Counting Calories On the Playground…

Madre wants me to thank you all for the sweet and thoughtful comments on her post… she’d reply to you all individually, but she just barely learnt herself how to turn on her computer… KIDDING!!!!!!  She knows I josh… most of the time it isn’t so much funny joshing… but what’s a girl to do when she ain’t getting paid to put on her show!? 

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, today I’m blogging my point of view of “die”ting as a 7-year-old.  At the age of 7, I couldn’t have been more than 25 or so pounds overweight… but when living in a house with 3 skinny people, I was the fat one… and when you’re the fat one, you get thy buttest takest to thy Weight Watchers meeting!  I hated going to those meetings.  First of all… I was 7… and instead of heading to the daycare area to play with the other kids, I stood in the cattle prod line to get weighed in and then sat on a hard chair and listened to a lecture I didn’t understand… good golly… at that age I was having a hard time understanding Fraggle Rock. 

At home, the good food that was really bad food was still purchased for the rest of the family.  I wasn’t allowed to have that food on my “die”t, and so it would be hidden.  I always protested saying things like, “but Lindsay got a cookie” and the answer would always be, “Lindsay doesn’t have to lose any weight.”  I didn’t understand that… I was sure it was some sort of conspiracy to make Whitney eat bad-tasting leafy food and Lindsay would get to  live in the gumdrop forrest.  So, as I’ve mentioned before, I would sneak into the food.  I’d wait to be left alone in the house and when I was, I’d spend my time searching for the stash of goodies and then I’d lie about ever being in it… because it was easier that way.  If I told the truth, why yes I just ate 25 cookies and a box of crackers, I would be punished… grounding, spanking, etc.  There was always a lot of tension between my mother and I.  It seemed like my sneaking into food and/or eating food that wasn’t allowed was our only topic of conversation.  I’d spend my time trying to get better at lying/hiding my food scores and mom would spend hers figuring out what I had eaten behind her back. 

She was frustrated that I couldn’t seem to stick to the “die”t for more than 25 seconds and I was frustrated that I couldn’t eat what I wanted to.  Eating in front of my family became a bad experience… I begged for a second helping and never got it.  It was much easier eating in secrecy locked away in the bathroom or in the closet.  The coat rack doesn’t tell you to put that 2nd roll back (that would be one awesome coat rack if it did… someone needs to invent that!)  At one point, mom got so desparate that after one instance where we had eaten at a buffet with a bunch of extended family members and I had eaten more than my fair share, she told me that she was “embarrassed,” that people thought she was a bad mother because I ate my weight in fried chicken.   

For the record, I know my mom loved me… I KNOW she did and I know she was trying her best to help me, because I didn’t come with a set of instructions and she had no previous mothering experience… unless you count the ranch animals when she was a kid. 

The turning point happened at about the age of 16 or 17… we went to a therapist together… mom and daughter, trying to get some sort of handle on my weight.  I thank God every day that my mom was born with the gift of an open mind and a contrite spirit.  The therapist told her in that session that she should totally back off of obsessing over what I ate… and from that point on… she did.  There were a few mishaps and it took many years for me to trust that she wasn’t judging me when I ate… standing over my shoulder ready to scold me for spreading on too much Miracle Whip… and I was paranoid… because that’s all I had known up to this point.  But, she backed off… and in the process our bond grew stronger because we weren’t always talking about taboo  food and she wasn’t scolding me for ordering the wrong thing on the menu… and she truly became someone I could go and talk to… there is no one more comforting than my mother.  I don’t know many people who could drop their stubborn pride and do an about face turn like my mom did.  I could tell she was working on it and she genuinely wanted to be better… and I love her for that. 

Today, I’d count her my best friend.  She has been uber supportive and encouraging and I am able to eat in front of her again, without the fear that I’ll be sent to my room for eating something that wasn’t root-like and tasteless.  This weekend is Mother’s Day and I want my mom to know that I am proud of her and how far she has come in regards to me and my “demons.”  There was a time when I blamed my mother for my weight gain… too many years of that… but all that did was cause bitterness in me and I had to come to a point where I took responsibility for my own actions.  Only then, was my mind freed to lose the weight.  Happy Mother’s Day, Madre… I love you! 

Question of the Day:  What is your mother’s best quality? 

Note:  Thank you all for having the patience to read my ramblings and leave comments.  It is much appreciated and I simply adore you all!  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers who read this blog.  Sit down, relax, and make your kids wait on you come Sunday!  See you again Monday for another round of nonsense!

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16 Comments

Filed under Childhood, Diet

16 responses to “Counting Calories On the Playground…

  1. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Very good post, Whitney. Thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes too – I still don’t know what we will be doing to celebrate.

    Question of the Day: What is your mother’s best quality?

    Wow – uh, this is a hard question.
    My mom’s best quality is that she is fiercely protective of her whole family.
    She also has other great qualities like being smart, thoughtful & considerate, brutally honest, very real, independent (and raised all 5 of us kids to be independent too), and very loving.

    Planning to have a very nice ( and balanced ) Mother’s Day here….
    Keep on, keepin’ on…

  2. Lindsay

    Aaahhh! Yes we have the greatest mother in the world! She is one of a kind!

  3. Gwen

    Ahhhh! Darn, I hate crying at work!! Mother-daughter relationships are so complicated but when they click it is truly amazing! My mom’s best quality is her laugh and her hilarious sense of humor and her passion for equality.

  4. cl2

    Wow! That is a hard one. My mother wasn’t easy. Let’s just get that out of the way. She had a huge load to carry ALL her life and it made her tired, angry, and passive-aggressive. Let’s jut get that out there. And then I can say–sometimes on the very worst days of my life, I’d throw some thought into the atmosphere like “mom, I need you” and she’d just show up out of the blue. She had a heart of gold, but life wasn’t kind to her. She was born to 2 deaf parents–their oldest child and she learned to sign before she ever talked. It was then her job to mother her younger siblings because they didn’t learn to sign very early and so her parents would have her boss them around–so she was never close to her siblings, but she and her mother were the best of friends. My mother died the same day her mother died 29 years later. You should have seen the line of women who came to her viewing and funeral–the place was packed.

    I’ll be dropping my duaghter off at the airport to go to Alaska for 5 months and I’ll be leaving the airport to go live in Colorado with my boyfriend. That will be my mother’s day. She already gave me the perfect gift.

    May I just say–the hardest thing about being a mother is having to stand by and watch our children in pain and feel completely helpless. No matter what we do–we can’t make life perfect for them.

    • Colleen… I’m so glad that you are going to do something for yourself and go to Colorado!! You deserve that happiness… get you some!! Are you moving there full time or going back and forth?

      I don’t have the mothering experience, but I can only imagine how hard it is to stand by and let your child live his/her life and learn from their mistakes. You are doing right by your kids!

  5. Liz

    Let me tell you… there aren’t many strong Baptist women who would open welcoming arms when their son told them he wanted to become their daughter. As my, now, sister put it “I don’t know if you knew this, but our mother is the coolest person I know.” And I will always love her for her acceptance and non-judgemental attitude above all else.

  6. Samerah

    So glad you guys can be close after all of that! Its easy to hold a grudge. Seems like so many people hold onto childhood things for way too long and it only ends up hurting them in the end.

    I’d say my moms best quality is her stubborn persistence. Theres always some hemming and hawing but once she really decides to do something it always gets done one way or another. She can also be very, very funny.

    • I can attest to the fact that your mom can be very funny!! She’s a hoot! Amen about dropping grudges earlier than later… no use carrying more weight than you need to!

  7. Holly H.

    Okay, so I’ve decided to stop blog-stalking and actually comment. Thank you so much for sharing these experiences. You do have one freaking awesome mom, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love her. I don’t always get along with my mom but this post is a good reminder that she really is just doing what she thinks is best. I’d have to say my mom’s best qualities are her financial tightwaddedness and her independence. I’m grateful that I was able to pick up a little bit of each.

    • Haha… Hi Holly! Thank you for reading my ramblings… I tell you, it takes quite the nice person to get through some of these! I’m going to have to take lessons on tightwaddedness… I could do a much better job at saving!

  8. Awww, Whit. You have a great attitude and a great mom. My mom’s best quality is her unconditional love. She’s pretty freakin’ awesome. Hope you have a great weekend celebrating the madre.

  9. Pingback: Laying Down the Law… Kicking My Butt Style… « craving a life

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