Sunday, March 12, 2017

I wish I knew then, what I know now....A mom's apology to her daughters

When we have children, we are not given a guide book.  All we have is our own experiences, our intuition and what we "think" is best to go on as we raise our children.  OHHH How I wish I knew then, what I know now.


This is a note to my own daughters, apologizing for not modeling or teaching them: (and other young people as well, who grew up with similar role models.)  


That their bodies are uniquely beautiful and individual...and that food has a  purpose and can be enjoyed.


My dearest daughters, 

I want to apologize for not being a very good role model for you when in comes to food, eating and body image.  I was too scared to teach you the wrong things, and contribute to you not feeling good enough.

I grew up in a quest for a better body, knowing and believing that mine did not look like it should and was not "good" enough.

It consumed all my thoughts, actions and behaviors.  It was all I knew. 

As you both grew up, I actually tried to impose the exact opposite of my own thoughts about food and body image on you, because I did not want  you to grow up like me, obsessed with food, calories and the numbers on the scale.  

I wished for you both to have a healthy relationship with food and your bodies.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the following behaviors I am not proud of: 


  • Saying no to a slice of your birthday cakes (I didn't want to consume the calories)
  • Not eating dinner with you at night (because I had been eating all afternoon)
  • Offering you food to ease your pain (I didn't know what else to do)
  • Not teaching you a healthy balance and educate you on the importance of food (I did not know it myself)
  • Being angry when you couldn't sleep (and caught me eating cheese-its)
  • Witnessing my own body hatred when I looked in the mirror (Hearing my internal "mini-me" tell me how fat I was)
  • Always being to "tired" to play outside or swim with you at the beach (I had spent all my energy at the gym earlier in the day)
  • The hours you spent at the day care in the gym 
  • Seeing me throw clothes on the floor in fits of anger 
  • Witnessing the "changing of the rules around food" when other people were around (trying to show others I was a good parent)

I wish I knew then, what I know now.  

I would like to take this opportunity to share what I have learned: 

NOW I would teach you
  • How to love and appreciate that unique and special body you live in. 
  • To listen and trust your own internal messages of hunger and fullness
  • That food is not good or bad, it is just food
  • To strengthen your own inner MAXI-ME's (the positive, supportive, kind and compassionate inner voice you have in your head) by listening positive self talk with you
I would also: 
  • Model balanced eating and moving behaviors
  • Look at my own body with respect and appreciation 
  • Enjoy dinners, birthday cake, playing at the playground and swimming at the beach
  • Stick up for our families relationship with food, no matter who was around.
I am writing this to let you know that we are all human and make mistakes sometimes. It is part of what makes us unique and special, and through these mistakes it creates the opportunity for us to learn and grow.  I am sorry for my mistakes as your mom. 

For you both...

I wish you joy & happiness as you navigate your adult lives
I wish you acceptance and appreciation of your bodies 
I wish you freedom and peace with food and eating 
I wish you forgiveness of self when mistakes are made
I wish you support of good friends and family when times get tough
I wish you continued growth and learning
I wish you a life full of experiences and memories
I wish you much laughter & love



With love,
Mom


Sunday, March 5, 2017

How Obeying the Food Police Caused me to have Destructive Thoughts and Disordered Eating Behavior

“You better watch what she eats” the doctor said to my mom, “She weighs more than she should at her age”. 

My mom nodded and looked at my belly. 

It was 1973, the year of Watergate, Roe vs Wade, the ribbon cutting of the world trade center, and the Carly Simons song ‘Your so Vain” played on the radio

This was the year the Food & Diet Police were hired at my home just for me. 

They:

·      Watched the foods I put on my plate
·      Listened closely for the refrigerator door to open or the candy dish lid to be lifted
·      Allowed me only certain foods
·      Let me know that “Only your brother can eat that, you cannot”
·      Asked me, “How could you be hungry?  You just ate “
·      Told me to “Go outside and play, its too early for a snack”

During this time I noticed a steady stream of thoughts and questions that circled around in my brain.

How can I lose weight?
How much more am I going to have to exercise?
What if I can’t lose weight?

Which led to more pressure and more negative thoughts and more obsessiveness to obey the food police.  I felt this drive to keep striving for the approval of my parents, my peers and society.

100% of my time and effort was consumed by keeping my weight in check, keeping up this false idea of what I should look like and striving for this idealized vision of perfection.  I said no to party’s, vacations and invitations to experience life.  The gym became my best friend. I became lost in my compulsion to succeed.

This landed me in the hospital for anorexia nervosa and in the care of multiple psychologists.  It is no wonder I have struggled with food and my body for the last 40+ years. 

It was only when my knee began breaking down that I finally noticed what my body was telling me… I was tired, drained, lacking energy, empty and exhausted. This was the moment I finally realized that it didn’t matter how much time, energy and focus I spent on trying to have the perfect body, meet society’s thin ideal or gain my parent’s acceptance, it was not worth it. 


I knew I had to start listening and respecting my body and it’s needs and fire the food police once and for all.

Tune in next week to learn how and why I finally fired the Food Police and dismissed the thin ideal once and for all.   Also, for your information I will be offering a Free 4 week Intuitive Eating mini-class in March.  Enroll today at annepoirier11@gmail.com