The Madre Effect (AKA The Battle…Vol. 5)

I am ashamed and disappointed to have to announce this but…*sigh*…I have gained weight.

I should have expected this. I should have prepared to counteract this. But, since moving back in with my parents just over a week ago, I have actually put a few pounds back on. Not so much that I can’t bounce back with some will power and the ability to tune out people around me, but still. I’m less than pleased with myself.

You see, here under this roof, lives the one person that can at once make me feel grotesquely obese and yet completely undermine my desire to be healthy: my mother. Yup, dear old mum acts as if she approves of my weight loss goals, even seems perturbed that it isn’t easier for me to drop poundage; yet at any given moment she is suggesting we go out to get a Frosty, or noting that Breyer’s ice  cream is on sale at the nearby grocery store, or saying, “Oh, just try one bite of this [insert random sugar/carb-laden food item here]. It’s SO good.”

I call this The Madre Effect: I feel fatter than ever and yet cannot help but act in such a way that will only exacerbate the problem.

So here I am, mere days away from the deadline of my weight loss quest, and I know I won’t be able to reach it, because I’ve actually backslid. I feel…well, I feel many things right now. First, I feel frustrated with myself. I knew that being in her proximity all the time would cause me to lean towards food more, and towards the wrong foods, but I have been so determined to be good to my body for the last few months, I should not have let her influence me like this. And I am also a bit angry with her. I’m upset that she isn’t more supportive of my wellness plan. She is well aware that I don’t want to eat sugar and grains, and she knows that I sometimes struggle with overeating and even binge-eating; she could be a fantastic tool for me, guiding me away from my problem-foods without pressure or judgment. But, alas, that’s not the role she chooses to play. Either she is looking disdainfully at my meal as if to say, “Really? You’re gonna eat that?” or she’s brushing aside the fact that I am unhappy with my body and trying to drown my body-image issues with sweet frozen dairy products.

I can’t win, here. I really can’t.

I scolded her today for letting us fall into our old habit: food is an activity for us, eating is something to look forward to, something to do together. But I–well, we, both of us really–are trying to change that relationship. We want to eat to live, not live to eat, but that change will never happen if we keep undermining ourselves, and each other. The thing is, she already looks great. Too thin, even. But me, a pound or two extra means my pants fit uncomfortably. And my self-esteem plummets. And I have way more food issues than just liking to eat more than I should. So I told her she needs to get on board with my lifestyle changes, because I can’t keep gaining weight, and I definitely can’t keep resenting her for making me fat.

I mean, it’s not her fault–I know that–and I can accept 95% of the blame. But she’s my mom. I’m sorry, she’s going to influence me whether I want her to or not. When she’s so wonderfully taken me back in and refuses to let me pay any rent or chip in for groceries I need to do something to pay her back. So when she looks at me with her big hopeful eyes asking if I want to have a treat with her, the least I can do is comply. If it’s going to make her happy, just me and her drinking milkshakes, no matter how much I know I will regret it later, I’ll give her those few minutes of mother-daughter junk food time.

But it ends today. I made her promise to let me eat only good healthful foods, and to not undermine my will-power. She even said she’d go off sweets with me until the end of the month when we go on vacation. With any luck, I’ll recover from this momentary lapse this week, get my weight back down to what it was when I moved in here, and then drop those last few pounds soon thereafter. It may be a few days or weeks late, but I am going to make it to my goal weight, even with the dread Madre Effect looming in the corner.

The next three days as I re-withdrawal from sugar are going to SUCK. Wish me luck.

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Filed under self-reflection, The Good Foods, Wellness

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