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    "Hope is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul,
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Eunoia

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ok, I just really feel like letting this out b/c it's frustrating me. I can think of so many occasions when I was younger when even as a child weight issues and body image issues came up in regards to people around me, family, relatives, friends... and I don't mean b/c there were actually issues. no, everyone was healthy then or seemed to be! I was always a very skinny child (until my teenage yrs hit which threw me off completely) but I've always been at a good weight etc. for my height (despite what I actually feel like or see myself as or think I look like). but there's several occasions that come to mind:

one of my friends had this carved wooden plate in her house w/ nice colors on it and embroidery around its edges and it had this saying on it- I don't remember the exact words but it was something along the lines of "dear Lord, please protect us and bring us happiness and make me be skinny and my friends/family be skinny so that we can be happy" or something along those lines. no I am not religious, nothing against anyone who is. but why in the world would you have something like this in your hous and for your children to see and your children's friends? and why would your life and happiness depend so obviously on being skinny???
another friend's family insisted that she was not friends w/ any fat people. I am dead serious. she was not allowed to have friends who were above average in weight or overweight b/c they were seen as bad people for her to hang out w/ (her family has no obious weight probs). again, WHY would parents say something like that???
then, my parents of course. my mom in particular would always tell us about how skinny she was when she was our age and how great she looked and list us her ways of getting to that point (may I add, none of those were healthy ways) and how she would always and still does make it a point to bring up her dress size back then (no longer) and compares it to us now and thrives on what she was like then. and then, when she actually did suspect a problem w/ my eating habits per say what did she do?? she got mad at me!!! like if getting mad at a child would make that child admit to what they're doing/their problem (mind you I didn't know this was a problem). I still live to become the way she was (I am not saying this is the reason for everything I am just saying this still affects me today).

now why, please tell me why, do parents do this??? I am by no means saying all parents do this. or that any of the parents, including mine, are bad parents when it comes down to it, but why can't they see what their words and behaviors do to their kids???? neither am I blaming my ed or issues on them.. I know there's lots of reasons why but I do think this definitely did not help. Parents are supposed to protect you. I have no more words to describe how I feel about this
 

Heather

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Oh hun, not good.

I am so sorry that she did this to you, not only did she not protect you but she made the situation worse.

((((((Hugs)))))) if ok.

Heather...
 
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...

Not all parents do that.. but for those that do they don't really agnolidge probably that wel we llive in a world thatputs enphasis on our weight all ready and it is hard for us as we become adult to live with that.. our parents on one point want us to be happy and to them being a bit overweight or a lot would makeus miserable so we try to put ourselves to the perfect weight.. they don't do it to hurt us they do it b/c they think it will help us but they just don't really understand that it doesn't help at alll.
ashley-kate
 

Eunoia

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I know that not all parents do this. but having parents myself who do and knowing others who do sure doesn't help. parents should teach their child to grow up w/ good self esteem based on measures of well adjustment and adaptability and social skills etc... not how you look like on the outside. in pushing that viewpoint they are saying, yes, we agree, society is right and you will be unhappy if your grow up to be something besides perfection.

but you know what I find the most astonishing? that people who are not the perfect size and who might even be considered fat are sometimes SO much happier than those trying to struggle to become that perfect image. that is astonishing! they have something that I long for and yet it comes in the form least expected and repelled.

I just don't understand why everywhere this is the feedback you get, from society, from friends, from work, from your own parents and family. I just don't get it. It really really hurts. I didn't really think about this part until recently and it's suprising how much of those kind of memories I have shuffed away.... will I ever be ok? will I ever be able to know what "normal" is in regards to body image and weight and food? they can't even see what's going on!!! they applaud great looks and sucess, yet they do not have the slightest undestanding at what price it comes. I can't think but that I will end up being one of those as a parent. I don't want to but it's so ingrained... why change if clearly it's ok for them, if life is good, right? maybe happiness comes after accomplishing this goal, even though I would like to believe happiness comes from w/in yourself and then you can accomplsih goals- but my inside feels empty and black. so that won't work.
 
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...

the best thing you can try to do is try to be stronguer han th voices of your pears telling you that being skinny is soo much fun . cause some girls that are already skinny hate it nd would love to gain a few pounds but they can't so well ther eis too extremities.. and as you said some people that are a bit bigger than te average person seem so much happier than girls that spend most of there time trying to be something thy are not .. we all have a perfect size and it is not the one that society gives us it is in us it's the way we are once we start taking drastci mesures to lose weight then it is because we are trying to go under our normal size.. If we lose weight by eating good food's and the right amount everyday it is because we are not at the right size i believe but once we stop losing weight then we have reached the right weight and our body will stabalise and we won't need ot lose weight anymoe there i no reason to starve ourselves or make ourselves sick to be thin .. it is not worth it
.ours trully ashley
 

Heather

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Oh honey,

It is so so wrong, and you are so right that people who are not the perfect size often seem so much happier! And so you wonder why society is so painful about this issue.

I went anorexic when I was about 16 and I was actually encouraged by friends and family!!! Luckily there was one friend who told the nurse at School and she wanted to see me and I was ok, out in hospital and was I dunno the word ‘cured’ maybe!?!?

Anyway I think that you don’t have anything to worry about re: you being one of those parents, because you have identified that you are at risk of being one, this is the first step in not becoming one! It is like me, I was abused as a child and have had a fear that if I have children I will abuse them but I have identified that I am at risk of doing this and so I am therefore at less of a risk you know?

Heather…
 

comfortzone

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Hi Eunoia,

I am sorry that your mother makes reference to her dress size in such a hurtful manner. She must not feel good enough so she has to let everyone know how good she USED TO be. Funny thing about the past is it is gone...over...no longer exists. Too bad your mother can't find something more productive to do with her time. I am not judging your mother just wishing she could have been more caring for you.

I have had to fight my weight most of my life. When I was a teenager I was overweight (not that bad by some standards) but there was a family friend who would poke me in the belly and say, "Fat!" When he first started to do this I was hurt. However, some time later when he poked me and said, "Fat!" I stepped over and poked him in the head (lightly) and said, "Fat!" Then I told him I would rather have my weight where I could lose it instead of in my head! The words we use to describe ourselves and others can be both edifying and destructive. I look back across the years and I am thankful that I have been me no matter what my size. It is just like mental health issues...my physical shape is not what defines who I am.

Please take care!
 

Heather

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Love the come back as well that is awsome!

When I was younger I was picked on for being thin (amongst other things) and my friend was picked on for being fat and we used to get the fatty and skinny jokes!

Anyway I used to come back with at least ours can be fixed, where as mental deficienties are there for life!

Not the nicest thing to say and I mean no harm to anyone (in fact I have depression and mental illness runs in the family), but it was the only thing that I could say to get them off my case! I was about 10 or 11 then!!!

Heather...
 

Diana

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It seems like there are always messages out there concerning weight. Whether it's someone saying you have to eat more, or someone commenting on weight gain. I realize that people with ed's put more emphasis on this, but sometimes I really don't believe that it's ONLY what we think we're hearing from other people. Even people who are comfortable with being "heavier" still make comments about themselves. It's in a joking way and they still might be very confident people, but obviously there is still a slightly negative feeling they have about their bodies.
OK, here's a situation. I live in Korea, and many of you know that I have a Korean boyfriend. Supposedly he used to be really thin - well muscular but with no fat on him. Over the last few years he's put on weight. Every and I mean EVERY old friend, aquaintance or someone he hasn't seen in a long time comments on his weight - and I'm serious, it's like one of the first things they say. They call him a pig in Korean and laugh about it. He laughs too. He finds it slightly annoying, but it doesn't really bother him. Anyway, I know that I'm living in a completely different culture, and when I talked to him about it he told me that it's OK to say that to a man, but that nobody says it to a woman. He and his cousin even have a friend who they call "Pig". I used to jump in when they said that and try to say that it's not nice, but their friend laughs too, and he doesn't even look embarrassed.
Another thing is that my boyfriend has been the size he is for at least 2 years. EVERY time he visits his family and goes to his home town they bug him about his weight. It's not like they don't know what he looks like.
Anyway, I realize that this is kind of a different situation since it's mostly a cultural difference. But, especially for someone like me who has issues with food and weight it's just harder to understand. I don't worry about it much and I usually laugh it off, but I just find it kind of unbelievable. And then, even though many Koreans will make comments like that they still encourage you to eat and eat and eat.
I'm also a vegetarian and I don't like to eat rice at every meal. Therefore, my boyfriend's parents think I don't eat at all. I love kimchi and spicy foods, but it's still not enough. I'm not a big person, but I'm not so small - like my boyfriend's 2 neices are skinnier than me. But people in his family will still take my wrist and say that it's too small.
I guess in the end, it's kind of good for me to have to experience things like this and different ways of acting. However, it's just the fact that weight issues seem to always be present and such a concern of everyone. I realize that some people are genuinely concerned about your health. However, it tends to go beyond that sometimes. I'm not trying to be negative, but only explain that I understand how some of you feel about it being around so often.
 

sister-ray

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Nice one comfortzone, your family friend deserved that!

I can relate to what people have said here after putting on weight a while ago after quitting smoking,it changed my partners and others perception of me, except for a couple of long time friends who knew me well. I went from 9stone to 14stone at one point. At this time my partner who I thought loved me, started to see my weight gain as a continual source of amusement, and taunted me to my face, infront of friends and behind my back. The worse of it was when he did it when we where being intimate, I found his remarks so cruel and it started to put me of closeness with him, one night whilst making love he came out with a statement I wont ever forget , he said I had enough fat on my body to cook his chips in for the coming year,, that night I ended the relationship asked him to leave my flat and told him to never come back. Looking back I dont think he did really love ME, because if he did my weight gain wouldn't have mattered one bit.
 

Diana

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I'm sorry to hear about that boyfriend you had. That's harsh. But, you're right. He didn't love you. Making fun of you was probably his way of making you feel less so he could "control" you to a certain extent. If he is that kind of person, then he probably would have found another way to put you down if you hadn't gained weight. I
 

Eunoia

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I have to agree, nice comeback Bill!

I guess what this comes down to is that there's just a lot of emphasis on body image and weight issues and food all across cultures and relationships.... parents for me (among others), b/f issues for someone else... but I can't name you one person who I know who is completely comfortable w/ their body image. I wish I knew someone like that. people are so negative without even noticing it. part of my background is from a culture where food is very much appreciated and valued and used for every occasion you can think of, but then again, like Diana said, even in Asia where people tend to be skinny and also healthier (traditionally) there's emphasis on that, in a different way, but people clearly know the difference btwn what someone is supposed to look like and what's "abnormal".
 

Diana

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And then there's the question What's "normal" or "abnormal"? Is abnormal just being very unhealthy or having proportions that clothing companies don't take into consideration? Do you know what I mean? I guess what it comes down to is nobody's perfect in they're looks or anything else. Look at how obsessed we are with attitude. How often do people gossip? After meeting someone for the first time usually you're going to talk about that person's behaviour. There could be many reasons for having negative or positive comments about his/her behaviour. Maybe he/she is awkward when meeting people for the first time. Maybe the person was extremely nice, but forgot to offer money for part of the bill. We pick up on small things and judge people. I guess my point is that people and societies do obsess with things other than weight. But, of course you shouldn't judge a person badly for their weight, whereas there are extreme examples of people who are very mean. I don't know if you get my point, but I think perfection or imperfection is just perspective.
 

comfortzone

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Thanks eveyone!

Diana...I think people will do anything to distract the attention away from themselves and focus it on someone else for whatever reason. I don't think there is anyone who is "normal" as we as humans have some trait or behavior that might not meet the criteria for what others think should be normal. When something "bothers" me about another person, I stop and ask myself..."Is this about you or about them?" If it is about me...I move on without further ado. Hope that makes sense...just woke up. HEHE!
 

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