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why does she always call me fat?

(59 Posts)
FunnysInLaJardin Sun 20-Oct-13 20:43:10

I love my mother but she and my dad have always called me fat. I have been anywhere from 10 to 14 stone and I am always too fat.

She is staying with us for a couple of nights and I stupidly let my guard down and whilst looking at Hello said 'oh look at Andy Mc Dowell and her daughter, we should be like that'

She with out a breath said well I don't know where you got you genetics from as me and your father are both very skinny.

This happens a lot. I am a successful person with a lovely family and in a few words she makes me feel like shit.

Just another wedge I suppose, another little bitter comment to alienate me even further.

But why does she do it?

BTW she is a tiny size 6 I suppose and I am a 16-18. sad and angry

PartyFops Sun 20-Oct-13 20:49:07

Just say "yes I am glad I don't have your nasty gene too!" Silly mare. Brush it off, that's just how she is, feel sorry for her for being so small minded.

kalidanger Sun 20-Oct-13 20:49:50

She does it because she's a cow x

I expect she says other varieties of crap too sad You looked at the Stately Homes thread?

MolotovCocktail Sun 20-Oct-13 20:52:29

Oh, thats awful sad Your post made me feel really sad; a mother shouldn't say those things to her child sad

Have you ever asked her why she doesit or told her how deeply awful the comments make you feel?

I think her harsh criticism might stem from a good place: thinness/slimness equates to 'success' in our image-driven culture. Maybe she thinks a slimmer you would equal a better you, somehow?

Whatever the reason, it needs to stop. You need to tell her how hurtful it is and that you are her daughter and she should accept you in any form.

How she speaks to you is not okay and she needs to know this very, very clearly.

Chewbecca Sun 20-Oct-13 20:55:32

Oh I can't tell you why but I can tell you that you are not alone!
I love my mum dearly but barely a visit goes by without a comment of some sort, whether it be as outright as my bum looks big in whatever I am wearing or her hairdresser's latest successful diet (why don't you try), comments about the food we eat etc etc etc.
I have made it extremely clear that I don't want to hear it but to no avail. It makes my blood really boil and it makes me want to get really really really fat for some reason.
I'd love to cut her out when she does it but I know I'd miss her.
No advice as I have failed to improve my acid tongued mum but will keep watching.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 20-Oct-13 20:57:20

I think people behave this way because they are shallow, insecure, jealous and just plain nasty. They have nothing going for them, are defined solely by the number on the scales and judge everyone else by their own narrow-minded standards. You're successful and happy and she can't stand it. Coming from a mother it's emotional bullying. Hope you tell her to fuck off.

Beamur Sun 20-Oct-13 20:58:12

Weight obviously matters to her, far more than it should. I suspect your mum has never considered how it feels to be on the receiving end of these comments.

MolotovCocktail Sun 20-Oct-13 20:58:48

How is your dm towards you other than this? Is she otherwise loving? Affectionate? Does she 'talk you up' in other ways?

Pagwatch Sun 20-Oct-13 21:00:05

There is no excuse. She is doing it because she isn't very nice to you and now it's a habit.

Could you ever get the strength to say 'that is such an incredibly nasty thing to say mum. Why would you say that ? What do you what me to do with that'

Bunbaker Sun 20-Oct-13 21:00:19

It isn't nice to tell someone they are fat. Do you think you are fat?

Walkacrossthesand Sun 20-Oct-13 21:08:17

Is your dad skinny? Or just normal build and your mum is one of these miserable skinny women obsessed with thin-ness and living on not-quite-enough food all the time? Not quite an eating disorder (because people with ED tend not to be judgemental of others) but a control thing.

I think a well-timed "Did you mean to be so rude?" might not go amiss here.

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 20-Oct-13 21:47:08

I only think I am fat because I have been told over and over that I am. My lovely DH tells me how beautiful I am, but I have always felt fat due to my parents.

My Dad is skinny too, about 8 stone and has been for years. They are both really anorexic tbh.

My sister feels the same and the other week when she visited said how much she hates how our mother makes us feel. Always a comment about how big you are all the time. They go swimming together and my sister says she hates it as she has to get undressed and mum always makes some comment about her size

We are 42 and 58 and for ever has our mother made us feel like this.

I would so love to say 'do you realise how hateful and unkind your comments are', but I only see her every few months or so and TBH I think that she would be shock. I have said to my sister that I wish they would accept us for who we are and not our size but I just can't do it.

In every other respect she is kind and loving, but when it comes to weight she is awful.

btw my sister is about a size 14.

Oh and she said my tomatoes were sour! My lovely green house tomatoes! My Dad prior to Alzheimers could not let a visit pass without some comment about how we didn't make our own jam, or that our tomatoes weren't as good as theirs.

In fact after typing all that do you know what? I partly loathe them both

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 20-Oct-13 21:47:37

ohhh sorry, 42 years of bile came out there......!

GeekLove Sun 20-Oct-13 22:07:46

funny This is a place to let the bile out!
My gran used to have a pop at me as although I have never been fat I am rather chunky in that I am built for power not grace IYSWIM.
Wilful misinterpretation is what I did as the aim was to annoy her more than it annoyed me.
So when she said I was a bit hippy I said 'no I'm a goth'. Or when she commented on my big arms I would say thank you and give a brief gun show.
I'm not sure how well it works but it might put her on the back foot. She might be your mother but would you let a random person speak like that to you!

ivykaty44 Sun 20-Oct-13 22:12:15

partyfops is right

I know I didn't get my kind gene form you thats for certain
I know i missed out on the nasty/snidey comments gene you have thank goodness

MolotovCocktail Sun 20-Oct-13 22:12:38

Jardin, its fine to vent here but despite how shock you think your dm would be irl, you need to say something. You and your sister ans being hurt by this but it seems like you're taking the easy route by choosing not to confront her.

Your dm is hyper critical toward you and your dsis and I suspect the reason for this lies within her - your body shapes/sizes are not the issue. Her attitude towards her dds is and it sounds like its spoiling otherwise good relationship. (I think there's more to this than you're able to put into words right now, if I'm completely honest).

Maybe discuss how to approach this with your dsis as a starting point, if you wanted to go that way?

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 20-Oct-13 22:24:52

do you know Molotov I think I will speak to my sister when she next visits. There really isn't much more to this though. My parents are controlling and I can't spend much time with them tbh, but beyond that we are fine. Not close IFSWIM, but do love one another.

I have another sister who has got nice and skinny and does what she can to please our parents. She is also a suicidal manic depressive which tells me something about the way she deals with them.

I think between us me and older sister will have to pull her up on it.

And Geek you are right. I said to DH tonight that I would never allow another person to speak to me like that, so why do I key my mother?

FunnysInLaJardin Sun 20-Oct-13 22:25:02


NameChange70 Mon 21-Oct-13 00:43:04

My mum does this. I'm pretty sure I was borderline eating disorder/big issues when I was younger. She does it about everyone, my siblings, the grand kids. I never get drawn in and I never confront her about it. If I did I'm pretty sure I would bop get with a saucepan lol but more seriously, would struggle to speak to her again. The silly mare has no idea how much damage she had done.

ALittleBitOfHalloweenMagic Mon 21-Oct-13 01:00:25

I could have written this thread . I used to be a 10-12 (and thought I was fatshockshock) and now I'm a 16-18 and both my parents are constantly on my back about losing weight . I think I just keep eating to piss them off . That's what i tell myself anywaygrin

I've tried every diet in the book and every exercise regime going and I just never seem to lose it . Once I accepted the fact I was just meant to be fat their comments don't bother me anymore . When they say things like "why are you eating that I thought you were in a diet?" I just say "well I'm not" because that is the truth . envy

scurryfunge Mon 21-Oct-13 01:16:06

My mum is like this. I'm bigger than I used to be but still a size 12. I get the comments about how my new glasses make me look fat, ffs. I cannot compete and realise the issue is my mother and not me.

MistressDeeCee Mon 21-Oct-13 03:34:28

Some mums are like this with daughters. At times they have regret issues from the past which are nothing to do with you, Sometimes there's a jealousy of your youth tied in there 'you're young with your life ahead of you whilst Im getting older/cant change stuff' kind of thing. You have to develop a thick skin, or have a lighthearted comeback..or, just pull her up on every single comment immediately, until she stops. DM or not, at times you have to start avoiding people who are negative about you.

My DM has different tactics she uses to criticise. When it became about my & DSis weight - we're both a size 14 - we just shut down every single comment she made about it. We're quite forceful about that, esp as we also have daughters and dont want them hearing any crap that could give them weight issues. She soon stopped. & if she changes to another criticism tactic we will shut that down too. Sometimes its just the only way.

Bunbaker Mon 21-Oct-13 06:51:58

You don't think that any of this might be that they are concerned about your health?

No Bunbaker, this is never ever done out of concern for their now adult child's health. Such women like Funnys mother are often both diet and body obsessed.

They do this too because they are both controlling and controlling behaviour like this is emotionally abusive.

It is NOT your fault Fanny they are like this, their own birth families did that damage to them in their own childhoods. Women like your mother as well always need a willing enabler to help them, this she found in your Dad.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 21-Oct-13 07:03:45

No, she bloody doesn't, and nor should she. It is so clearly not about health. If it were, wouldn't the mother give some tiny clue like saying, oh, at random, "I'm worried about your health"?

Anyway 16-18 isn't dangerously obese, unless the OP is about 4' tall.

Xenadog Mon 21-Oct-13 07:21:04

The next time your mother says anything about your weight flash back at her with this one: "Oh mother, when a woman gets to a certain age you do have to choose you know. Your face or your figure. I would much rather have a pretty face than walk down the street, get a wolf whistle, turn and smile and then see a man grimace at how skeletal and OLD I look! I enjoy my curves and womanliness - DH would simply HATE me to be a bag of OLD bones, nothing to snuggle up to in bed you know!"

Every the evil old harridan made a comment about your weight I would fire one right back about how old skinny women look and how unattractive it is.

Your mother makes these comments because you have allowed her to so you do need to take some responsibility for this but she IS your mother and we (often mistakenly) presume mothers have our best interests at heart - it seems like your mother has her own issues and is pretty unpleasant.

Good luck with her.

roughtyping Mon 21-Oct-13 07:21:40

OP, really sympathise. Have similar. Thought I was fat at a size 8 6 months after having DS. Am now a 14 and my mum is disgusted. Blah.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 21-Oct-13 10:10:10

Thanks everyone and Atilla that is interesting about my dad being my mums enabler. She admits she was anorexic when she was younger and my dad is very rude about anyone he deems to be over weight. If he see's someone in the street who is large he will say very loudly 'oh look at the size of her, how revolting' etc. My mum also does this, it's almost as if to say look how disgusting and out of control these fat people are compared to us.

God, it's just so tiring. I have had to spend a lot of time accepting myself for who I am and comments like that can really cut to the quick. It's like actually no matter what you think you aren't acceptable after all.

wordfactory Mon 21-Oct-13 10:37:45

OP I suspect that you parents are extremely unhappy people.

No one who was happy and outward looking would care a jot about someone's weight if they were happy and successful and healthy. It would make no sense would it?

The best bet is to see it for what it is!

That said, I would pull tem up on it. Or get your DH to do so if you find it uncomfortable.

I have an Aunt who does this to her daughter all the time. Her daughter is in a good job and is happily married (somehting my Aunt has never had), but her weight and appearance are considered a huge issue. I can tell you one thing, if my father were alive he would put his sister straight!!!!! Certainly, I step in if it's done in my presence!!!!

GeekLove Mon 21-Oct-13 11:14:11

I think she is jealous of you if other than what she says you are happy with your physique and your level of fitness. What makes people who have issues but are in denial of them really unhappy is other people being happy.

Whocansay Mon 21-Oct-13 11:17:34

I'd buy the biggest cream cake known to man and eat in front of her. Very slowly and enjoy every bite!

Then, do the head tilt thing and tell her she looks a bit drawn and haggard and suggest she'd look a bit better if she gained a few pounds.

She's a cow.

frogslegs35 Mon 21-Oct-13 13:07:11

How awful!
It's not big and certainly not clever but I'd probably do what xenadog said above and retaliate with a few put downs of my own about skinny. I usually wouldn't ever comment nor make anyone feel bad for being fat/skinny/blue with green spots/whatever but in this situation a verbal 'kick in the muff' to your toxic mother won't hurt wink

tomatoplantproject Mon 21-Oct-13 13:14:03

My mum does this too - she judges people by weight and always has done. She always comments on my weight. She just can't help herself - I had a bit of a pop at her recently and time will tell if it has sunk in - granny used to be the same. I'm determined not to focus on weight with dd.

meekenough Mon 21-Oct-13 13:48:48

A lot of mothers do this, why?

Yougotbale Mon 21-Oct-13 14:27:03

Is being fat a bad thing? I'm not fat but I didn't see it as a bad thing, just an adjective.

OP - why do you think being fat is bad? And why do you think your mum sees it as a negative?

itwasarubythatshewore Mon 21-Oct-13 14:28:28

xenadog What you have suggested the OP says to her mother about her body is just as vile and unacceptable as what the OP is rightly complaining about. It's not OK to be nasty to someone about their weight or body shape FULLSTOP, nor to call into question their womanliness or sexual desirability based on that. That goes for ALL sizes and shapes - big or small.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 21-Oct-13 14:42:06

You I don't think being fat= a bad thing, but my mum certainly does. She is highly critical of people who are 'fat' and her and my Dad take great pleasure in eeking out food for as long as possible as 'they don't need much food'. For example they will make a normal sized portion of fish and chips last them for 3 evening meals and a normal sized joint of meat will last the week.

I have never ever seen either of them over eat ie eat a chocolate bar for the fun of it.

So the implication of me being told I am fat is that I lack self control and so am a worse person as a result.

DH did stick up for me and retaliated along the lines of well you are anorexic, but I felt too crushed to say anything further. I certainly won't retaliate by being nasty but what I may do next time is say 'Do you know how hurtful your comments are?'

Meek I have often wondered that too and can now see my middle sister doing the same to her daughter. I suspect it stems from jealousy and a certain bitterness

EyesCrossedLegsAkimbo Mon 21-Oct-13 14:57:13

I'd be tempted to reply to her fat phobia "talking about weight, you are looking very old and haggard, are you ill? If not then you really need to put some weight on".

Either that or shout BOOOOOORRRRRRRIIINNGGGG in her face.

Yougotbale Mon 21-Oct-13 15:18:47

Funny - ok, you don't see being fat as a bad thing. Do you think you are fat?

EldritchCleavage Mon 21-Oct-13 15:27:14

I think people who prize thinness to such an extreme degree and judge people adversely for being fat can be furious with family members they see as being overweight for letting the side down, and forcing them to associate publicly with something they fear and despise.

Same with people who would not have as a friend a person they saw as fat. Fat is, to them, low status and since appearance is everything, why would they associate with a person of manifestly low status?

OP, you can't change your mother's attitudes but I do urge you to stand up for yourself and find a means to stop your mother voicing her distaste to you.

My mother has mild food and weight issues and as she gets older has begun constantly going on about all the overweight people around. I don't want my children to hear this, particularly. But it is hard to get my mother to stop without hurting her.

Catchhimatwhat Mon 21-Oct-13 15:30:30

Saying that thin people look haggard and ill is horrid and will just make the situation worse! Bringing more negativity. Avoid that!

It sounds like your patches have real issues if a portiin of fish and chips lasts three meals, they've never had a chocolate bar for fun. I feel sorry for them.
Can you not say the comments are hurtful?

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 21-Oct-13 15:34:34

You I have days when I feel fat and days when I feel fine, but no matter what my weight I have felt exactly the same. I was more than capable of feeling fat at 9 stone and I would go as far as to say I have never ever felt thin enough, not since puberty tbh

Yougotbale Mon 21-Oct-13 15:45:54

Funny - I see. So it's your mum's definition of fat, which is different to yours. You don't think there is anything wrong with being fat. What you don't like is your mum's perception of fat and where her comments come from?

You can either interpret being called 'fat', by your mum, as how you see the word.

Or explain to her that the word doesn't bother you, (like being told to 'go to hell' as a non-Christian doesn't affect me). But her sentiment behind the word comes from a negative and spiteful place, which isn't healthy for a happy relationship.

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 21-Oct-13 16:14:44

That's entirely it You. I will have to say something to her the next time she makes a comment as I can't keep reliving this everytime it happens.

Tell you what, sometimes my life seems like a constant reinforcement of boundaries between the children, work and my family. It's hard work sticking up for yourself all the time!

Darkesteyes Mon 21-Oct-13 17:01:31

My mum can be a bit like this She worshipped Princess Di when i was growing up. "Lose some weight you look horrible" she said I lost ten stone going from a size 28 to a 12/14
(shes not the reason i did it) and then shed give me a couple of size 10 skirts (if you lose a bit more you could fit into these.) That was a few years back now Ive been back at Slimming World for over a month and have lost 10 and a half pounds and almost one dress size going from a 20 and now slowly coming into an 18.
Unfortunately i know other ppl like this.
Ive recently bumped into an old college acquaintance a couple of times. She is bigger herself but has PCOS. But shes very critical of everyone elses appearance. We were standing outside a local supermarket recently when she said "turn round and look at the girl behind you" i did and there was a girl in a burgundy bandage type dress. College acq said "would you wear that if you had those lumps and bumps everywhere.
I was stunned and said Yes i would The young woman was no more than a size 12 14 at a push (smaller than me or her)
But thats not the point Why does it have to be about appearance at all. I was reminded of why i never liked her at college tbh. Back then she criticised one of my boyfriends because he wasnt good looking enough.
Then the other week she started going on about how lucky i am to have a husband who stays with me even though im bigger. So i said it made no diff as he hadnt touched me for years.
I let slip that i had OM for a while and then she intimated that i only got an OM because of getting down to a size 12.
a. i was a 14 to 16 when we met
b. my weight fluctuated a bit during my affair but didnt make any difference to it at all.
There was a lot more to my affair than my fucking dress size. the mind boggles at people who can be this shallow and stupid.

Darkesteyes Mon 21-Oct-13 17:04:24

Oh and the first thing she asked about ex OM was Was he good looking.
He was to me because we had amazing sexual chemistry and there was a strong connection.
Why cant people GET that Why does it have to be based on looks all the time.

dobedobedo Mon 21-Oct-13 17:13:43

I don't really know what to suggest, some good ones here. My mum is exactly the same as yours btw.

I'm about the same size as you and PREGNANT. And the other day my mum called and asked how the morning sickness was. I told her I managed to eat "quite a bit" today. She went on and on about how I didn't need to eat loads and I need to be careful cos I'm so overweight.

I informed her that "quite a bit" meant I only puked up one of the two small meals I'd eaten that day, and then I said "AND I'VE LOST OVER A STONE SINCE BEING PREGNANT, WHICH YOU'LL BE GLAD TO HEAR. WHO GIVES A FUCK IF IT DAMAGES THE BABY." blush
I swear she turns me into a moody teenager.

I don't even live in the same country as she does. And the main reason I've not visited it in about a year is because I can't stand her comments.

Our mothers are cowbags! thlangry

treadheavily Mon 21-Oct-13 17:16:13

My mother has been calling me fat for as long as I can remember. Though I am not fat.

The worst part is hat she calls my daughter fat, too. My beautiful, (petite) little girl.

Next time she calls you fat, could you say something along these lines?

"Mum - every time you call me fat, it really hurts me, and I am not prepared to put up with it any more. Either the fat comments stop, or I don't see how I can go on spending time with you. You know it hurts me - now STOP!!"

Treadheavily - I would say the same to your mum, with the addendum that if she calls your dd fat one more time, she won't be seeing her again. Neither you nor your dd deserve this cruelty, and you should protect both her and yourself.

You and Funnys are both beautiful people who deserve to be treated like the lovely ladies you are.

Darkesteyes Mon 21-Oct-13 17:39:35

YY SDTG There are a lot of emotionally abusive mothers out there busily proving that domestic abuse isnt only commited by partners.

Walkacrossthesand Mon 21-Oct-13 17:41:15

This thread has reminded me of a friend of my (late) DM, now in her 80s. Our families were close, and the friend struggled with her weight all her adult life - until post-menopause, since when she's been slim. Her daughter (my age) is very active, naturally slim (size 8-10) but I've only recently realised how focused their household is around size. The daughter got massively upset recently because she'd put on a few pounds. And I remembered the mum saying to me (when I'd put on weight a few years ago after overshooting the 'regaining after divorce diet' thing) - 'what a shame, you were so attractive when you were slim.' Wtf? I feel for the daughter, listening to that poison 'drip dripping' daily.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 21-Oct-13 17:55:06

another one with a "fattist" mum here..... I see her every other year as I cannot be bothered to travel to see someone who does not show any love or respect for me....

last time it was 8 min before she mentioned my weight (I time it every time) - in front of my 2 pre-teen daughters.... (I am overweight, she is overweight, they are not) - we had picked her up at the airport and waiting for the lift at the car park she said "we'll take the lift, your mummy needs to use the stairs really"

because she said it in front of my girls I actually asked her the classic "Did you mean to be so rude mum? What an unkind thing to say"

I actually got an "Oh? I'm sorry"..... and SHE DIDN'T MENTION MY WEIGHT AGAIN!

dobedobedo Mon 21-Oct-13 18:11:30

The last time I was pregnant, I hadn't seen my mum for ages and I showed up at her door, six months gone. She looked at me, after not seeing me for a year, and said "oh my goodness you've put on way too much weight" cheers mum. Can't diet now, can I? Grrr.

wordfactory Mon 21-Oct-13 18:49:22

Things I have said to my Aunt when she is being horrid to my cousin:

Auntie, I know you have issues around weight and I feel so sorry for you. Don't you think you might need to seek professional help?

Auntie, if a mother cannot act as her daughter's number one cheer leader, she'd not much use as a mother.

Auntie, I can only hope my daughter turns out as happy and successful as yours.

Auntie, stop being so silly. Your daughter is bloody georgous!

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 21-Oct-13 22:30:00

Thank you SDTG that brought a tear to my eye it really did. My mother can be lovely but that last comment has really done it for me and her. My father has done the same as has my middle sister and one nasty comment too many is really the straw. I will pick her up on it the next time and will be ready, but why should it come to this? I love her for who she is, why can't she love me back in the same way.

As an entirely side note, my middle sister has always suffered from awful depression. I have also had some very dark times and when one evening I said to her I know how awful it is to feel hellish she shot back 'how on earth would you know how any of this feels'. So another family member who has hardened my heart against them. I open up and get shot down because other than being fat I have the perfect life.

Fucking bitches thlgrin

anywinewilldo Mon 21-Oct-13 22:51:46

These comments really resonate with me too, but my DM takes a different line of attack. I have always been slim, but have always also been pretty flat-chested, 34AA at best.

My DM, usually at large family gatherings or when her friends pop round when we are visiting her, will say, if the conversation can possibly be steered in that direction "well, she's never had much up top" in my hearing or, turning to me in a group conversation, "well, you've never had much up top, have you?".........


notagiraffe Mon 21-Oct-13 23:02:09

OP, it's so sad that this comes between you. Call her on it. Next time she says it, say: 'Why does my size upset you so much? You always say something about it, so it must matter to you. Why?' See what she says. Then you can actually talk to her about it. If she thinks you'd be happier, or more successful etc, you can put her right.

You could even wait until your sister is there too, so you can both ask her about it.

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