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Posted on Feb 16, 2012 in Dear Diary | 65 comments

One

It just takes one.

One disparaging comment.

One possibly judgmental glance.

One ill-fitting garment, one unfortunate glance in a store window.

One moment for the weakness to set in, for the thoughts to take hold. A single second, and suddenly your world turns. It takes all your strength not to run to the kitchen and rip open bags of tortilla chips, boxes of leftover pizza, pints of ice cream. It takes every ounce of resolve that you possess not to jump into the car and head straight for the nearest drive-through. To drown your remaining shreds of self-esteem in french fries, chicken nuggets, and double junior bacon cheeseburgers.

You’re having a normal day. Maybe even a great day. You don’t expect it. You can’t predict it. It happens so fast. It catches you off guard. And it only takes one.

As you are all well-aware, I’ve been feeling pretty good about things lately. I may still be dealing with my holiday weight gain, I may not be at goal, but in general I’ve been feeling like things are really starting to fall into place. So yesterday, when I dropped by my parents’ house to pick up some vegetables that my mom was trying to get rid of (free brussels sprouts? Heck yes!), I wasn’t prepared for the conversation that came in response to my blog post showcasing the epic Valentine’s Day meal that I had the night before.

“I have too much produce,” she said, thrusting a bag of brussels sprouts, spinach, and a container of blackberries into my arms.

“Thanks for these! Yeah, you do have a lot. It’s going to go bad while we’re in Orlando,” I replied, eyeing an entire drawer full of peppers, leafy greens, and tiny purple eggplants. Suddenly, she pinched the skin on the underside of my chin.

“You had better not eat steak anymore. Look at your face.”

“What are you talking about? I lost a pound this week!”

“I saw. But I can’t believe it.”

So I left. Well, I guess “stormed out” is the more appropriate term. And the very instance I stomped out of the room, my head was filled with self-deprecation, loathing, and hatred. I know that to her, the comment was nonchalant. Moms are moms, and she has nothing but love and concern for me. I know that I’m a sensitive person in general, and I’m extra defensive when interacting with my family. I know that there have been miscommunications between my mother and me in the past. I know that her intention was not to hurt me. I know these things. But knowing doesn’t stop it from hurting. It didn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes as I slammed the front door behind me, or from falling once I got to the car. It wasn’t about what was said, it wasn’t about who said it. It could have been anything. The point is that it happened: one comment got under my skin, and brought with it an emotional flood that I hadn’t experienced for some time.

I wrote a post a while ago about trying to figure out my identity as someone who has lost a significant amount of weight (“My Name is Gretchen, and I Used to be Fat“). In it, I questioned why I have such a hard time letting go of my “old self”, as it were, and embracing my new mindset and my new body. I talked about not wanting to forget who I was, for fear of slipping back into those habits. My experiences today only affirmed those feelings. Without fear of backsliding, without the constant reminder of how you once were, you forget. You let your guard down. You are vulnerable, and it takes just one thing before… you slip.


Summer 2009

I was fortunate this time. My mind may have slipped, I may have let in that self-hatred and beaten down my self-esteem but I had the strength to resist the temptation to binge. Instead of eating $18 worth of Taco Bell, I came home. I chopped onions and roasted brussels sprouts and sauteed mushrooms and I didn’t succumb. But I wanted to. I wanted to binge. I wanted to fill my stomach with crap until it felt like I was going to burst, and then I would have wanted to purge. I managed to fight against that, and I’m both grateful and proud that I was able to. But the physical act of bingeing is only one side of it.

The worst part is the emotional damage that one simple, innocuous comment can do. How it can unravel you. How in a split second, it can undo a year’s worth of repair to your self-esteem. Sure, I won the binge battle, but the emotional war? It’s still raging, even now. I’m my own enemy, fighting against all the thoughts I’ve been trying to keep out for so long. And not only do I have to fight against old thoughts, but there are new ones too. Like feeling that being happy about my life and making peace with my appearance is the very reason why I let my guard down in the first place.

I’m still fat.

I’m not good enough.

Nothing’s changed.

Nothing will ever change.

This is your fault.

You’re soft. Weak. Complacent.

You’ll never make it to your goal because you’re too content with how you look. Hate yourself more.

Having this blog helps, it really does. It lets me go back and see where I began. It lets me reflect on how far I have come, in so many ways. It helps me rally the strength to fight, because I owe it to myself, and I owe it to you, to try. It convinces me that instead of wallowing in a pool of self-pity and dysmorphic self-image, I should try on my newly delivered dresses. It allows me to revel in the fact that I fit firmly into a regular ol’ size L, something I would simply not have been able to do a year and a half ago. It proves that change has occurred.

ModClothed

Chalk it up as cheesy, self-indulgent, narcissistic. Label it as just another trend. But blogging helps me see the progress I have made and will continue to make. As long as I keep trying. As long as I can rebuild, stay the course, and be prepared for the next time this happens. Because, as much as I wish it weren’t the case, the sad truth of it is that it will happen again.

It just takes one.

65 Comments

  1. Oooh family. Man do I know how this feels. For me, each time I don’t give in to the feeling of wanting to binge as an emotional response to hurt, I feel stronger. It’s not easy and your post really shows that. You are incredibly brave for putting this out there. I keep a folder of photos of myself from when I was 240 pounds and photos along the way of losing 65 pounds that I look at every time I feel myself slipping into old mindsets. I’ve been going through a lot of “who am I?” identity crisis feelings lately and I’m glad to know that someone shares these thoughts! You got this girl, believe in yourself and that you are good enough.

    • Hi Jodi …. love your (positive) blog …. newbie here.

      My entire family would (always) make ridi comments about my weight. Year after year. Being short (5’3) …. they would drop hints to my mom, etc. During a fam BBQ …. an uncle blurted outloud … “hey Marcee, you could do w/loosing 10-15 pounds.” Ohhbother. Sooo rude and cruel. I was already an independent college grad …. working, living my own life very happily. Just mannerless behaviors. I didn’t care. Of course you do not easily forget the meanie comments,being unfairly critized. I am successful. Many of my friends, some that are pleasantly plump also, have wonderful lives.

      Don’t fret …. it serves zero purpose. Carry on women!

  2. Ahhhhh girl, I am so sorry your mom said that, and so sorry that it got under your skin (but not surprised… who wouldn’t be upset about a comment like that??) When I read that, my mouth fell open in shock because you (face included) look FANTASTIC!! Really. Physical appearance aside (although did I mention that you look fantastic? because you do :-D), you are an incredibly strong woman. That is evident in how you recognized the effect that a hurtful comment could have, yet you didn’t fall back. It’s evident in how you have stuck to your weight loss goals for all this time, knowing that true weight loss requires a lifestyle change and takes time. It sounds like you are maintaining a good attitude and really working through a hurtful comment, but allow me to help by telling you that you’re just awesome! We are all cheering for you!

  3. Mine came two nights ago from one of the kids I coach. She meant no harm, but boy did it hurt. How do you tell a 7 year old, “you know what kid, Ive battled an eating disorder for quite some time now. Thanks Jerk.”

  4. Oh Gretchen! I am so sorry that your mom said something like that. I think you look spectacular! Remember all of your readers are rooting for you! I’m proud of you for not slipping into your old ways. Taking that anger out in cooking an awesome healthy meal is an excellent outlet! Also cute dresses!!!!

  5. OMG, could you be ANY cuter??? You look like a young and sassy Susy Homemaker in those dresses!

    I just adore your blog. I can identify so much with your struggles. Congrats on keeping your eating in check and using your blog as a healthy tool. I don’t think it’s narcissistic at all!

  6. I obviously know nothing about your relationship with your mom, but it sounds similar to my relationship with my (now gone) grandmother. I truly believe all the comments she made came from two motivating factors. First and foremost: love. She wanted me to be happy and healthy and she figured the best way for me to do that was to lose weight. She came from a hardcore stoic German immigrant family where you showed that you cared for someone by breaking them down to turn them into a better person. Love didn’t come from nurturing. Love came from forcing you to be a better person. The second motivation: lack of confidence. She was always so worried about the outside world and how they felt about her that she just couldn’t wrap her head around why I wasn’t worried about the same things. It totally perplexed her that I could possible be happy or content or confident (and in her last years, how I possible get the husband I got) in the body that I had/have.

    But even though I knew that logically her comments really had NOTHING to do with me, it didn’t stop a single comment causing me to spiral into a pool of self-hate. It’s funny, she’s been gone for almost a year, and I can still just remember a comment she said at one time and it garners the same result. You know I’m really happy with where I am (even though I’m still “obese”), but after I think about something she used to say, I find myself back in the spot of thinking I need to track calories and hit the gym and be smaller and stronger and more dedicated.

    I’m not sure it’ll ever change, but like you, having a blog helps. And a husband that loves me. And honestly, reading that other people (that I absolutely adore) are going through similar things, makes it easier to cope.

    <3 <3 <3 <3

    • THIS. You just captured perfectly the relationship I have with my mother. She would deny it to the ends of the earth because she thinks she’s moved past her upbringing (German immigrant farmer family) but she also makes the comments and thinks they’re for “my own good” and that she’s just trying to be supportive/encouraging. I’ve tried talking and begging and pleading and storming out and she has tried to scale back her comments but ultimately, that’s just her way.

  7. I am proud of you for not emotional eating and for being open about your struggles. Sadly it is often those close to us who can hurt us the easiest. And as you said its normally not a major comment on their part. I wish you all the best in your continuing weight loss!

  8. I know that your post isn’t entirely about what your mom said, but I think that parents, especially those that haven’t had to deal with weight issues (I dont know if yours has or not), don’t realize all the emotions that come with it; they’re honestly just concerned. My dad said something to me about my weight when I was 15 and to this day, it upsets me. I’m almost 34.

  9. Oh,I wish I could just wrap my arms around you and give you a hug! I so know that feeling. My Dad never said anything about my weight except once in college we were sitting at the dinner table and he stated that I must be up around 200 pounds by now.

    Ouch.

    This from a man who had always been overweight and had a triple bypass.

    It’s been 20+ years since it happened and he’s dead now, but those words still sting.

    Sending you hugs and comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone. Stay the path!

  10. Lots of love and happy thoughts. I think we end up being our own worst critic at times. I relate to everything you wrote about in this post. The one that really resonated with me was “hate yourself more”. I know I’m guilty of this because if I’m not super critical of myself I get complacent.

    I definitely have days where I’m very hard on myself but I’d like to think I’m a lot happier today than I was a few years ago. The only person you need to answer to is yourself. I had huge issues with my parents and how they dealt with my “weight-problem” in my younger years. Those issues manifested in me blowing up in college because I never fully dealt with those issues. It took me a long time to let go of the resentment but I’m happier now because of it.

    I think you are doing an amazing job and your blog keeps me motivated too. I feel like I can relate to you because of our similar stories.

    xoxo have fun on your trip πŸ™‚ and good job not giving into emotional eating.

  11. Ahhhh family. I am so sorry that it got under your skin, but just remember…those who love us most also feel like they can tell us anything. Stuff they shouldn’t.

    I am so proud of the way you are handling your journey, and you inspire me each week — lose, gain, it doesn’t matter.

  12. Thank you so so so so SO much for sharing this. You are so brave, and you are SO much more than a number on a scale.

  13. I totally agree with you, one comment, no matter how innocent can send you over the edge.

    Keep your head up, πŸ™‚ Baby steps

    • Absolutely!

      All these fab & positive posts for you Gretchen. Just so great.

  14. You should be proud that you didn’t eat your emotions and recognize how major that is. I’ve lost 100 pounds, but I probably would’ve gone straight to a store for chocolate and chips. Some habits are so hard to break but this time you broke them. And that will make it easier to do it again.

  15. Oh, Asian parenting. My parents do the same thing. My mom is like the rest of your body is ok, but you could lose a little in the face. Lovely. She even showed me exercises for my FACE!
    You should have mentioned to your mom that I am obsessed with your legs it a totally non creepy way.
    Hehe. Miss you!

  16. ^^ Katy said exactly what I was thinking. Since they’ve always been a part of our lives, family members think we know their intentions automatically when they say something like that.

    I’m proud of you for not slipping into a binge. I know it’s hard to say no to junk food when you’re feeling down and that is something to be very proud about. Keep your chin up, girl!

  17. AH – thank you – you have made me cry and laugh all in the course of 5 minutes. This REALLY REALLY hits home for me. This feeling has haunted me my whole life. But when I read down further to the bottom of the post – I can’t help but laugh at your smiling cheesy posing (love it) – just reminds me that at the end of the day – you have two choices – you can let this crap drag you down – or put on a dress and live it up! Thank you. Have fun on your trip! We will be there next week and hoping for kick rear weather!

  18. I have very similar conversations with my mom. We’re very, very close and I know that it comes from a good place – but yes, it can be super hurtful. But, at least in my case (and possibly yours too), it’s cultural. My mom is Asian and I’ve found that when I go to visit her family in the old country people can be very blunt. It’s the same in Indonesia (where I grew up), people often don’t think that what they’re saying is hurtful.

    • Oh, I think that’s a huge part of it! Chinese culture does not place the same kind of taboo on being blunt and tactless the way that American culture does. But again, while I cognitively *know* that she isn’t saying anything with mean intentions, it’s hard to *feel* that way, y’know?

      • Haha, I was going to say! No, I definitely agree – it’s not fun when it comes from the people you feel safest around. I should also note that my dad, who is Scandinavian, has also made such comments in the past and like one of the above posters, I never forgot.

  19. I feel like I should know what to say, but I really don’t. I think all of us who have body image issues have been through this and it sucks ass. I remember my grandma poking my stomach and saying “you have a belly!” and then questioning why I subsequently wouldn’t eat anything for a week.

  20. The most important thing I’ve learned in my journey is that seeking contentment and love of my appearance definitely does not cause me to slip back into old habits. In fact, it was only when I let go of self hatred (or started trying to–it’s a work in process, always) that I was able to make progress. I definitely know how one comment can change everything in a moment, but although you may still be hurting today, you really did win by not giving in, and in a day or two you will feel back to yourself again. However, if you had given in, it would most likely take a lot longer. You are so strong Gretchen, and every time you succeed in not giving into old habits is a huge success–you have lots to be proud of!!

  21. Gretchen, I hope the comments on this post are enough to help you brush off the remarks and keep moving forward. I’m so inspired and thankful to have my blog because I always feel like in my moments of weakness there are people out there who come forward to lift me up and I hope that everyone here has done that for you. I’m forever thankful that you have a blog and are brave enough and willing to share your journey with us as honestly as you do because it helps me in my moments of weakness and makes me want to work harder and stay focused and work toward my goals. Thank you for being you.

    • Having amazing readers like you lifts my spirits more than you can possibly imagine!

      • Yep. We all love you Gretchen!

        You are doing marvelously with meals and your snacks. Do not let harmful comments become upsetting. Shrug em off. Tomorrow will arrive as usual.

        I cannot wait to read your posts everyday. Thanks for making us giggle, laughoutloud, maybe even cry …. but, in the end, having (all) these valid conversations does matter.

        Friends here!

  22. Been there, and it’s so not fun. I’m proud of you for not slipping because of what your mom said. You’ve come so far! And you look so stinkin’ cute in those dresses!

  23. Parents think they are helping and bam..it all goes downhill from there. I totally get it. You not going on a binge is a major accomplishment in itself (in my eyes at least). Thank you for this post and for being an inspiration to a lot of people – including myself!

  24. This definitely hits home. My mom is never satisfied with my weight β€” I’m either too big or too little. And there is ALWAYS a comment on what I’m eating or not eating. I typically don’t eat around her at all if I can avoid it. Which has led to several late-night binges (even as an adult visiting) and lots of guilty feelings later.

    The height of my eating disorder was when I stayed with my parents over the summers during college. The summer between my senior and super-senior year I had just come off a 25-30 lb weight loss and was worried about maintaining without a gym (small town), so I hit the elliptical / ran for an hour before work, I ran or biked to work every day, took a laxative once I got there (which was supremely disgusting because I worked at a canoe rental and we only had PORTA POTTIES β€” I was desperate) and I only ate cereal, because, as you can imagine, I had terrible stomach problems.

    I don’t think even my boyfriend at the time (who also worked at the rental) had any idea what was going on. He’d lost weight with me, and would go on my runs with me when he could, but I don’t think he knew what was up.

    And then the next summer, when I’d gotten a grip on things, I was so bored at home that I ran ALL the time. I just ran. I wasn’t TRYING to lose weight. I was bored, and liked to be outside, and loved the fact that my hair got super bleach blonde and I got really tan (also not healthy). So then it became an issue that I could eat ANYTHING I wanted. And the “should you be eating that” comments turned into making fun of me for all the shit I had started consuming (ben and jerry’s. most every night. fried food.) β€” in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t eaten this stuff because there are health issues related to not eating this stuff.

    Anywho. I hear ya. You are beautiful. And you have achieved something great. Why is it that other women, those closest to you in particular, feel the need to constantly judge or approve of you?

    This is turning into a rant, but I do have a friend who is naturally slim (I know, but seriously folks) and she is trying to GAIN weight because she wants to have curves. And people are pissed off at her all the time for her fitness / health / body goal. Why do people judge others based on their weight? So what, she’s the weight that YOU desire, but she’s not what SHE desires, and that’s what matters. If she was trying to LOSE weight, I might step in because it becomes a health issue, but she’s doing something perfectly healthy and is trying to improve something about her self-image.

  25. Thanks for your openness. Isn’t it crazy how one thing can totally change your day and your attitude. I’ve been going through that this week, but about something different. Have a wonderful Thursday!

  26. Sigh, the scarring of Asian parenting. At least we didn’t have Tiger moms right? Riiiiiiiiiight? I think the Chinese culture is definitely a huge part of it. While we, kids that grow up in the States, take those comments as extremely hurtful and devastating to our self-esteem, they look it as the closeness of family bonding being able to be blunt as they are. The more blunt and critical, the more love they think they are showing. I have had multiple conversations with my mom about the these criticisms and how they make me feel. Because no matter how much they want me to be less then 100 pounds like most Asian girls are, I will never be that thin nor do I want to be. I don’t care if I go back to China and having to deal with the bluntness of people over there because I am not close with those people so I do not care what they think. But our moms? Yeah, we do care about them so their criticisms hurt so much more. Mind you the conversations with my mom only started taking place after years of built up resentment and me finally realizing no wait, I can’t just ignore my family, I love them, they love me so therefore I need them to understand how destructive those criticisms can be so that they can be more aware of the comments they think are “love” and stop making them. It has helped to some degree and I think will always be a work in progress. I really curious on how your mom will react after she reads this post. On a positive note, I am so proud of you for winning the emotional binge battle, goodness knows I’ve eaten cake and ice-cream in mom’s face just to piss her off after she’s made a hurtful comment. Also, Modcloth foreva <3!

  27. I can completely relate! You are not alone!
    I sadly let it get the best of me a few years ago and backtracked…. And gained 80 lbs back.
    You may ask how in the hell someone who has worked so hard to lose over a hundred pounds could let that happen after years of maintaining.

    A gain of 5 lbs, depressing slowly turns into 20, then you get more depressed, blow your ACL and, voila, you have just used an injury to validate your sitting on your ass. Don’t like the number on the scale?? Stop weighing in, and one day you finally get the courage to weigh again… It’s usually at the doctors office–when you do not have a choice and realize you are almost where you began.

    Be as strong as you were yesterday… Reach for the veggies, go for a run… Love yourself first!
    You will be fine then! Hugs!

  28. You are gorgeous, not fat, still losing weight in a controlled and inspiring way, and you are becoming a superb essayist into the bargain.

    • Ohhh yes! I fully agree.

  29. Parents can be really hurtful sometimes without realizing it (or having any intention of hurting you). I’m sure that your mom would look back at that comment and regret saying it- especially knowing how much it hurt you. I can’t remember my dad ever saying anything about my weight to me directly, but it definitely hurts that he never even noticed or made any comment when I lost 60 lbs.
    I know that feeling- that “one” feeling that you’re talking about- when you feel helpless and careless and like giving up. It takes every ounce of strength to push forward and move on in a positive way- and you did that. It takes balls. It takes courage. I’m proud of you, Gretchen- and I’m so glad that you are also proud of yourself!! xoxoxo

  30. sending TONS of love and hugs your way. I am EXTREMELY proud of you for not going for the food. I know how easy it is just to grab a cookie (or ten haha)
    You are an inspiration to me and I know many others. Keep up the great work. You are a very strong lady!
    πŸ™‚

  31. This is my favorite post from you so far since I began reading. I connected with this post on soooooo many levels. *cough MOM cough* I loved the honesty of this post and I love your resolve at the end of it. I too have lost weight, though I’m not at my goal weight (25 lbs to go), am feeling great but was knocked back down by some belligerent drunk Ahole the other night who screamed awful things at my boyfriend and me (i.e. fat comments). I have no clue what prompted the guy to lash out at us, maybe we shouldn’t have dressed so nicely for a dive bar, maybe he had a bad day, maybe he hates his life. All I know is that I tried not to let the comment bother me but the days following that incident featured epic binges on sweets. *sigh* Thankfully I stepped on the scale and realized the damage this was doing and got right back on track with Weight Watchers. You’re so right, for us sensitive “lean on food” types, 1 comment can do so much if we let it.

    I <3 you Gretchen, thank you for this post. It's good to know we're not alone.

  32. I can totally relate to what you’re saying because I have been through the same with my family. In my case, my mom is the only one who tells me to my face that I need to lose weight(I know she does it because she loves me and cares about me, but still it hurts and makes me feel like I’m not good enough for her) but I know that other relatives talk about my weight behind my back. I honestly don’t know what’s worse.

    We are South American and there is so much pressure to be thin. Thin means pretty in my family. Most of my cousins have had liposuction and other procedures, they take pills and do extreme dieting, and I am the only one who thinks they are crazy for doing that to their bodies. I guess they think something must be wrong with ME because I don’t do any of that stuff in order to be thinner.

    Thanks for writing this. It helps knowing that others deal with this too.

    Good luck with your weight loss journey πŸ™‚

  33. Hi Gretchen ….

    Hey …. please try and not let (little and big) things bother you toward a goal. Think happy thoughts!

    You know, folks can be crude and rude. My family was the same. Always complaining about my weight …. something. Middle sis always called me (fat) names from the time I was just a kid …. 10 or 11. It didn’t terribly upset me, but …. I never forgot.

    Please take care of yourself. We are all sensitive. I fully understand your feelings. Before anything …. always put Gretchen first …. do not worry about what others say.

    Use your power to reach the goals you plan to achieve.

  34. Hi Gretchen!

    I lost 100 pounds – went from an obese 234 to healthy 132. And quite frankly, things like this still occasionally happen. My mom or a friend will make a comment about a (tiny) roll of fat on my stomach, or make a passing reference to something else on my body that makes me feel insecure. I found that losing the weight didn’t make me lose my insecurity about my body or the hurt I feel when someone makes a comment like that.

    But let me tell you girl – you’re gorgeous. And your before and after pictures are astounding. Comments like that won’t disappear entirely, even when you lose all your weight. But they’ll happen less and less, and will be largely replaced by confidence and pride in yourself.

  35. Oh Gretchen, this post makes me so sad. πŸ™ I hate it when the words of others undermine what we’re trying to accomplish. I’ll never forget the one time when I was in highschool my mom suggested I just lose some of my stomach “pudge.” After that, I started dieting and spiraled into an eating disorder that I’ve now battled for 8 years. My “secret” weapon is my relationship with God, and knowing that He loves me unconditionally and won’t love me differently no matter what my weight is. Take courage. The mental part of this battle is the hardest part.

  36. It’s so interesting…I have a friend from Argentina and her mother talks to her in a very similar way. She said it’s not at all uncommon for her to return home (she visits her family there 1-2 times a year) and have her mother (or sister or FRIENDS) tell her she’s gained weight/needs to lose weight/is fat/etc. It’s just not considered taboo like it is here in this country. But in the culture we’ve been raised in here, comments like that can just plain HURT. And while, like you said, you know your mother means well and loves you and says these things out of concern, it can still sting quite a bit.

    Oh, and the “I’m still fat” comment you wrote? I feel that ALLLLLL the time. It’s like…ok, I’ve lost nearly 75 pounds. I look GOOD…compared to what I used to look good. I’m SKINNY…compared to what I used to be. My family, friends, students, etc. all know how far I’ve come. But when I’m hanging out with my gorgeous friends and meeting people for the first time, I’m still the “fat girl” of the group and it’s such a weird and exhausting place to be sometimes.

    Basically, what I’m trying to say is I totally get this and I still count you as a huge inspiration in my own life and GOOD FOR YOU for not caving to the physical urges to binge “away” the pain.

  37. You look great in those dresses! I love the yellow one especially. I can’t wait until I can fit into an L. Workin’ on it.

    It’s crazy how much influence moms still have, even as we get older. I’m 35 and I still hear mom’s voice in my head when I’m doing something she would disapprove of. (Please don’t let her find out I’m getting a tattoo soon…)

    You hung tough, you got through it. You may have viciously murdered an onion, but you did it! You should be very proud!

    • That onion did take the brunt of my emotion! I was hacking at it so fervently I had a mental image of accidentally chopping off my finger at one point and had to dial it back, hahaha.

  38. I admire your apparent emotional growth Gretch – there’s no way you’d be able to resolve in the way that you did some time ago! it’s a beautiful thing! and you look SO smokin! xo!

  39. This so hits home!! My mom often makes well-intended comments about my journey too…usually right when I’m about to put something in my mouth, she’ll ask if I should be eating that. Or, when I’m blogging about what I ate she’ll tell me that I eat too much cheese or too many nuts or that the veggie sandwich I had didn’t need avocado. Sometimes I just want to scream, “Well a veggie sandwich isn’t just bread and lettuce, mother!” But most of the time I gently remind her that I’ve lost 80 pounds doing just what I’m doing now, and it’s all okay. She usually acknowledges that of course she knows that and she’s just trying to be supportive. I know that in the past, I obviously needed someone to call me out…not so much anymore. I try to not take it too personally and just am hopeful that it will all tone down once I spend some time maintaining my new weight and my mother realizes that she doesn’t have to worry so much about me. Of course, we all know that not taking it too personally is definitely a struggle on some days. You’re not alone, G!

    Big hugs to you!

  40. Oooh, girl! Been there! While I’m all ecstatic about being fit enough to run a half marathon next month and looking good for my wedding, my mom says “so you’re not going to get a personal trainer then?” Woman! I don’t need no damn trainer! I’m happy just the way I am. Moms have a way of crawling under our skin :-/

  41. Gretchen, I’m very proud of you. In the shadow of such an insensitive comment you were able to make a very positive choice. Keep up the good work!

  42. Thanks for this post, Gretchen. I can totally relate! Comments like that hurt badly, and I often fight the urge to binge when something bad happens. Kudos to you for fighting it! We’re all here for you!

  43. IsnΒ΄t it sad that one something can make you feel that way? Though I honestly think that if something small as that hurts you that much, you are not fully “recovered”.
    Life is tough, eh?

  44. i’m sorry that you were so upset. there is clearly SO MUCH love in your family, and though the words were hurtful, i doubt they were said with that intent. just from reading your blog it is apparent that you are not only vibrant and beautiful on the outside, but on the inside too.

  45. Thank you for unmasking and telling the hardcore truth! It only takes one…

    Thanks for sharing your amazing journey with us. I blog because of you. I am in inspired because of you and I thank you for reminding me to hang in there and recognize that improvement, change, growth is all around.

  46. That just makes my heart hurt so much. You have come so far and you are so strong and so worth it and so beautiful. I don’t know what else to say except that I want to hug you intensely and cry a little. I love you.

  47. Thank you for writing this beautiful post right from the heart. I skimmed the comments, and it’s really fascinating to me just how many people can really relate to this story, myself included. It raises questions about why people – family, friends, people we don’t know, feel like commenting on someone’s weight is acceptable. One person commented that a 7 year old said something, which means that even little kids are taught to analyze and value/devalue other people for their weight. I know you mentioned that your mom didn’t mean to be hurtful at all, but this post and the reactions to it are really making me wonder why people think someone’s weight is an acceptable topic of conversation – intentional or not, everyone should know that weight is a sensitive topic. I know very few women (or men, for that matter) who are completely comfortable with their weight and wouldn’t take offense upon someone passing a comment about it.

  48. Such a beautiful post, Gretchen. I never thought about it, but you’re so right about there being that one moment that can ruin it all. That moment that goes by so fast, that before you even realize what has happened you arm is already in the BBQ chip bag. It’s posts like these, thoughts like these, where you remember it’s important to say “hang on” and step back and realize what’s happening before it starts. It’s such an incredibly difficult thing to do – but YOU have done it. You do it everyday. You GO GIRL!!!

  49. I LOVE this! No matter how much time passes, I think that I’ll always have that little devil in the back of my head talking to me about my body image… I’ve definitely made significant strides over the years and don’t worry about the numbers on the scale on a daily basis like I used to and that’s what matters. It’s the little things that add up to the big things that count πŸ™‚

  50. I hear you! So true. It only takes one little comment or one little glance or one little tiny something to completely unravel you! Everything is going along great and then one little tiny thing happens, and, bam, I’m doubting nearly everything about myself.

  51. So proud of you for staying strong!!! Girl. My mom does it ALL THE TIME. According to her, the reason I am currently single, is because I’m not a size 2. The other day my side was hurting and I just casually was like, “ugh my side hurts” and she goes “too much fat weighing you down.” I can completely relate. I know she means well, she just wants me to be healthy, and look my best, but its just cruel! I generally reply back with a rude comment, we then get in a fight, and don’t talk for a few hours. I lock myself in my room thinking, “she’s right, I’m a fat ugly person no one will ever love,” but I don’t want to go workout because I don’t want to give her that satisfaction. Way to go mom. Trying to help but its backfiring because whereas I probably would have contiplated going to the gym, now there is no way.

    Anyway. Just wanted to share that I feel ya! Crazy mothers!

    Love you!

  52. Oh Gretch you’re amazing my dear! And family. oy vey. They don’t get it sometimes, they just don’t. They butt their heads where they shouldn’t and say things they don’t necessarily mean. I’m proud of you for all the changes that you’ve made and the hard work you’ve done! Amazing my girl! Keep your head up! <3

  53. I can totally associate, however, most of the bringing-me-downness comes from a wrong angle in a mirror or being bloated from too many salty snacks. But it happens.

    Keep on truckin’, woman. We are all here with you.

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