I love my mother. I really really do. Please don’t think otherwise. But as I spend more time with her after 8 months apart, I realise how I react around her and how her issues got me where I was when I started this whole weight loss and fitness journey.
My mother hates her body. She may say otherwise but I know she does. Every body part is a defect, something to hide. A few years ago (pre-weight loss), I bought a dress – very cute to the knee in white and green – and I tried it on at home. Her response was that I should return it and get a dress that covered my knees because “knees are ugly”. I got angry and refused to return the dress. BUT I never wore it. EVER. It stayed in my closet and I looked at it wistfully every summer but never wore it. Because my knees were ugly.
Fast forward to this morning. I’ve learnt in the past year or so that shorter skirts look BETTER on me (ie I don’t look like a midget) and I have a really cute white peasant skirt from the Gap. I’m wearing it this morning when the parentals come over and my mother is sitting in the living room while I’m making them tea. She looks at my legs. Notices my bruise (I bruise a lot – I’m clumsy!) and then says
“Oh, you have a huge bruise on your knee!”
Me: “Um, no, that’s just my knee”
Her: “Are your knees always that dark? I think it’s the gym. You’re probably doing something to make your knees bruised”
(What the hell does she think I’m doing at the gym?! Crawling?)
I scoffed, I laughed and then I went to check my knees. And then I remembered. These are her issues, not mine. I’m learning to love my body and I can’t let her bring me back to the mirror and back to examining which body parts are to be hidden today. Knees are knees. When you think about the work they do, they’re frigging works of art!
My new mantra: I am not my mother’s issues.