For the last few days I have been staying at my parents house whilst I recovered from my injury. It hasn’t been that bad and I have parents who do love me very much, but there is something there that makes it hard to stay (well a couple of things but I’m only going to go in to one). The difficulty I’m having is that my mother is currently the most triggering person in my life. No, she does not have an eating disorder but is sold on the world of diet clubs and has been attending a slimming world for several months. I see that her portions are ridiculous and small, but I also that her diet is mainly fruit and yoghurt, Weetabix with the odd cooked meal, and a lot of skipped meal. This ‘conquering’ over food scares me and it seems like an achievement for her. I see how self-conscious she is in the mirror and then I see the guilt over-take her when she’s had something ‘bad’ or ‘not allowed’, the catastrophising that follows after a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar and the belief that it is going to make her gain weight suddenly and ruin everything.
We are a society hooked on our weight and our bodies, believing lies that the media tells us about what we should look like and it worries me. I get so frightened now when I see other people forcing their bodies into a way that is not good for them. My mum did need to lose a little weight for health reasons, but how she’s doing it is, that’s not making her healthy. How do I tell her this? That being with her whilst she engages in this behaviour is damaging to me but more than that damaging to her? But maybe losing weight has already taken over as the most important thing as she doesn’t hear me when I do say something. I don’t know what to do. I stopped looking for a role model in her on how to eat ‘normally’ when I was a child, but it still gets to me.
I hate diet clubs and slimming worlds, and the only reason she tells me it works is not because of the support of nutrition and other people trying to lose weight but rather the public weigh in’s, the shame and fear that comes if she were to gain. Ladies and guys, why are we putting ourselves through this? Why must our value be based on the number on a scale or the size tag in our clothes? We will not find it there, it will not lessen the hate, it will not save us or make us worthy.
For now, I need to decide whether to have some sort of conversation. I’ve had one once and she finally responded, she has stopped telling me everything that she hasn’t eaten for the day and doesn’t bring up her diet that much in anymore, but her actions are so much louder than words and it is so hard for me to not fall victim to my own thoughts which only fuel the anorexia.