Sunday, October 17, 2010

Feeling Comfortable in My Genes

This is a post I wrote a few weeks ago when my mom was visiting. 
 I wasn't sure if I should post it or not. Still not sure...

Today was a momentous one for me in relation to my weight loss in a couple different ways.

First, you know that pair of jeans in your closet that doesn't fit you anymore but you still hang on to because you absolutely love them and you're just so sure you're going to be able to fit into them again?  I fit into mine today!  The cutest pair of Banana Republic cropped boyfriend jeans from over 6 years ago that I wore only once (before seeing my gorgeous, skinny neighbor in the same pair and realized they didn't look anything like that on me) and vowed I'd get my big 'ol butt in them properly some day.  Well, today was that day!

Secondly, it was the first time I'd seen my mom since I started this weight loss journey five months ago.  Let me first state that I adore my mother with all of my heart.   However, in addition to being wonderful, kind, caring, thin, and beautiful she also has a slight obsession with weight (namely mine).  It's kind of difficult to write about because not only do I not want to hurt her feelings, but it's been a contentious issue for many years - one that rather than argue about we tend to sweep under the rug. I am only brave enough to write this now because I know she can't read it as the only computer in our household happens to be in my hot little hands. Sorry mom.

Don't be a hater though. My mom's mild preoccupation with my weight is truly out of love. She wants me to be happy and healthy - there's nothing wrong with that.  Considering my genetic make-up it's normal to be concerned about what could've happened to me if I were to have continued to spiral out of control (hyper-tension, heart disease, cancer....and that's just the first page of my dad's medical history!).  Sometimes, however, the way in which she expressed her motherly love felt more like disappointment to me that it was meant to. 

What it comes down to is this: my parents raised a perfectionist.  I was this way not because they expected perfection from me (they didn't), but because that is how I was (am!) wired.  When I got older, however, I found myself doing everything possible to shake that damn perfectionist because I had realized something...I was not, nor would I ever be perfect.  Once I realized this it occurred to me that no matter what I did I was obviously going to let everyone down so might as well just become the antithesis of perfect which, to me at the time, was fat.

That didn't go over real well for Joycy because a) she loves me b) she loves my family c) she knew I was hurting and using the fat to hide that - she's my mom after all, she can see through anything (even layers of adipose tissue!).  So when my few extra pounds appeared to be turning into an extra 40 pounds she took notice and attempted to help.  The only problem was - what's that old addage - you can't help someone if they don't want to be helped?  That was me.

Things are different now, though, and I just couldn't wait to show her that her little girl was done hiding. She was, not surprisingly, thrilled to see the changes.  

Yep, even at 37 years old a daughter still craves her mother's approval.


  1. Amy,

    This is a very beautiful and open post. I am glad that you decided to share... and psyched about your jeans!

    My parents also raised a perfectionist, accidentally. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I could share some of mine with you sometime as well. I really relate to what you shared about perfection and your inner battles. I never had to battle my weight until I was older and so frustrated with that unattainable goal. Your outlook and growth are immensely inspiring to me. Thank you.

    - Kel

  2. Amy,

    You are amazing. Enough Said. Celebrate those genes and jeans. You deserve it. I traveled a similar journey about 2.5 years ago and still walk down the path today making sure to be in control of my weight as it is so much easy to tinker with 4 or 5 pounds than the 40. I am happy that through the feelings you can see your mom really only cares because she LOVES you and wants what is best. When I went through my transition my mom pretended to be thrilled although behind the sense she and my sister had one comment, "Well of course she lost the 40 pounds, like everything in her life, it all is easy for her. Everything is just handed to her." The two of them have never been able to see that the perfectionist that grew up in the same house as my sister and raised by the same parents actually puts in a lot of effort to get as close to perfection as possible in all efforts in life. I too know that perfection is NOT possible but I like to fight for the next best thing. Needless to say the journey in weight and body image continues. Oh well, that is life as I know it.

    Amy, congratulations, run around and dance in your jeans. Show them off.
    Love you,

  3. Congrats on getting into those jeans!!! Great work!

    As for the other part, thank you for sharing. I know it must have been difficult.

  4. a. You are fantastic. FANTASTIC!
    b. YES, you should have posted that. Because I also have a closet full of no-way-are-these-not-buttoning-why-the-h-did-I-drink-all-that-beer-and-eat-all-that-pizza-over-the-summer jeans (from Jean Theory, plug plug). Seriously, it inspired and encouraged me on my own weight loss journey today (I read it with my protein shake in my hand.) I know a couple other fantastic women who I am going to forward it to. They will be encouraged more than you know. Thanks being so Amy and so authentic. I hardly know you. But, your words in this blog have impacted me!
    Melissa Collier
    PS I was signed up to do Real Girls Run and had to cancel. So bummed! It would have been great to see you out there. Next year, real girl. Next year.