My mother’s 67th

Today would be my mother’s 67th birthday (she died at age 54).  I can’t imagine her at that age at all!
As it’s her birthday, I’ve been thinking about her.  Sometimes I wonder if my food issue is inherited from her.  I don’t think I learned it from her, as such… I never consciously watched her.  She ate her food and I ate mine (as a child, I ate incredible amounts of food – and exactly the same food every single day for years – and nobody ever minded: I grew up with no boundaries).  But as I look back I do see certain traits… how she would lose and gain the same 50 lbs. periodically.  If on a diet, she’d eat lots of soup (I hope that’s a generic enough term to be allowable on Greynet?) and vegetables.   If not on a diet, I don’t remember what she ate.
My mother was a very emancipated woman.  She was married (only because she was forced into it by her mother, because she was pregnant with me), but she went back to work the moment she could walk again after my C-section – I was looked after by my aunt and cousins.  Later, from primary school onwards, I was in all-day schools and returned home about an hour before she did, and my father returned after that.  My mother never cooked, cleaned, or did any household chores.  I have no memory of it, but she told me that my father used to do much of that until he once burned his hand while cooking and never did it again after that.  That’s why I grew up on microwave frozen food.
And that’s probably why I remember my mother’s diets, because that was the only time she would actually cook herself some food.  Not that it was edible.  I remember she made a very watery soup one day, unseasoned, inedible, and a family friend coming to visit – she took the occasion to get rid of the soup and the poor friend was too polite to refuse.
So my mother would go up and down the scale, yo-yoing her way through life, unhappy when she was fat and happy (but not for long) when she was thinner.  Never thin, just thinner.  She did share with me how she couldn’t stand her appearance, her hair wasn’t blonde or curly (both of which she wanted it to be), her body wasn’t made to be thin, her eyes were too small, her lips too thin… I thought she was beautiful.
Looking back, I think the way she would berate her appearance actually helped me, because I looked at her and saw beauty – so I have always remembered to take my own perceptions of myself with a grain of salt.  Just because I don’t like certain things I see in the mirror doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful.
I don’t think my mother was in need of the Greysheet, she wasn’t a compulsive, out-of-control eater like I am.  But her life makes me intensely, incredibly grateful for the Greysheet and for the fact that I have worn the same size clothes for years now, I have no double-wardrobe (fat clothes and thin clothes) but just one, all the same size, and the only reason I ever throw clothes away is that they are worn out!
Thank God for leading me to Greysheet.  I do it NMW!


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