially AndrewE. Your husband is an absolute genius.

    What’s so awful about something like this is you can spend years hardening yourself to those kinds of slights, and convincing yourself that they don’t really matter. And then when you try to forgive and open yourself back up, it gives that person another chance to give that soft, vulnerable underbelly a kick, and then it’s that much harder for you to open yourself up and be vulnerable again the next time. But at least you’re still the kind of person who’s willing to open herself up to people that have wounded you before. There is real honor in that.

    Sending you love through the ether . . . .

    Comment by G.G. | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  9. *hugs*

    This “mom” situation really sucks — I’m so sorry you went/are going through it. Of course you turned to food — it has worked in the past to help you “take the edge off” your painful feelings, so naturally, you turn to that old coping behavior to help you get through this very painful experience. Don’t hate yourself for it and don’t give up on yourself for it.

    Right now, just try to hug yourself and hug that little girl inside you who was just rejected by her own mother. Just hug her and promise to keep hugging her and loving her.


    Comment by BikiniMe | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  10. My heart goes out to you…..

    Comment by Megan | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  11. I’m sorry about the disppointment about your mother. That is a tough blow.

    Realize too that your mother probably has her own guilt and demons that she might not be able to face which most likely do not reflect how she truly feels about you.

    We each have to make our own happieness in this world. It sounds like you are an incredible person though and have lots to be proud of in your life. You should celebrate that with people who make you feel good.

    Comment by SmushPants | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  12. (((HUGS)))

    Seriously. You poor thing.

    I think your husband is on the right track, though. You are lucky to be who you are, and to have a guy like him on your side.

    Comment by Christine | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  13. This post leaves me speechless, really. I am really, really sorry. *hugs*

    Comment by The Lassie | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  14. Words fail me :-(

    ***BIG HUGS***

    Comment by Marshmallow | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  15. I’m so sorry to hear that your mother wasn’t there for you.

    You are so lucky to have such a wonderful husband, though.

    Don’t let anyone take away your love for yourself!!

    Comment by The Baroness | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  16. I have recently found your blog and check daily. Please take care, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Comment by Debbie | August 14, 2008 | Reply

  17. I’ve been tooing-and-froing from your blog today ever since I read the above earlier this morning, but the right words haven’t been forthcoming. The most powerful words are those that you commented to me a few days ago, if you recall. So, to take the words out of your mouth.

    Jennifer ‘you are an incredible woman — an incredible woman who is worth treating well in all ways — an incredible woman who deserves to be taken care of, both mentally and physically’.

    Note them and apply them to yourself. You are far more deserving.

    … and if you do need to cry you’re never to old.

    Please don’t let this undermine all you’ve achievd so far.

    Comment by Jenny | August 14, 2008 | Reply

  18. I can’t even imagine how hurt you must be. It is appalling that your mother would behave that way, you are truly worth much, much more. I hope that you are able to forgive her and move on. Try not to look back…just keep moving full steam ahead!

    Comment by Lynn | August 14, 2008 | Reply

  19. I’m so sorry. That is just so hurtful and selfish and just plain wrong. Any human being deserves to be treated better — especially by her mother.

    She doesn’t deserve you.

    I could go on and on about my own lack of relationship with my parents. It makes me sad to know you have the same trouble. It really weighs on us.

    As for the eating thing, just do your best. Sometimes our old habits are the only things that keep us going during hard times.

    Comment by pantrypuff | August 14, 2008 | Reply

  20. I’m one of those kooky people who still writes thank you cards when I receive a gift. I just think there’s something tender and special in a handwritten note of thanks. Whatever the gift, I like to ooh and aah over it and let the person, who thought enough about me to pick it out, wrap it and deliver to my waiting fingers, know that I recognize and appreciate their efforts. It’s such a little thing, I know, but such details delight me. That said, I wish I could write each of a thank you note filled with all the reasons why your particular comment moved, inspired and strengthened me. I wish I could put a little extra flourish in the penmanship around your name. And I wish I could sign it with a few extra xoxoxo’s so you’d know how much I appreciate you. But I can’t, so I’ll just say this: Thank you. I do appreciate you. And… yes, I know that I’m a nerd of the supreme order, but tonight I’m a very, very grateful nerd.

    (Again) Thank you.

    Comment by justoofat | August 14, 2008 | Reply

  21. Even though my mom died five years ago,I feel like I can identify with some of the pain you’re experiencing. Filling the void with food instead of dealing with the fact that she won’t be in your life like you’d like.

    I think you are actually handling this in a healthy way…you realize that they overeating and staying in bed kick isn’t making you feel any better, nor does it fix the relationship. You have all the tools you need then to keep rising above it.

    Good for you!

    Comment by tjandjessie | August 16, 2008 | Reply

  22. Take care of yourself and your problems will work themselves out.

    Comment by Gordon | August 1, 2011 | Reply

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