Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I gained weight... why I still struggle.

So I was debating what I wanted to write about today. I knew I wanted to write something, but was unsure... I was stuck between a serious post and a crunchy-granola-silly hippie post (I got called a hippie today by some of my students... just because I am a hiker and eat non-processed food!).

I decided on the serious post. Because I feel like I need it. I have a been a little lax with my eating this week. Nothing insane, but nothing beneficial to my ultimate goals either.

So I wanted to talk about the reason why I gained weight (not that it isn't complex and varied, but this is definitely where it all began). And it's my mother. She was an amazing woman (and very strict at times!) but it wasn't her behavior that made me eat, it was the fact that I lost her so young.

Some pictures, first:
She was gorgeous!!

Mom and Dad, wedding day!
My mom and I
 I tend to believe I would have been at a healthy weight if she had lived: she kept me moving and active and social and involved. We weren't SUPER healthy eaters, but it wasn't all fast food and junk, either.

She died of brain cancer when I was ten. It was really devastating. I didn't really act like it was (I was a kid) and so maybe no one knew how to help me. I went on with normal life, all normal except that my once petite-thin frame was changing fast. Chubby 11 year old, tending towards actually fat by 12 and 13.

I also was much less social. I didn't get out of the house much or participate in many activities. My mother had been the Girl Scout Leader and I stopped going after she had died.

I had no guidance. My dad was overwhelmed and, I think, in shock. He did what he could: worked, got us to school, cleaned the house. Everything emotional just kind of stopped.

We had plenty of junk in the house then. Me, my dad, and my brother all ended up overweight. Unfortunately, I am the only one who has made a change :(

Things could have been done differently, but I don't feel any anger, either towards myself or towards others, for how my life progressed after she died. We all did our best, tried to keep going even though our whole world had fallen apart. I am glad I have a chance to make it right and make her proud of me, though.

It took ten years after her death for me to become self-aware enough to do something different, to stop hurting and move on. I never really cried about her death till I was older. I didn't realize till then how important she was to me. She was my mother. It was hard to become a woman without her (maybe I didn't really want to and that is why I withdrew from life early on? I don't know).

But that is the major cause of a lot of my emotional, social, and mental problems. I was always a little crazy as a kid (my whole family thought I was a bit strange!) and would probably still be as big a weirdo as I am now even if she hadn't died! But that trauma was the start of most of the problems I am still dealing with now.

It is so odd to know so concretely the root of my overeating. It's also odd that knowing it doesn't always help me to fix it!

I hope that in writing this down and making it public, I will keep her in mind. That she would never have wanted this struggle for me, that she would have been sad to know her death caused so much sadness for so long in me. I want to be a woman that makes her proud: strong (because, oh, she was a strong person inside!), loving, and full of life.


  1. Awwww, honey, I'm so sorry to hear you lost your mother so young...I can't even imagine...I lost my mom last year, she was 50 and it devastated me, but I can't imagine losing my mother at ten years old.

    I sometimes wonder if my mom is cheering me on up there, I bet your mom is doing the same...Hugs to you...

    1. I definitely hope so and think so! Honoring her memory has been the best healing gift ever..

  2. I love to read about great Mums. Mine is not. It makes me feel sad to know I don't have a good Mum. But what a blessing to know others who loved their Mums.

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons.

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom at such a tender age. The pictures you posted are beautiful.

    Your mom would definitely be proud of you and all of your accomplishments. Your strength of character is obvious in your writing. You clearly are already the strong woman you hope to be.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It feels really good to share her and my story, I've kept it in for so long!

  4. I'm so sorry that you lost her at such a young age. This made me teary, she was such a beautiful woman.

    You should be proud of what you've done for yourself, she would be for sure!