Miraculum's Journal, 24 May 2018

Rejecting A Legacy

My mother was naturally thin and fine-boned, a perfect blend of her "Daddy," who, in his 80s, was tall and majestic in his full and dignified gray crewcut, and her petite, sweet "Mommy," who died of cancer in her 50s. My grandmother constantly reminded her eldest and youngest daughters that they had to "act small" because they was "too big."

My mother passed that distorted body image on to me. Unfortunately, I was tall and large-boned, like my father. When, at 12, I complained that her white gloves were too small for my hands, so I couldn't complete my Cadette Girl Scout dress uniform for church. My mother was aghast! My hands were just ... too big.

I was 5'9-1/2" tall and 144 pounds as high school freshman, taller and "heavier" than all my friends. Now I know that my BMI was a perfect 21 -- half of what it would be 20 years later -- but I was convinced that I was "fat." I remember flopping over the arm of a sturdy living room chair to my mother's exclamation of horror, loud and clear: "Patty, you're too big to act like that! You have to act lady-like!" In other words, "act small." It drowned out my father's muted reaction: "I think she's perfect just the way she is."

My mother's opinion was confirmed the day I tried on her wedding gown. I had hoped to wear it someday, but I couldn't get that neck-to-tailbone row of satin-covered buttons (there must have been a hundred!) within six inches of those pretty little button loops. Yep. "I'm BIG!" I spent the next half-century actually filling what was "lacking" of my BIG destiny.

I am determined to heal that damage, both psychological and physical. And, when I reach my weight goal, I may act on a suggestion many friends have made for over 40 years now: "You should write a book!"

I may, finally, feel I have something important to say: "NO MORE!"

Diet Calendar Entries for 24 May 2018:
1297 kcal Fat: 114.31g | Prot: 51.62g | Carb: 17.86g.   Breakfast: Aldi Heavy Whipping Cream, Coffee. Lunch: Galbani String Cheese. Dinner: Scrambled Egg (Whole, Cooked), Butter (Salted), Gouda Cheese. Snacks/Other: Archer Farms Raw Almonds Unsalted, Savoritz Wheat Round Crackers, Butter (Salted). more...
3581 kcal Activities & Exercise: Resting - 5 hours, Watching TV/Computer - 6 hours, Sleeping - 7 hours, Reading - 6 hours. more...

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Comments 
I think you DO have something to say. And you know what? I didn't fit my mom's bridal-button dress either, so I had the whole top remade to fit ME. It turned out great! You need to do what you need for YOU. It sounds like your mom was a lot like a lot of my southern aunts -- prescribed version of what they thought women were supposed to be instead of what women ARE. 
24 May 18 by member: SoCalPam
My mother was from the south -- south of Buffalo, NY, that is! Southern belles have that Scarlet O'Hara thing going for them, but we're all so much alike! My widowed father remarried the original Witchy Woman while I was still in high school. When she found my mother's wedding gown in a trunk in her attic -- one of the few things left of my mother's -- my father destroyed it. Nevertheless, I was married five years ago (at 59!) in an absolutely lovely off-the-rack-and-on-sale size-22 gown and bolero jacket, with sufficient foundation garments to defend the Realm. I donated the emsemble, floral headpiece and all, to the Salvation Army, positive that another size-22 bride would be just as pleased with it! 
24 May 18 by member: Miraculum
I was a brownie in elementary school. I used to pore over the catalogs and long to have a uniform but not a single thing came in my size. I hope you heal and wish you peace. 
24 May 18 by member: cjodyssey
5"9' 1/2 and 144 lbs!! You were almost to thin!!  
24 May 18 by member: Tammie517
When I was 11 my mother was finally giving up her small jeans as she resolved she would never fit in them again and had me try them on to pass down to me. I didnt fit them. I was not overweight at all at that time. She didnt make me feel bad but it did make me feel weird that I could not fit in them. I gained weight with a depression at age 12. I came out of the depression and naturally lost the weight and stayed around 105 till I was 20. In that time I made a homecoming dress that was a perfect fit for me. After my third pregnancy (total of 6) I began to gain weight because I required strict bed rest for premature labor. I have 4 daughters and by 13 each one of them were no longer able to fit into my special dress and they were not overweight they just had a larger rib cage than I did. I made sure to not let them feel bad and reassured them they were not overweight and were perfectly fit and healthy. I even took another daughter under my wing when she was 19 and had to reprogram her mind as her own mother made her feel fat because she had the small natural stomach pouch instead of rock solid abs showing. It is amazing the damage that can be done by body image shaming. I am so sorry that you had to endure that. 
24 May 18 by member: CandaceM
I am short, my sister is 5’9” and had the classic Sophia Loren hourglass body to go with it. I always thought she was the most beautiful person in the world. She was self conscious because she was taller tHan even the boys until she was a senior in high school. All of my friends were so jealous because I had the beautiful, tall sister. Now, of course, 5’9” for a girl is pretty much average height. 
24 May 18 by member: Kenna Morton
CandaceM, your children, and that "extra" daughter you mentored, are lucky girls! I raised two stepdaughters and a stepson. The girls and two of the kids' friends have come back to me with thanks for mentoring them. It's a blessing to know that we made a difference! 
24 May 18 by member: Miraculum
Families. God bless their little hearts, but they can sure make you make a mess of yourself. 
24 May 18 by member: saniv
Breaking the chains of that sort of emotional baggage can take a lifetime. I used to envy, "normal" sized people, but they have their own flaws that just aren't as easy to see, at least on first impressions, anyway. One reason I often seem rude or abrasive is that I've spent my life taking other people's jabs and as a result it doesn't take much for my razor tongue to come out.  
25 May 18 by member: Phil

     
 

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