I went to my mom’s house over the weekend. We were working on the yard. She hasn’t really done any weeding or other yard work since October. There is a small flower garden and a couple of citrus trees that we were weeding. It was a huge job so she had one of her dog walkers come over to help. It was overall a very productive day.
However, there was a point in the day when my mom said some things that struck a nerve with me. One was when were out in the back and I was on my hands and knees weeding. I have lost a lot of weight but have not replaced all of my clothes. I was wearing some yoga pants that are a little loose and they don’t stay up as well as they used to. I made sure to keep my rear end pointed away from the kid helping us so he didn’t see my whole booty. But my mom did get a peak of my crack as the pants slid down a little too far. She pointed it out which was super embarrassing for me.
A little while later we were inside and talking about trampoline parks. I mentioned someone who has gone and my mom started talking about that person’s ample chest size. I got upset by that, too, because it was in general completely inappropriate to talk like that – especially to a teenaged boy. I called her out immediately. Then she got weird like I was the one who was out of line. We ignored each other for a little while after that.
Eventually we went back to work and moved on. Before I left she came into the room I was working to clear the air – and defend herself. I told her how much it bothered me when she pointed out my butt crack in the yard and how she had done the same thing when I was in middle and high school. At that time she used a nickname in front of my friends and at Girl Scout meetings to point out when my nipples were erect. When some of my friends got it they could see how upset I was. That was mortifying – not just that she was pointing out something I had no control over, but that my friends could see how hurt I was and she couldn’t. So the pants coverage issue brings up that same pain. She kept trying to justify what she had said and I started crying. I told her that I want to hear that I just want her to see how hurt I am. She finally stopped trying to justify and just apologized. I said that no one is perfect and I am asking her to be perfect. I just want us as a society, as a group, to stop judging each other’s bodies and do better to each other than what was done to us. I think that’s a good goal to strive for.
Earlier this week I was at work when I ran into a relative. He pointed out that I have slimmed down quite a bit but that the method of losing isn’t as important as how the loss is maintained. I said that I will never go back to eating “normal” foods since I keep researching how typical American foods affect so many diseases. He kept saying the word diet so I responded by saying that heart disease and breast cancer are a choice for most people. He said that it’s the genes and I told him about Dr. Gregor’s great book that specifically adresses how both of these diseases plus several others are affected by dietary choices. He said there will always be another doctor doing another study. I said that that’s true, but given the choice between a single doctor and a single study versus most doctors agreeing about most studies, which is more reliable information? 90% agreement or 10% agreement? Then he said that he didn’t want to stand there and argue with me.
My takeaway from that encounter is that if you mention my body and my appearance, you will hear me talk about why looks are much less important than a healthy diet. For the situation with my mom if anyone talks about my body or anyone else’s body to me I will respond in a way that points out how we need to have more compassion for each other and less judgmental.
In case that didn’t come across clearly: I am not following these dietary guidelines for my looks. I am doing this for health reasons. I understand that my weight is unhealthy so I am losing weight as a result of regaining my health. I also am not at all interested in judging other people for their bodies. We can do better for each other and for ourselves than being that way.
Yes, I’m sensitive. I get upset easily. And I am okay with that.