A Life of Diets

My mother was obsessed with her weight.  She spent a good amount of time in her life dieting.  There are times when it consumed her, and eventually her obsession is what lead to her decision to have weight loss surgery. 

But, before all of that, before she could even understand what the word diet meant, my mom was once a little baby with no worries. 

What's a diet?

I, too, struggle with my weight.  I try to not let it consume me, but there are times that it's all I can think of.  The difference between my mom and myself, however, is that I know I control my weight.  I am the one in charge of my body.  What I eat and how much I exercise directly effects my body and my weight. 

My mother felt that her weight was out of her hands; that no matter what she ate, or how much she exercised, she would always be heavy. 

But, I don't think that was true.  I don't think my mom tried as hard as she lead others to believe.  I'm not so sure that her dieting efforts were as strong as she claimed they were.  I think that there was a little bit of withholding the truth, or perhaps leaving out some important facts, when it came to my mother's willpower on a diet.

It's very hard to speak about her like this.  It's uncomfortable to say that I think she lied about how strict she was on her diets, especially since she's no longer alive.  It's difficult to think that maybe I could have prevented her decision to have weight loss surgery if I made her face the facts.  If I told her that she wasn't trying hard enough.  Or that she knew the exercise she said she was doing was not her doctor's idea of exercise. 

What's the most difficult pill to swallow, though, is the thought that if I had worked harder with her--if I had pushed her to eat better with me, if I had spent more time discussing and explaining and exercising and JUST PLAIN BEING THERE--then maybe seeing a difference on the scale would have no longer been as important, as would have the need for surgery.  Maybe what she really needed was a little support; a friend to turn to in times of need.  A daughter to talk to.

Sometimes I feel like I moved out and never looked back, and I missed my mother's cries for help.


Abbe said...

Dana ~~

I understand what you're saying. I struggled with the woulda, coulda, shoulda's with Uncle Ray for a long time...even all these years later every once in a while it sneaks up to bite me in the butt!

But you know what? Uncle Ray waS Uncle Ray - he fought the whole diet scnario - can you imagine what our lives would have been like if I had nagged him..or if he caved into a world he really didn't want - they are strong willed people.

From my weight loss and speaking experience, your Mom was a perfectionist dieter. Either she was 100% into it, or out of it. I tried talking to her about relaxing and enjoy the life changes...I just don't think she could grasp that for any length of time.

I'm not an advocate of weight loss pills or surgery and if I had known ahead of time I would probably have supported her and yet throw her every caution.

It amazes me how Uncle Ray and your Mom alike would do anything for anyone else....way above and beyond...and yet they couldn't seem to grasp doing this for themselves.

On the same note...for some people it takes more, there are medical issues, and metabolism issues that are hidden in my opinion and yet to be discovered.

Neither one of them wanted to die. They wanted to see their children and grandchildren blossom.

The best gift you can give them is understand that it's part of how they lived. Take the knowledge and lesson they left you and handle your life when it comes to weight loss as you need to.

mega hugs,
Aunt Abbe:)

April said...

Dana- Your Aunt Abbe summed it up best when she said "it's how they lived." We all live the only way we know how. I've lied while dieting...I think we all have!! It doesn't mean she wasn't strong and it certainly doesn't mean you didn't do enough. Unfortunately, the wisdom we learn only comes from experience, however painful the lessons are.