My parents are to blame!

Discussion in 'Strugglers and Restarters' started by CuddlePaws, 3 January 2009 Social URL.

  1. CuddlePaws

    CuddlePaws Full Member

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    I've been doing alot of thought recently, about my weight, why I eat the things I do? What causes my emotional compulsions to overeat at a whim?

    So I sat at a cafe recently and watched the thin girl on the other table eating her meal. I observed these things:

    a) She ate without looking at her food much at all, (she was chatting too, but you could see that getting the food down was not the priority!)
    b) She ate slowly and left some food on her plate ! (Something I only do if I dislike what I'm eating, and I generally wolf my food down whilst staring at it the whole time). I even feel disappointment when the plate is almost empty!

    Then I thought to myself, 'Has she always been like this?' Could she have been like me and changed her lifestyle? Or was she raised to think about food like that?

    This brought me to think about how I was raised and how my parents fed me as a child. I was horrified to recall that my dad used to take me to the bakery after school each day and I would buy TWO (not one!) but TWO cakes. I even remember that they were a chocolate eclair and a jam doughnut! (Probably because I loved them both and didn't want to choose.) And my dad let me do this! Why? It's as if greed was acceptable.

    I also recall eating a whole packet of biscuits once in front of the TV. I must have been about 12 years old. Again, I;m thinking why did they let me do this?

    I become angry when I think about this sometimes. This is why I cannot view food the way the girl in the cafe does! This is why I have an emotional attachment to food. I have been raised to overeat! Food = happiness (the end of bad feelings!)

    How many of you can recall overeating as a child or being given junk food as treats?

    Is this why we run to food/binges when we can't cope with adult problems? To re-visit that inner child?

    Yes, I definitely think my parents are to blame for my lifetime of a bad relationship with food, but I am old enough now to be wise about it and to choose differently.
     
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  3. pete10141748

    pete10141748 Postaholic

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    One of the things the counselling on LL does it get your to figure out where your bad eating ways come from, and it looks like you have been doing just that, well done!

    I wouldn't say I "blame" my parents, it's not their fault I'm fat, but the way they raised me and certain things I was always told have definately contributed to my overeating and bad attachments to food.

    I recall, my Mum always telling me "finish what is on your plate or you get no dessert". Now, that logic is extremely twisted; how can it make sense to say "unless you eat all your chips, you get no cake"?!?!?


    I have spoke to her about this in the past, she says every time that "as a mother, you have a natural instinct to feed your child. After all, if your baby doesn't eat and get bigger, you know something is wrong".

    Again, twisted logic but I half-way see where she is coming from.
    She still does it now though to my brother X, who is 21, walks around Sainsbury's picking total crap up saying "X likes these", piling the trolley with all kinds of sugary junk; it jusy doesn't occur to her that, actually, she is making him much more unhealthy by feeding him up like that!

    But then it's to be expected, it is all based on 'learned' behaviour, as I observed over Xmas this year; my Mum's parents are exactly the same to her and her sisters. My mum sits there and says she wants to lose a few stone, to her mum who needs to lose about half her body weight, and yet when they are having dinner, Nan is telling Mum to eat everything up, and Grandad gives her things off his own plate to boot!

    I almost laughed when my Nan half-jokingly said to my brother "dont leave that potato, or there's no chistmas pud later for you" :rolleyes:



    It really is amazing and frightening when you look around and realise just how much of our day to day relationship with food is either nonsensicle or wrongly programmed into us by our childhood experiences.
     
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  4. Katycakes

    Katycakes Stubborn tortoise

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    Cuddlepaws & Pete, this rang very true with me too! I think many of us struggling in adult life are clinging onto patterns we learned when we were very young. Food is often an expression of love when it comes to parents and children, but it was never really a chocolate bar i needed but hugs & love... no wonder the two got so muddled up!
    I worry about doing the same to my kids, but hope I have pulled back from doing so... do feel guilt though as they are teens now & can see the mess I'm in!!! Parents often do have a problem denying their children food, as we see on the tv progs about obese children, but in my case I was given food when something else was what I actually wanted - attention, love?
    I too would love to take food in my stride, like the girl in the cafe... if only!
    And Pete, you're so right, it still goes on. I've been doing Cambridge Sole source (ie, no food as such) since end of Nov, & my mum knows this. It took her weeks to stop buying me cream cakes and trying to blackmail me into eating them. She'd greet me with a hug & say 'Oh, thank goodness, you're still big!' I mean... what's THAT all about? And at Xmas she gave me a big box of chocs which a few days later I found myself bingeing on... I got chocs from other people too, but it hurt to get them from my mum whose support in this diet I so need... no surprise I chose her chocs to pig out on.
    All of this is a learning process I guess. We are exploring some of these issues on the CD 100% forum, on a thread called Emotional Eating... Any Advice? Take a look - some really motivational stuff going on there.
    And good luck - to all of us - with our food & parent issues!
    xxx
     
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  5. jayne23

    jayne23 Full Member

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    hi guys, I've done LL and been through the CBT where I've looked at why I overeat. I'm now doing CDSS again as I get almost to goal and then leap of the wagon and scupper it for myself. I eat in secret and when I think back i remember eating half a jamaican ginger cake (at about 11 years old) and hiding the rest under the sideboard. I used to babysit and be left snacks like penguins, I'd open a multipack and have 2 or 3 then I'd eat the rest of the packet so that she didn't think i was a pig cos I'd eaten 2 or 3. Its absolutely crazy that I would do this to myself. When I think about it I realise that I got different messages from my mum and dad. mum has always been and is still on a diet (doing CD badly) and dad has always been a fuzzy eater. Dad says things behind mums back and to her face like, no wonder she's not lost weight look at the size of the piece of cake, whereas mums a feeder and would give you her last rolo just to make you happy. I now find that I'm really cautious about what I say to my 14yr old son. He's built like a beanpole but has a huge appetite but is always playing footie, on his bmx, or swimming or diving so he burns it up. The other day he stood topless pushing his belly out and then later only ate a bit of dinner. I then felt the urge yesterday to say that although I'm no good as a role model in relation to food (although he does know whats sensible to eat and whats not so good) I was worried that he didn't eat his dinner as maybe he thought he was getting fat. we had a good chat about the way parents can make us behave and how I relate to my parents in terms of food, so hope that I haven't done any damage. Its just a vicious cycle isn't it
    I think I'm a bit mental really and thats all there is to it
    J
     
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  6. jayne23

    jayne23 Full Member

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    that was supposed to say fussy eater not fuzzy !!!!!!!!
     
  7. Porgeous

    Porgeous Chilling

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    Some interesting posts here and plenty of things to think about. I differ slightly that I do believe we can learn from our past I stop short of blaming anyone for my weight problems - I am in control and therefore the only one responsible.

    xxx
     
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  8. Katycakes

    Katycakes Stubborn tortoise

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    Dead right Porgeous, I agree. Just useful for me to work out why I have problems with food, and I think for lots of us it does link back to childhood. As kids we can't always see that certain ways of eating/acting aren't good, we just absorb them and they become natural, ingrained patterns. To break free of them you have to work out why it's actually there. And some of our relationships in life are pretty loaded when it comes to food... I don't blame my mum in any way for the way I eat, but still I wish things could have been different for us & that I'd known chocolate didn't equal love...
     
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  9. pete10141748

    pete10141748 Postaholic

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    I agree with you too Porgeous, I don't blame my parents, I just recognise the ingrained behaviour from my childhood.
    but yes, I totally accept that it's 100% my fault I'm overweight, I could have chosen to eat sensibly when I became an adult but I didn't.
     
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  10. trisha

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    I kind of agree with cuddlepaws in that it was the way I was brought up. My mum was a chocoholic, the kitchen drawer was always stuffed full of chocolates and sweets, and mum always gave us a "teatime" treat of a chocolate bar after the meal, every day. she was always baking too so there was a plentiful supply of cakes and biscuits. chocolate was also used as a reward as well. I am glad to say that I have never done this with my own daughter, I didn't want her to end up like me, I have never used chocolate/sweets to reward her but things like books/toys etc. She is now 18 and is a slim size 8 and can eat whatever she wants. she is very much like the girl in the cafe that cuddlepaws saw. She can take or leave chocolate -she still has some chocolate left over from her birthday in early november-. I used to say to her that it wasn't fair that she could eat as much as she does and still be so slim, but she says mum. I only eat when I'm hungry and when I'm full I stop, I never eat between meals and I don't really like sweets/chocolate.
     
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  11. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Isn't it strange how we often rebel against our parents, except for when it comes to cakes and biscuits.

    My mum insisted that I ate my brussel sprouts. In fact, it was more than insisting. She constantly told me how lovely they were, how lucky I was to have them etc. I rebelled when I left home and refused to touch another one for about 20 years :D

    I blame me mother for my hate of brussels.

    So I guess in the end, most of us still make a choice over which behaviours we want to keep and which ones we want to rebel against.

    And no, I don't really blame my mum....oh and love brussels now :)
     
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  12. CuddlePaws

    CuddlePaws Full Member

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    Let me make myself clearer in this thread. I don't 'blame' my parents for being overweight, but I blame them for the psychological battles I have with food. stemming from the diet they raised me on.
    But I know that a lot of what they did was out of love and over-nuturing.

    It's like some parents might smack their kids a bit too often and think that this is doing them 'good', but then you get the child psychologists who would think differently.

    I respect and love my parents, but I have definitely come to the conclusion that all the junk I 'love' is due to their incessant supply of treats and high fat meals. Of course when we become adults we have to think for ourselves and act accordingly. It's just that some habits begin waaaaaay back in our youth and are still hard to quit decades later.

    It's funny because now mum doesn't cook any longer. She's a very wealthy lady-of-leisure and only eats lean fish in restaurants the majority of the time, picking slowly at it because of a hernia and all sorts of stomach related problems. My dad has Type 2 diabetes and is always battling the sugar cravings. My siblings are all 'overweight' too including my brother. We are all battling our food demons out in adulthood.
     
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  13. Katycakes

    Katycakes Stubborn tortoise

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    Some interesting thoughts. Since posting on this thread a day or so back, I've been thinking a lot about my mum & food, & it's very clear to me know that she has her own problems with eating. As an elderly widow now living alone, she lives on biscuits, cake & chocolate, so no prizes for guessing why chocolate was her expression of love - she has a seriously sweet tooth.
    When i was growing up, though, Mum was very underweight. She never sat and ate with us, and picked at tiny portions if she ate at all. She didn't seem to like food at all and regularly burned/ruined meals... not because she was a bad cook as she later worked as one & managed fine. Once a friend came on holiday with us and almost starved on the portions we were getting... I was used to it, but she wasn't! Mum is still underweight, and I can't help thinking there's a story there, someone who has food demons just as I do, only different ones perhaps. And the comments she sometimes makes about 'big' people, which I always felt were directed at me, perhaps stem from a genuine fear of being big... that would make sense when I think about the way she eats/is.
    Think this thread has helped me to understand my mum more, and that has to be positive. It's not about blame, really, but understanding, isn't it?
     
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  14. totty

    totty Personal Trainer

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    hhhhmmmm ...interesting....

    i went the opposite way...my mom did control what we ate.....we could have fruit ...whatever we wanted...when we wanted. :D...BUT we were only allowed 1 chocolate bar and 1 bag of crisps a day (this included our pack lunch) ...

    so when i did leave home..and get my own money it was as if i turned a corner and thought...i can damn well eat those 4 chocolate bars if i want...your not here to stop me!!! so i did...

    and i am here :D lol
     
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  15. trisha

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    I agree I don't blame my parents for me being overweight, after all its me that put the food in my mouth!, but the cravings I have for sugar, and constant picking stem from my childhood. My siblings are the same, we all have food demons and constantly pick at food in particular sugary foods, and this comes from there being a unlimited supply when we were children. which is why I was determined that my daughter would not have the same problem as me.
     
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  16. Porgeous

    Porgeous Chilling

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    :8855::8855:
     
  17. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    It's true though, you can get a child to crave and overeat healthy foods by restricting.

    But that's not a good thing either!

    Better not to ban, but just don't have anything you would rather not have the kids eat in the house.
     
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  19. AngelicGemma

    AngelicGemma Member

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    As a teenager, my mum asked me what I wanted for dinner. I explained I wasn't hungry so I would not be having anything. My mum looked concearned and exclaimed that I had to eat.

    My dad looked at her and asked - "Why would she eat if she isn't hungry?"

    Best weight loss tip I ever got!
     
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  20. Porgeous

    Porgeous Chilling

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    I was very obedient... my mum is an excellent cook and it is a really love of hers, she used to cook all sorts of different things, conversation used to go like this.....

    Me: What's this?
    Mum: It's Chicken Livers with Mushrooms
    Me: Have I had it before?
    Mum: Yes
    Me: Did I like it?
    Mum: Yes
    Me: Gobble gobble

    Reading back I could have just be stoopid rather than obedient!

    xx
     
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  21. Kaitlyn

    Kaitlyn Full Member

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    I don't blame my mum at all. We used to have chcoclate and crisps, and, occassionally fizzy pop. But even if we hadn't had them, we would have wanted them, I'm sure, with friends having them in their lunch boxes. At school, they even used to serve cakes and stuff for desert. But even as a young child, I was a stuborn thing, and if I hadn't actually wanted the chocolate or crisps or whatever, I would have said no.

    We never got told the whole eat your dinner or no pudding thing.

    When I went to uni (and pot on about 2 stone in 3 years) that was my own fault. My mum never forced me to eat chocolate from the vending bars, uni never forced me into not taking in my own healthy snacks.

    The only person I can blame for me being overweight is myself. I am the one who has made the choices, from childhood, to eat chocolate, crisps and cakes.
     
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  22. Lynn8124

    Lynn8124 Gold Member

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    Some excellent points and insights on this thread. I mentioned in another thread how I used to ask my Mum why she let me eat so much etc and she'd say 'well what did you want me to do, starve you'? Both my parents have always been normal eaters. Recently I have been trying to figure out the reasons behind my over-eating etc, they say depression or abuse can be a cause but as a five/six year old when I started gaining a lot I was not depressed nor abused. I remember Mum saying 'come on now, you've ate enough, tomorrows another day' and things like that. Then Dad came home with enough sweeties for about 4 kids all for me, Mum would say 'don't eat them all' and Dad would say 'oh leave her, she's happy'.

    I discovered cheese on toast (reminds me of our member with same name, no wonder I didn't forget her lol) when I was 4 years old or so and that triggered my life-long addiction. The longest I've went without eating it is about seven months.

    I never really mixed well with other kids perhaps because I was an only child for eleven years and this worsened as the weight piled on. I then became a target for bullies which may have led me to turn to food for 'comfort' the more I was teased for being fat, the more I ate. The bullying got worse at secondary school (never physical bullying but I still bear the mental scars and physical scars from self-harming to cope with it all) and any will I had to shed the weight was buried under a mountain of food...so here I am having been an obese child, adolescent, teenager and adult but you know what? Those bullies are NOT going to win, someday I will get this weight under control and lead a normal happy life.

    Wow I think I've inadvertantly gained some insight into my own problems. :giggle:
     
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