One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

WEEKLY QUESTIONS

What do you want them to know?

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This weeks question takes on a more serious tone. A few weeks ago Steph over at Back in Skinny Jeans asked a provocative question that brought out a lot of feelings for me. Feelings I always had but never really faced before.

Steph asked…

What is the one thing you wish your parents, your significant other, siblings, or your friends understood about your body image issues?

I never hid the fact that body image issues actually started my weight problem, not the other way around. Looking back I was a perfectly normal teenager who thought she was fat and turned to food to deal with her unhappiness.

What I never talked about is where I think those body images started. When Steph asked that question, I, almost unconsciously, wrote a response in the comments. It came out of me so fast I don’t even remember writing it.

Dad,

You were the most insensitive, rude, jackass of a father I have ever seen. Who points out to their 12 year old daughter she is "putting on weight"? Who thinks it’s a sign of affection to squeeze my legs and see how "solid" I was? Who asks, in front of other family members, what those marks are on my legs when you know damn well they are stretch marks.

And Dad, seriously, the only time you seemed at all proud of me was when I dieted myself unhealthily down to a reasonable weight. You didn’t care that I was a 16 year old starving herself and then bingeing because she couldn’t figure out why you didn’t love her just the way she was.

Never did you point out my non-weight/appearance achievements. Ummm graduate degree, career at age 21, my own home bought at 22. Nope, you know what you were happiest about. Me, getting married. As if you were scared no one would want my chubby ass.

I know in the end the decisions I make are mine and "blame" is an awfully harsh word but you had a big hand in starting my issues with food.

Thanks for nothing Dad.

Your HEALTHY daughter,
Roni

I’m posting this for two reasons. 1.) To help me deal with old demons and move on with my life. We all have our histories but how we learn and move forward is what really matters. 2.)To show you how much we, as parents, really do affect our kids. All the Moms out there who don’t think their body images will affect their children, all the Dads that make sly remarks about their child’s body size PLEASE be a bit more conscious of your actions. Live a healthy life by example and focus on the things your child accomplishes, not how they look.

I told you Steph’s question hit a little to close to home for me but I think it’s an important question to ask. Sometimes just thinking about a response, even if you never say it aloud helps.

So I mirror Steph and ask…

Do you have anything you want your parents, your significant other, siblings, or your friends to understood about your body/weight issues?

PS Use a fake name if you want, no one has to know it’s you.




Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 39 comments so far.

    Alexia

    September 16, 2008

    Wow! That was powerful. I would write a note to my mother with just as much emotion, I think. Unfortunately, our weight issues are still the major roadblock in our relationship and I’m afraid to let her have much facetime with the kids because she’s the most critical person on the planet. At the same time, I don’t want to deprive my kids of a grandmother. And I’d write a note to my kids, in the future. I am trying to set a good example for them now, every day. We talk about being healthy and strong and active (and act, not just talk).

    Check out Alexias last blog post..Slightly less cranky today. Met exercise goal but gained weight.

    Kari

    September 16, 2008

    Wow am I ever an emotional mess…after reading this post I’m sitting here with streams of tears running down my face. Today I somewhat touched the surface of this on my blog to lose post about how last night I realized that I haven’t let it go. I seriously think that I’m going to take some time this week to think about what I would like to say and then I’m going to write it out. I think the things I shared today and doing this are the first steps of many steps it may take in learning to let it go and move on.
    THANK YOU Roni for sharing yourself with all of us….sometimes it hits a little too close….but it’s in those moments that it helps us realize we are not alone.

    Michelle

    September 17, 2008

    I’d probably write a similar letter to my father. It was heart breaking to hear him tell me I looked “fat” in my wedding dress or to hear my whole life that I was big boned and wouldn’t be skinny like my cousins (what does big boned mean anyway?!?). But getting healthy and running a marathon proved him wrong in the end. I want to be healthy for my 4 year old and my 5 month old, and show them that healthy is the best for life. Thanks for making us think!

    Amanda

    September 17, 2008

    Roni — that meant so much to me. To read that. To have you open up about families and how they affect us and our body image. Because whether or not they mean to, they do. And it’s nice to hear someone say that aloud for once.

    So thanks again.

    P.S.: You’ve got balls LOL!

    Check out Amandas last blog post..Saturday Linkster: Confessions

    EmmaElizabeth

    September 17, 2008

    I think I’d want people to know my weight was just evidence of how unhappy I was. And how my weight was really an obsession that controlled my life for the longest time.

    Check out EmmaElizabeths last blog post..Ohhh Tuesday…

    sarah

    September 17, 2008

    Stepdad:

    You have ruined my life. You took advantage of me when I was only ten years old, and continued to manipulate and abuse me every day for four long years. You told me when my mom was pregnant with YOUR son, that she was a fat pig, and that’s why you liked my body. I was skinny and turning into a woman then, and I couldn’t even enjoy it. I ate as much junk as I could over the years to become that fat pig that you hated, but I just couldn’t gain it fast enough. I got bigger and bigger through my twenties, as if that was something that could erase what happened back then. You stole my youth and all of my self confidence. I don’t even know what being comfortable with my body means because of you. When I feel bad about myself, I always eat, because that’s how I know how to cope.

    Mom: I hate you for not even asking what was wrong with me. For standing there while your husband beat me up. You went from being my best friend to a cold, dead stranger. I’m still not convinced you didn’t know he was molesting me. You never taught me what was wrong and what was right. I still hate you for making me turn him in by myself. I was 14 and it was my first week as a high school sophomore. I never got to be a kid.

    Husband: I’m sorry you have to deal with a woman with body and self esteem issues. I’m sorry that I have flashbacks sometimes, even though it’s been 20 years. I know you say you love me at any size, but it’s a scary thought for me to be loved when I’m skinny. It’s uncharted territory, and I’m scared that when I AM at my goal weight, that my past will come crashing back even more than it does now.

    I thought being skinny and healthy would solve everything…now I’m scared that it will only open a new can of worms.

    roni

    September 17, 2008

    Sarah – I just need to give you a {{HUG}} I hope you have the help you need to deal. Your comment saddened and angered me at the same time.

    Leigh Anne

    September 17, 2008

    {{HUGS}} to everyone out there reading this but not able to comment and for all of those who commented.

    To be honest this is a tough question. My sister and I have previously discussed where we think our body issues and overeating came from and we really struggle to identify when they started or why. It’s definitely something I want to explore deeper.

    The thing I would really like to tell people is to stop making comments about my daughter. It may seem like an innocent “cute” thing to say “Look at that big belly sticking out of your shirt” but it’s not. It takes a very short time for those comments to be internalized and although she is only 2 I doubt those comments will stop coming just because she is 4 or 6 or 10. Instead of praising her for eating her dinner, praise her for the beautiful picture she painted or the song she sang or the story she told. Instead of “treating” her with an ice cream, give her a walk to the park. She would enjoy it just as much. I’m sure I could go on forever but you get the point.

    Michelle

    September 17, 2008

    Roni, that was really powerful and definitely struck a nerve in myself. I have been reading your blog for a long time now and this actually made me want to comment. I have a question for you. My daughter is 8. She is healthy for her size. She recently, though has started asking for more ‘junk’ foods. We limit what she has here at home, but unfortunately grandma and friends give her whatever she wants. She has actually gone up a whole size in clothes really quickly. I am so supersensitive about her weight because I don’t want her to go through what I went/ am going through. But I also can’t ever say anything to her because I totally don’t want her hearing what I heard from my parents growing up! How do you teach your children to be healthy without scarring them for life? Thanks for any input!!

    Christy

    September 17, 2008

    Roni, that was powerful. I think you have made us all emotional.

    Leigh Anne – I think you are completely right with your comments about your daughter. I think more parents should raise kids like you and Roni are….it is the healthy approach.

    Check out Christys last blog post..So much news…

    Christine

    September 17, 2008

    Roni,

    I am sitting here at work … tears just running down my cheeks at what I just read. I am so glad you touched on this topic… I only hope you know how much you help people when you write these very personal and emotional posts. Even if it is just to educate other parents as you stated, how important it is to love your children unconditionally regardless of how they look.
    Thank you Roni for this very important post.
    Your friend
    Christine

    Cath

    September 17, 2008

    I have two young daughters and I am trying to be very careful about how I am wording things. When I am eating a salad and they are eating something else and my daughter asks me “Mommy, why do you eat salads all the time?” my response cannot be “because I am trying to lose weight”. I try to word things so that healthy is more of the focus.

    I also try to make sure we are all pretty active. If they see me doing things and excercising, I am hoping it will set a good example for them.

    Reading your post, Roni, made me realize just how much of an impact we do have on our children. My parents were excellent. I have them to thank for my self esteem. I need to start thanking myself for all the changes I am making to my lifestyle and be patient in losing the weight I want to lose (which is taking a very long time to come off!).

    Shannon F.

    September 17, 2008

    The people in my life will admit we are just “big” people and like to eat. I don’t remember all the comments people made, I only remember 2. My mom told, “When you get pregnant you are going gain everything in your stomach.” and my uncle “Look at those legs!” to which I promptly said, “Big enough to kick your butt!” I was 16 at the time. Now that I am married everyone says “Your too busy to worry!” Those comments don’t bother me, I have always been more frustrated with me and my husband. No matter what I look like he loves me and says so. Trying to explain to him that this is the one thing I am not happy about and would like his help. I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be healthy. No fast food, more vegetables, more water, less Dt. Coke. Trying to do this is hard. Reversing 10 years of not exercising and eating pretty much whatever I want is not easy, but I am getting there. I have goals to run a 5K and at this point I am this ( ) close. My weight is the best it’s been in 13 years. I am making head way and I am proud of myself, that’s the only person I have to impress.

    Keri

    September 17, 2008

    Dad,

    You taught me that my purpose in this world was to be pleasing at all cost (physically and emotionally). I had to teach myself to say “no” without guilt.

    You taught me that my body was dirty and made for abuse. I had to teach myself that my body is a temple for creating and nurturing life.

    You taught me that I was worthless. I had to teach myself that I had the right to be cherished and am wonderful.

    You taught me that I will only feel loved when a guy wants to have sex with me. I had to teach myself that those guys do not love me.

    You taught me that sex was a dirty chore. I had to teach myself that sex can be beautiful and powerful and even damn fun sometimes (with hubby).

    You taught me to be afraid of being attractive and desirable. I had to teach myself feeling beautiful does not mean I’ll be preyed upon.

    You taught me that I was a victim. I had to teach myself that I am a survivor.

    You taught me that men can’t be trusted. My husband taught me that they can.

    You took my youth from me. My children gave it back to me.
    You gave me an unstable foundation. I tore it down and built my own foundation.

    You thought you had me where you wanted me. I showed you that you don’t. You will never meet my children or take part in my life again. I’m teaching you accountability.

    Alisha

    September 17, 2008

    Oh Sarah…that hit something with me too and so then I would have to apologize to my husband and then also to my children for not letting them sleep over somewhere because I am so terrified of things happening to them that I went through. So hugs to you and a shoulder to cry on if you ever need to….I understand. And mostly I would write to my two older brothers who also pointed out the stretch marks on my legs when they demanded I fix them lunch when I was 10. They also pointed out my belly and told me that I had two servings of something and asked if I really needed to eat dinner at all. BUT LOOK AT ME NOW SUCKERS! And the sad thing is, one of them has four daughters now and they are overweight….I try to tell them what matters, but I wonder what they go through at home. :(

    Laurie

    September 17, 2008

    I am so proud of all of you who had the strength to “voice” your anger at those people that hurt you and your self images. Your stories are saddening but your strength to survive and become better people are heartening. Thank you Roni for giving people a forum to share their experiences and help each other heal.

    Michele D

    September 17, 2008

    Well, what a way to give em hell Roni! That was really a great letter to your Dad. I don’t recall you mentioning him a lot…

    I would say a lot to many people. There are my brothers, who NEVER treated me differently because of my size. For all the fighting we did as kids, they were the VERY BEST when it came to that one thing.

    Mom,

    I hate that you were gone from my life at the times I felt I needed you most. You raised two relatively healthy average sized boys. But you shipped me off to my grandparents as a toddler, and they fed me ANYTHING I wanted. I don’t blame them, I blame you for my early bad eating habits. It was your job to teach me and you were not there. You were off “finding me a father” (partying).

    When I started school I came to live with you. You were married and had another toddler by that time, and a husband who truly hated me. What a father you found, eh? He beat on you, then later on me. I sat next to him at the dinner table and ate everything on my plate because he said I had to. You piled it up ridiculously. I weighed 126 by fourth grade! Did you even know that?? I only knew because we were weighed in class and it was announced to everyone!!! I weighed as much as the biggest boy who I always considered to be one of the fat kids. I was one too! Imagine my heartbroken 10 year old self realizing that!

    When I was 12 and you had had another child and divorced your husband, you found yourself a boyfriend. He was 24, and he seemed to dominate your time. He and all of his other friends who you partyed with. You spent most of your time with him in a hotel in Hershey. We kids were at home with the couple who we shared a house with. A man and his wife…he who would end up in prison for murder, and she who probably actually committed the crime. I had eaten my way up to 164!!! AT 12!!!

    You went through a series of other boyfriends (men you had sex with), all the while paying no attention to anything I did, least of all what I put in my mouth. You were busy doing coke and getting skinny that way. Did you even know how big I was getting?

    By the time I started high school I wanted to join something…anything, so I felt like I belonged because I didn’t feel like it at home. I went to band front practices all summer and when try-outs came along I chickened out and knew that you wouldn’t come to anything anyway so I didn’t do it. Our drum major later told me I was in, that try-outs were just a formality. One of my biggest regrets there. I joined chorus and started to create great friendships…but was still a wreck about home life. At 16 I am sure you recall my passing out in school and ending up in the hospital for 4 days…I nearly died, and I tell you, it was this first time in years I felt like you paid attention to me.

    There’s so much more I could vent on you for…but I really am trying to let it all go. You just always seemed so busy with your own stuff you never had time for me. I ate to feel better, or to feel something….and later ended up making some of the same bad choices you made. I hope I’m better than that now…and that you are too…

    Michele

    Liz

    September 17, 2008

    even after years of therapy, this question made me cry. my parents were trying to help me be healthy but in the end it just felt like rejection. doing weight watchers with your mom at the age of 12 sucks, especially when she succeeds and you dont. having your father say if you just lost 20 pounds, you’d be pretty, really sucks. i know my parents meant well, but after being in inpatient treatment for an eating disorder, i have seen these stories repeated too many times. i always want to say to parents, let kids be kids. dont push them too hard, let them enjoy the time in life when concerns such as body image shouldn’t bother them. let them feel confident in who they are, not worry how they look. healthy for many people means skinny, but thats not necessarly true.

    Tricia

    September 17, 2008

    Wow! I am speechless. Everyone who has posted so far is so very brave. This is an amazing post, and I hope that writing down your feelings has helped even just 1 person “let go” of the past. You are more than what has happened to you.

    Suzyn

    September 17, 2008

    This was truly incredible Roni, I could have written that same post to my Mom. The only comfort I have is now that she is on the other side she will truly know what she did… Mom: it was always, if you were only slim then you’d be perfect. I think the whole reason I got involved with my ex husband was that you said no one would ever love me if I was overweight. Lord I try to forgive you, and for the most part I have, but you did some major damage…

    I would also add, Dad: I am angry at you for being such a passive person in your relationship with mom that you never – not once – stood up for me. But you too have your issues with weight, overweight equals bad person, slob, to you… which I guess is why you went with Mom, who until her last few years was a toothpick…

    And Fiance: you’re a toothpick, your whole family is thin, yet you judge me for being overweight. Do I come down on you for smoking and having lied to you about being a smoker before we met? In the beginning you nearly threw US away because I had a belly. It’s always “I need to see you trying to get into shape”, and yet your infidelities have all been with overweight women. You need due to your insecurities to be with someone not as pretty as you – but even at this weight I am prettier than you… But the eye candy you stare at so indiscreetly when we’re out is thin to the point of anorexia. Make up your freakin mind! So hypocritical. What happens when I get to goal? What happens when I am in shape? Will be interesting to see…

    I guess what I want to say to ALL of them is “you have no idea what it is to live this, so stop judging me and start supporting me. I am tired of living by ANYONE’S standards but my own.”

    Check out Suzyns last blog post..Brian

    Shawnda

    September 17, 2008

    Reading these posts makes me want to cry. I too can unfortunately relate all too well. The only difference is I am not courageous enough to write my story in words. I know too well the roller coaster of emotional eating. Hunger is not being fed, it is just emotion. God bless you all and Roni you really have guts to start this topic on your site ….and to post a letter to your dad.

    Shawnda

    September 17, 2008

    Suzyn…please dont marry that fiance. For what you wrote here I would be running in the oppostite direction. I have been there, done that. I was in that same kind of relationship when I was younger. I dont know you, but I have lived that same story. You will never be good enough in his eyes..yet you are better than he ever deserved. And believe me, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have been married several years to my wonderful husband (best friend) who loves me just as I am.

    deanna

    September 17, 2008

    Thank you for sharing. That was open honest and I hope it helps you. Time to write my letter… and heal some old wounds

    Suzyn

    September 17, 2008

    Shawnda,
    Thank you so much for your reply… I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I am in the process of making some very tough decisions, not rushing myself in one direction or the other. Your words helped enormously.

    Check out Suzyns last blog post..Brian

    patty

    September 17, 2008

    Roni
    When i first read what you wrote i thought wow… hope she doesn’t regret writing this later… but as i read on this a.m. and now i’ve realized that you opened pandora’s box (in a good way) and allowed others to open up and vent… this exercise is extremely liberating. we all have our story or else we wouldn’t be in this position. my dad on his death bed said to me “lose the weight”. I know he died feeling badly about my weight and that only made my weight isue continue since he passed away 20 years ago. now i find myself wondering if and when my mom’s time comes (she is 80 now) she’ll feel the same way – so now i find myself on WW yet again to make sure i don’t have to live feeling that i disappointed my mom/dad for being overweight…. IT’s not the way i want it to be but i’m OP now for the past few weeks and doing well. Your site has given me courage to face the truth and move on. thank you as always for being the beautiful Roni. xo Patty

    Annette

    September 17, 2008

    very powerful Roni! I don’t really have weight issues from past relationships. My weight was put on as an adult out of boredom and living a life of denial.

    Great food for though :)

    Check out Annettes last blog post..I’m Addicted

    Cassie

    September 17, 2008

    I read this blog a lot and never comment. Today I feel like I need to. I’m not trying to lose weight. In fact, I’m in outpatient treatment for an eating disorder. I have struggled with this for 4 years. My anorexia has left me with a broken hip, osteoporosis, and I won’t be able to have children. I am 26 years old. When I was little, my mom made comments about my weight and her weight on a daily basis. She constantly compared me to other kids saying I was bigger. This continued my whole life. I was always average height and weight, my mom wanted me to be very thin. My dad would comment on my eating habits if I had an extra bowl of ice cream or another pancake. When I turned 21 I met the man of my dreams. He told me he loved me and I was great but that I should just lose 5 lbs and I would be perfect. So I lost 40. This man and I are no longer together and I am in the process of writing a letter to my mom that is similar to Roni’s.
    Thank you Roni for being an inspiration. Not just for someone trying to lose weight, but to those of us who just need some encouragement every now and then. You are amazing.

    Claudia

    September 17, 2008

    Mom, I know you meant well. But your constant comments about how I don’t need to eat that because you didn’t want me to become a “fat kid” like you were, and the daily weigh-ins when I was in middle school were really just a projection of your negative body image issues onto me. I know you grew up in a different time where healthy = skinny. I’ve learned how to live a healthy life, and I hope to pass that on to my kids rather than my body issues.
    ……….
    I recently had a conversation with my mom and I told her that I don’t want to hear her comments about my weight anymore. I’m getting married in 9 months, and am sure she would like me to lose some weight before the wedding, but I don’t want to hear about it from her. My fiance loves me no matter what I weigh, and is with me for our future HEALTHY life together.

    Brandy

    September 17, 2008

    Mom,

    You probably never knew how much it hurt when you talked about how fat you were (and you were a size 2!). You probably don’t know how, as an insecure, uncomfortable teenager, I believed that I was fat because I was bigger than you and I was so embarrassed because my mom was so much smaller than I was.

    You probably don’t realize how hurtful all the comments about my big boobs were. Pointing them out to me in front of other family members and making a big deal out of it is something I still have a hard time remembering. Do you know how much I wished I didn’t have boobs at all? How mortified I was?

    You probably didn’t know about my freshman year in high school, how I stopped eating nearly entirely so that I could fit into the jeans you used to wear in high school. I wanted to be exactly the same size you were.

    Even now, you talk about being fat and you’re only a size 6! Do you realize you cut the heart of your daughter, who at the time was a size 22? If you think you’re fat, what in the world did you think about me?

    I love you, but I hope I’m not like you when it comes to sending body images to my children.

    suzan

    September 17, 2008

    Roni,,What a powerful topic…You have given so many this gift of cleansing..I am so thankful I had great; loving parents and I do not have to write such a letter..I will say to each of you that have added your letters.I am so sorry and sad you’ve had to go through this,,and I am just appalled there are so many stories like yours..Perhaps this is where we must start to built a better America for each of us.

    Brianne

    September 17, 2008

    I want thank all you who have shared your stories. I’m so sorry that many of you have suffered so much abuse.

    Mine’s going to be different. My weight issues are genetics/poor choices/emotional & recreational eating.

    Dear Mom and Dad,

    I love you. Thank you for telling me I was beautiful all the time. I always said, “you have to say that, you’re my MOM!” but I knew deep down you were right. Thank you Mom, for never talking about your own weight even when you became overweight. Thank you, Dad, for telling anyone who would listen that my mother was the most beautiful woman you’d ever seen.

    Mom, I do wish you hadn’t used food as a reward, but now that I’m a mom, I understand that line of thinking. But I do remember you cutting my lunch carrots into flowers and I really appreciate that. I also wish you could have curbed your emotional eating better, but you had a pretty screwed up childhood and you are only human. You did your best and I love you for it.

    Dad, thanks for going walking with me in the evening during my high school years. Just talking with you was magic–it still is.

    Mom, I’m so glad you encouraged me to play baseball in 2nd grade. That lead to lifelong love of team sports and athletics and self-esteem.

    Thank you for loving me just as I was and am. I love you.

    Brianne

    Christie

    September 18, 2008

    Wow, this is pretty emotional for many people.

    I think my parents did a pretty good job as far as body image is concerned. I was the “smart” one — they didn’t focus on weight for any of us (me or my siblings).

    If I could say something to my friends/family who aren’t concerned about their health now it would be:

    I have seen what being overweight does to a person as they age from working at the hospital. You have take care of yourself NOW while you still are young enough to make a difference. I really care for each of you and it’s important to me that you take control of the problems that you have and work on making your relationship with food and with exercise a good one. I know that I can’t make the decision for you but I want to be able to work as a team (and a family) toward our goals.

    crazylady

    September 18, 2008

    Amazing, strong post Roni. I admire you so much for your honesty. I am also in awe of all the others who shared. I wish you all every success in your journey.

    I don’t remember much being said in my childhood about weight. Now my mum tries to help but it really doesn’t. “You look so slim in those clothes” translates to “I’m fat but I don’t look it right now” in my head. She’s in the same boat as me though. I know it’s her way of trying to help me and stop me getting to the size she is. I also know I have a choice in how I react to or interpret her comments. We can all be our own worst critics.

    I need to take on most of the responsibility for my eating habits. Sure society and family probably had some effect but right now it’s all down to me.

    I also need to realise how lucky I am not to have experienced some of the stories mentioned above. I admire you all for being able to share, for being able to work on recovering your lives and for just being able to get up in the morning. Be proud.

    Karen

    September 18, 2008

    What a riveting topic! Having read through all of these I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to have such wonderfully supportive parents. No matter what size, my parents never criticized, and never made my physical appearance an issue at all. I think I will call them tonight just to thank them for being my parents. Hugs to you all!

    Check out Karens last blog post..

    Rebecca

    September 22, 2008

    I am late reading this but all I can say is WOW. I could have written that. Also at 35 and at a very healthy weight and lifestyle my dad came over the other night and as a friendly gesture grabbed by extra skin at my waist. You know Roni the skin that will never go away unless I have it removed(I would do it in a heart beat). Old feelings came rushing back.
    Rebecca.

    Nina

    October 24, 2008

    Roni, thank you ever so much!

    I could have written exactly the same letter! My father, as I already wrote, was like the 13-year-old jackasses at school who called me “fat swine”, and he only commented on my non-appearance achievements when they were really outstanding.

    However, he always commented on someone my age on TV, playing the violin virtuously, winning a medal at the Olympics, etc. Today I would have commented, “Maybe they have a loving father who supports them…”, but then I just didn’t but devoured my fury. I was really furious and I could have literally kicked him everyday, for about 9 years. I am really sorry to say that because it is my dad, but it was really hard for me to forgive him. And especially because he had weight and self-esteem issues himself, never even tried to face and solve them and told me I was going the easy way when I went into therapy and went on diets. When I was angry or tried to discuss things with him, he basically always said I had the problem, not him. And he also pinched me in the belly or legs. I learned from him that I was worthless if I wasn’t thin, no matter what I did or was apart from overweight.

    He only stopped teasing me after I had lost 40lbs because that impressed him, as he had never achieved such a thing himself.

    I know he had very serious problems with his father and never had a role-model himself, but this cannot be a total excuse for me. He became 18 years old and older, and one of the tasks you have to face when you get older is to teach yourself things your parents didn’t or couldn’t do. And be kind of thankful for the positive things they did, and he did some, too, even though they are not part of my post. It was hard for me to discover them or the parts of me I inherited from him which are positive, but in the end I kind of succeeded.

    And, contrary to him and the good things about my granddad whom I never met, I could also name his good qualities. That’s why I forgave him in the end and my mom for staying with him. My mom did so many good things for me apart from staying with my dad at that time, and my dad tried his best even if it wasn’t much for a long time. And he said sorry in the end, which was one of the most important things for me.

    @ all fathers out there, especially if you have girls: love your children, no matter what they look like! They have your genes and partly your abilities, so try to make the best of them by protecting them like you would protect yourself. Teach them about food and health instead of bullying them, and be a role model. Practice what you preach! They are taking you very seriously, and you should not be the one to teach them that there are liars and frauds in the world by being one yourself!

    If a girl really is unhealthily overweight, she won’t get any better by teasing, but worse! If you comment on a girls weight like this, you will lose her, she will never ever trust you again because you hurt a very essential point in her. Men who she wants as boyfriends are bad enough if they make those comments, but you are in a special position for your child, and if you want to take sides with the jackasses who are her age, you better think again!!!! At least twice!!!

    Love,
    Nina

    Janie

    December 16, 2008

    This is an extremely powerful topic and definitely an emotional one for me as well. I would write a letter to my mom…

    She wasn’t as blatant as your dad, but she is always making me feel bad about my weight. She makes little comments about everything I wear, to the point that I don’t even want to see her b/c I don’t want to hear what she has to complain about. I learned to turn to food as a comfort from her, but she doesn’t realize that her comments only make me want to binge. This is something I am working very hard to overcome. I have been doing fairly well, but it’s a struggle every single day

    Sarah

    September 1, 2009

    I came across your site through dietgirl.org. Our stories are so similar, although it sounds as if you had more of a relationship with your father than I ever did. However, when I did see him, which was very rarely, he almost always commented on my weight. At his funeral many people did not even know he had children. I am sad that he passed away at such a relatively young age, but I am more saddened by the fact that I never really had a father, not one that loved me unconditionally. My mother is not off the hook entirely, she was always incredibly concerned with her weight and to this day does not really participate in life because she is not happy with her weight. When I was at my thinnest, in college she said things like.. well just 10 more lbs and you’ll be normal. UGH so maddening. I know she loves me and only wants the best for me but she has a hard to realizing that I am not as distressed about my weight issue as she is. I have a full life even if I am chubby. I want to be healthy and I am. I am not thin but I am training for a triathlon.

    vaubr95

    November 22, 2013

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