sympathetic help needed

Ok, so you may know already that I live with my elderly parents, and that my 80s diet plan has led me to start cooking !! Wow, a whole week so far, and no retreating upstairs with a takeaway and a large bag of crisps.! My mum, has to cook everything herself,vwhich is admirable, she's 86, but....shes in the kitchen ALL the time and doesn't like me in the way. But- im managing..but..

Help needed because, like today she watches me cut up loads of veg and boil an egg and says " your having an egg AS WELL??"

this totally irritates me , it takes me back to the days when she would make comments such as - no wonder your so fat, eating all that food....yes, I do have an attitude problem with my mum, and at 64 you'd think id have grown out of it..but no.

So.... Any ideas as to how I could react to her in this, without being really nasty and telling her to xxxx off, which is, sadly what I want to do.

Give me a clue here- how would YOU react ??



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27 Replies

  • :-) I would probably tell her to xxxx off as well !

    But seriously, could you try to educate her as to why you are having the egg ? (protein and all - very good for health etc etc).

    Otherwise is it just possible to sit down and tell her how much her comments and interfering really make you feel - and that could you both just agree to keep out of each others way when it comes to food ?

    Parents are really tricky, I know - I've had a dad who has spent most of my life thinking it's ok to comment on my weight issues until he just had to be told to shut up ! :-)

  • Im going to try this next time - if I just say to her " look I know this looks a lot , of food , but its all vegetables and ( as you said) I have to have some protein. " ill try it, I dont really care whether or not she approves, its my reaction to it I hate, that - ill just run away and eat more to punish you for saying that - feeling I get. You probably get a similar feeling with your dad. Thank you for replying - its helps me a lot to know that im not the only one who would want to tell her to xxxx off :D x

  • That's exactly what I did Libby - whenever my dad mentioned my weight, I would be determined not to lose any after that because I didn't want him thinking that I'd gone on a diet because of his comments (and therefore justifying him saying them again and again !!)

    Good luck anyway :-)

  • Here's a different take on sweetly about that egg and reply calmly, "Yes, I am."...inside I'd be mad, but I'd get even by sticking to my eating plan and casually dropping into the conversation on weigh day..."Oh by the way, I lost xx pounds this week", smile sweetly, wink and walk away. Nothing so satisfying as to keep calm and carry on, then show how successful you are on what they were criticizing you for eating. That to me is the best kind of come patient, keep quiet and when you smash it on the scales, be sure to let them know! :-D

  • This just reminded me of something. I just remembered an ex boyfriend from many moons ago, telling me that I'd never find a job at the end of the training scheme I was doing. I broke it off with him (not singly over that, I might add) before the training had finished. I actually landed a job before the training had finished too, the firm took me on with a month to go and a job at the end of that (I worked there for about 7 years in the end). I saw him in the street one day and we did the polite hi, how are you doing the end of the convo I was just about to walk away and I turned and said casually, "Oh by the way, I have started a job with a law firm...anyway, nice to see you, cheerio", smiled and disappeared quietly. Can't tell you how satisfying it felt - try it with the parents over the coming weeks and months ;-)

  • Thanks weightwarrior - your totally right, I have to rise above it - It IS about time I learnt to fend off this type of criticism - ive been having it since I can remember ! My conditioned response is to eat - thereby proving her point about how gross and greedy I am. Thank you for your kind and helpful replies. Next time im in the same situation, I will think of what you've said and gain some strength from it xxx

  • It feels soooo good to prove that "knowledgeable person" wrong that it's totally worth the effort, I promise!

  • I know this might be too late but can u tell her ur not on a diet but instead just eating more healthily?

    or just reply 'yes I am'

    only three people in my life know about my diet because they are the only supportive people I know - apart from people on this forum obviously! I just don't want the judgement or the opinions!

    or have you thought about showing her how many calories are in your large plate of food (including the egg lol) compared to her cooking/meal it must just snub her nose out of joint by proving ur know better health wise

    if you feel mean keep buying her fatty foods and choc u don't like or if u want to be super evil (which if I could get away with it I would to my MIL) buy harribo sugar free gummy bears for her

  • I'm totally with the short, simple, "Yes, I am" response with no further justification needed, I'd have said exactly that. Snap! :-D

  • No I havnt told her im dieting ,hydrogirl. I have only told my (also trying to diet daughter) and hinted to my elder daughter ( the wine lover) that it ill probably be trying to cut down a bit. Its a funny situation with my mum. She's never been fat, stayed about 7 stone all her life, and pretty much despises anybody who is heavy. To her, its unecessary indulgence. Just greed. My dad isn't as judgemental, but he worries about my weight issues and sees it as a shame i havnt inherited their slim figures. Hmm im thinking this is getting boring for you...but here goes.. I didn't live at home till i was 12 because my parents worked all the time, so i was brought up by my grannies, who were wonderful to me. When i went to live back at home again, i found it very hard to adjust. I wasn't enormously fat, but chubby and i wore glasses and had straight hair, and never really fulfilled my parents idea of what an attractive daughter should look like. Since moving back in with them , due to their ill health, a lot of issues have come up, and it hasn't been easy. Im their "attendant carer" now, and i sometimes find it ironic that this is the case ....sorry im sure this is boring , but it does you good to sometimes get things out. Anyway, basically, to them, im a fat, greedy pig- and it really wouldn't matter what i said to them, because they are " always right ". So, the answer is for me to change MY view of myself, and to do things the way I want to. Im not going to let then be proved right - but im also not expecting any reaction from them if i lost 5 stone tomorrow. Except perhaps " its about time "

    :D oh hell - self indulgent post, apologies - but THANKYOU all.for listening. Group hug xxxx I feel good to know your all on my case <3

  • (HUG) Wow, it sounds like all of this must have been very difficult to deal with. It is not boring at all, I think you are so right that it is good sometimes to just get things out and offload some of that emotion which was being carried around. I'm sure I speak for a lot of folk when I say that we are here for you, and we think you are doing a great job already because you are trying to change your health for the better...everything you do is a step in the right direction and it can be so hard to take the first steps on the journey in the face of adversity. So bravo you, we will be cheering you on all the way, you can do it!

  • Feel for you :( Have you read the poem "They **** you up, your mum and dad"? I think there might be a book in a similar vein too..

    Stay strong and keep posting - we're all impressed by your motivation :) Kate x

  • Yeah ive heard of it - ill google it. It sounds just like me.

    Im feeling very positive right now, and ready for another week.

    Its lovely where people understand and sympathise, instead if giving out platitudes like - you'll never have another mother....and im like - Great news ! :D

    thank you for all your support !

  • Can't thank you enough - really - I DO feel totally supported on this forum by all you lovely people, and I really feel I can do this - weighing tomorrow morning ! I feel ive lost a bit - looking forward to it.

    Thank you so much for listening -


  • Hi Libby, your mum and the egg reminded me of when I moved into my first grown up home, and my visiting Mum exclaiming "ANOTHER GLASS OF WINE!" ( it was my second small glass) I think I still try to rebel sometimes even though mum is no longer alive and I'm 51! My mum was also 7 stone all her life and judgemental about anyone overweight, unfortunately as she got older she would say things out loud about people in the street which could be mortifying! I love Weightwarriors idea to sail above it all and have the last word by losing the weight, don't know if I could have been that calm but all the very best luck ☀️

  • Thank you !!

  • Just keep going. A little bit at a time. Every conversation you manage to get through with a smile is another achievement. And if you don't think she will care much if you lose the weight then that seems to me all the more reason to just keep doing it for yourself. It doesn't sound like you're going to please her whatever you do so you may as well take the healthy route : ) Keep going, we're all rooting for you!!

  • Your right - thank you !!

  • I would say to her "how I'm experiencing you right now is...." You are not stating facts, but feelings and nobody can tell you that your feelings are wrong!

    Other useful phrases with brave communication are things like "when you......I feel.....I need....." e.g.: "WHEN YOU drive fast I FEEL unsafe. I NEED you to drive more slowly when I am in the car with you". By using these phrases, you are not only saying how something she says or does causes you to feel but you are also stating how she can help you to feel better.

    A good book for you to read would be 'Keep Your Love On' by Danny Silk. In the book you will learn about how to stay connected with people having healthy boundaries, honouring the people in your life and communicating effectively.

    Take care!

  • I love this advice Abby and im really grateful for it. I love the phrase " how im experiencing you .." Im totally going to have that in my head now. I cant change her, I have to change my responses and this phrase - even if I only said it in my head - sort of, brings me round to thinking - look this is HER fault - not yours - yeah, that's really it. Thanks loads Abby

    Hugs xxxxxx

  • Hi Libby, I totally sympathise with you on the mother front - for different reasons mine is somewhat difficult to handle. Sadly you can't always reason with people or get them to see it from your point of view or even have some consideration for your feelings! What I learnt is that you can't change them, just how you react and deal with them. I know that is really no help but I think it is so true. By hiding in your room eating you are enforcing her opinion of her. Get fit and look good for you and show her that you can do whatever you set your mind to.

    I wonder if you have ever researched the narcissistic mother? I think mine is at least borderline (oh I could go on all day), it is interesting and good to know you are not alone.

    Good luck for your weigh in. But heed my warning - my mum said to me "have you actually lost any weight?" after I'd lost 3 stone! And I don't see her very often (I wonder why).

    Look forward to hearing your progress tomorrow :)

  • YES!! this will be exactly the response I would expect from her. My grannies were aware of the situation with my mother, and although ("understandably I suppose) my maternal gran didn't quite see it, my dads mum could see it very plainly, and told me once " your mother is jealous of you" . It makes sense to me now im older myself, to envy youth or a face with no wrinkles...i can see how that worked. She told me that when pregnant she refused to go out coz she looked fat and ugly ...i havnt read the narcissistic mother but ill google it. I really appreciate your words, I think all you friends are going to help me get a lot of things straight in my head as well as lose weight.

    Hugs xxxxxx

  • Hi Libby,i don,t have a good relationship with my mother and when my dad died i was the only one she had. She was 89 an d a tyrant. I was 66 and no longer afraid of her. I tried my hardest to please/ help her. Then one day after another throw my help in my face time i snapped and told her what the alternative was. We still don,t like one another but it,s a lot quieter. Your mum is extremely lucky to have you. Perhaps she needs reminding and so do you.

  • Thankyou ...SO much sound just like me, and its just wonderful to hear. Im sorry for both of us that we dont have that lovely bond others have with their mothers. I've tried always to get that bond with my daughters, and I think ive suceeded, they are my best friends, and we are very close, but your post has made me realise im not alone. So many people have problem mothers and more importantly never get it right. Im sorry its the same for you. Its not US tho - it just isn't - your right, she IS lucky to have me! And im lucky to have all your support here . Hugs gillyflower - xxx

  • Say after me " mum is lucky to have me" and repeat. Have a good day Libby, on the right track xx

  • Libby, it's definitely your mum's problem, but you can't simply walk away from the emotional effect it has on you when you're living under the same roof. You ask us how would we react to this. You say your instinct is to be nasty and tell her to xxxx off. Maybe this simply is the correct reaction, but it's just a matter of establishing how to do this without feeling like you've been 'nasty' - it's really no reflection on you to ask someone to leave you alone once in a while.

    I also grew up with my grandparents a lot of the time, being sent to live with them when there were problems with my mum's mental health, for this and other reasons I also don't have a good connection with my parents. I think you need to protect your barriers, if your mum hasn't committed to looking after you as you grew up, then I feel she hasn't earned the right to assume she knows what's best for you as an adult. Everytime she interferes, just assert you know what you're doing, and ask her to leave you alone. Basically, yes ask her to xxxx off, but politely, without letting the emotions rise in you :)

  • Hi Libby, just checking in to say i,m thinking of you. Keep posting it helps to get it off your chest. You know you are doing what,s best for you. ☺

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