Bad Relatives (or 89 years of weight watching)

I should have stayed home sick on Thanksgiving.  Or, at least, been unwilling to drive, going hiking instead.  I was offered a room in a motel with my cousins, but I’m not a good sleeper, and I hardly know them.  It’s not a close branch of the family.   Anyway, I drove almost 3 hours South, pretty area, but too far.  Dinner was at a restaurant, at a golf resort, where my great-aunt lives.   We had sushi, ribs, fish, chocolate souffle, and wine.  My great aunt asks why I’m so large.  She thinks I must eat too much fast food.  No, no fast food. 

“Well, what is it?  Do you live on potato chips, ice cream?”  WTF?  Back off, bitch.  I shrug, turn away, talk to her son, who is about the only one I even know there.  His daughters start talking to her about something else.  Later in the evening, she says I shouldn’t bother to wear a skirt, my legs aren’t ready to be shown off yet.  On the way out, she offers to let me into her gym, which is in the building.  Great idea, let me go in there in my dress and fucking heels, and go for a run.   I was pissed by this time, and left, drove the 2.5 hours home (different route, less traffic).

I didn’t see anything to her that night, but she emailed to apologize for the crowded sleeping arrangements.  I emailed back that I thought she might be apologizing for her inappropriate comments.  She offered no apology, but said she’s been battling weight problems her whole life, and even at her age, she eats as little as she can get away with, and exercises as much as she can.

 I’ve never known her to be anything but thin, but she was already close to 50 when I was born.  She eats reasonably, though not a whole lot.  Very healthy for her age, doesn’t walk well, but swims just fine.  I’m only 10 pounds above my lowest adult weight, which probably was where I was last time I saw her, 1.5 years ago.  I’m much smaller than she’s seen me in the past. 

So, did she motivate me to go lose weight?    I’m losing at my slow, not-willing-to-diet pace, a pound or so per month, anything faster would probably backfire, especially this time of year.  But she pissed me enough to buy a pack of ciggies and smoke them.  That’ll increase weight loss, but not worth going back to.  Nothing but suffering that way.  And now, instead of feeling like I’m just 10 pounds overweight but doing fine, now I feel fat and disgusting and ashamed to be out in public, no point in trying to dress nice, or look presentable.  And I’m having nicotine cravings.  Even my mom doesn’t do that to me anymore (but only because my dad made her stop)  

 I guess we all have some nasty relatives. 


10 Responses to “Bad Relatives (or 89 years of weight watching)”

  1. 1 Betsey
    November 30, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Ugh. Just ugh. What a craptastic woman. I hate elderly folks who think they have earned the right to say whatever rude thing they damned well please. That would be the last encounter I would ever have with her — until I had the pleasure of going to her funeral, of course. 🙂

  2. November 30, 2011 at 8:08 am

    i got a great belly laugh from the title (boy, can i relate) but felt sad for your unhappy experience on a day that has such potential for peaceful and loving reunions between friends and family. maybe i’m reading more into it because of your past posts (contextualizing) yet it sounds mostly as if you will take this unpleasant experience in stride, a reflection of your increasingly calm approach to self care and balanced living. well, THAT is my wish for you. 🙂 also, your great aunt sounds like she was either having a very grumpy day (holidays can be rough on anyone!) or might be someone who (when feeling especially vulnerable) perhaps shows a tendency to boost her own ego at the expense of others. maybe she’s a bit thick, in general, about people’s feelings. (so, yeah, “nasty”). in any case, i mean to say, of course her comments could easily be interpreted as *being about you* but as you seem to recognize, her words were not about YOU at all. i admire your thoughtful (moderate and sane) approach to eating and
    health. p.s. if you DO have a smoke, ENJOY the whole ritual. 🙂 relax and put your feet
    up. savor it s-l-o-w-l-y. (((hugs)))

  3. 3 Val
    November 30, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I swore way back when I was a teenager that I would never live as I saw a lot of women do: painstakingly measuring/weighing every morsel they consumed, then intermittently (amongst my own relatives, the ones I was able to observe closely) throwing caution to the winds & “living large” – eating generous portions of “forbidden” foods then exhibiting remorse…
    Sorry you had a crappy holiday – I’ve stayed at pretty much the same weight for the past 10 yrs (although my body comp has changed; I believe I’m a lot more fit), but I didn’t have the opportunity NOR the mean streak to ask my cousin’s wife how much weight she’s lost after her lap-band procedure 13 mos ago. (Appears to be next-to-nothing; WLS surgery is a sensitive subject in my family since I lost a cousin & almost lost one of my aunts to complications from old-style bypass surgery 30+ yrs ago.)

  4. November 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Sorry you had such a crappy experience. Hold tight to the knowledge that you have done marvellous things for yourself. Personally, I find it hard to be as compassionate towards that nasty aunt of yours as hopefulandfree has been. When it comes to weight, most people are raving idiots.

  5. December 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Was the evening really the way you described? I’m going to assume that it was, though I must admit it seems awfully harsh the way you tell it and I have a hard time believing people talk this rudely. That said, I suggest you take better care of yourself. If you know people are going to be this way find better people to be with. Also, please try to stop saying that they made you do this or that. You have to make the best choices for yourself. If you make unhealthy, foolish, or self destructive choices no one is making you. Don’t give in to behaving this way because it will not do anything good for you and you have to make yourself number one in your life! Also keep centered with your exercise, it is a best friend now more than ever. You will be all right!

  6. December 3, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Betsey – her son tells me she’s always been like that. My parents want to visit her over the holidays, so I’m going to go drink that $30 bottle of wine I gave her. I’ll share it with my dad and one of her sons and his wife. Her other son is into Calorie Restriction (I am fascinated, though not even remotely interested in pursuing this myself), so I doubt he drinks, nor does my mom. I don’t think she’ll pull that in front of my dad or her sons and their families. I wouldn’t want to be around her and my mom, alone.

    hopefulandfree – I’m even a bit amused by the situation, though I still think it’s nasty and inappropriate. Gotta love this conversation

    Waiter – would you like whip cream with that?
    Her – No
    Me – Yes
    I don’t care for whipped cream, I’m just reactionary sometimes.

    Anyway, though I find it interesting that I went for ciggies instead of food, ciggies are so hard to quit once I get started. Traumatizing.

    Val – WLS is scary, especially how popular it is becoming. I have a good friend who did some kind of bypass, lost a lot of weight, but has some major nutrition and hormone issues, some resulting from surgery, others from lifestyle. I worry about her health, she’s quite fragile.

    NewMe – I think this lady actually has it figured out, as far as what to eat and how to live. She eats a high veggie diet, doesn’t stuff herself, and if she has a big lunch (as she did at Thanksgiving), she eats a small dinner. She eats a bit, but not a lot of bread, dessert, fried stuff. I’ve seen her eat fish, but no other meat. Sort of the way I aspire to eat, and am only somewhat successful, still got too many hedonistic tendencies (not the right word, but sort of the idea), which I can get away with now because the way I exercise and pre-menopausal, but I’d like to get a grip on in the long run. Especially the damn ciggies, not good at all.

    Dr J – Consider yourself lucky. I’d bet if you ask any fat woman, most of them have had at LEAST one person talk to them this way. My parents will also do this wrt my hair, though they don’t persist like this woman did, and I can tell them to quit it, which I didn’t feel comfortable saying to this woman. No chance I’ll be giving up exercise, it’s my main link to sanity. And I crave it more than food or ciggies.

  7. 7 Dr. J
    December 3, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Julie, I know that visit must have been traumatic! I was thinking about your response and I recalled, although it wasn’t related to being fat, when I was visiting my brother’s inlaws with a woman friend of mine that I was interested in. My brother’s mother in law, when this woman was in another room, bluntly told me that I should find another girlfriend! For a moment I was shocked! Then quickly regrouping, I told her in no uncertain terms, who the hell did she think she was and to mind her own business! From then on she was very nice and respectful to me, something that my poor brother never got from her 🙂

  8. December 5, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Holy Cow! What a nasty woman – even if she is your relative. I too had (have) relatives that mocked me for my weight no matter what is was. This is the time when you need to find that inner core of strength that has gotten you this far and just keep doing what you know is working for you. I know it can be hard when it is a relative, but she is just one person, and she is not you.

  9. December 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Awful, Julie. I’m so sorry you have to be subjected to that.

  10. January 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Wow, I’m always amazed when I hear stories like this. What’s with people? Being old is no excuse for being rude.

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November 2011

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