I’m THAT Middle Aged Woman

When I was a child, my mother went through every diet she could find. She was an average-sized woman, on the thin side, always has been, but she was in Weight Watchers. She drank green-colored shakes that left a film in the sink and grunge on the blender no one could get off. She counted calories and took vitamins and pills designed to keep you from feeling hungry. She ate salads while we ate lasagna. She also ate heaps of ice cream when no one was looking. It always starts with your mother, doesn’t it?

I’d have said I’m not that person. I take up more space than your average-sized woman and I’m never on the thin side. I don’t count calories and I don’t eat salads. I’m bigger than I wish I was, looking more like my round father and rounder grandfather and nothing like the sylph-like beanpoles on my mother’s side. It’s getting harder to do the things I know I “should”. Exercise, eating things that are not doughnuts, you know. I think I care less. Or I thought I did.

You see, my wife is always in some sort of pain. Not in a whining, terrible way, no. She suffers silently. An aching back, a sore shoulder, a wince when no one is looking. And so, when she suggested looking into an anti-inflammation diet, I was right there with her. We embarked upon the detox phase only for her to say, halfway through, I didn’t mean for this to be a diet. But of course it is. The word diet has changed for me since my mother was weighing her low cal bread, meaning more of a habit of eating than an activity. But this, this feel-good (and it does), vegetable heavy, spice packed, way of eating is definitely a diet AND a diet.

It reminds me of the Whole 30 (check) and Paleo (also check) but not at all like Weight Watchers (check), all of which we tried for a year and abandoned. How am I not like my mother? I certainly don’t tell RR why we’re having stuffed portobello mushrooms instead of pasta but the flaxseed is sitting on the table and we’re clearly eating more green things than we ever have before. We’re trying to model heathy eating but are we doing that when we swing so wildly around? She is a beanpole herself and I’d like to keep her that way, if only to spare her the looks in high school, the disappointing trips to buy clothing, the pinched waist and sucked in belly.

But then again, here I am, with my own mother who surely wanted those things for me as well, only to fail when I turned out like myself. Raising a child is ridiculously hard work, when you think about it, especially when you can’t do that over a croissant and coffee.

2 Responses

  1. Here’s the bright side- the kids these days are very into body positive messages. I’ve learned from mine that having a healthy relationship with food and good eating habits, combined with this body positive stuff means she doesn’t have the same struggles I have had (still do). The kids are alright.

  2. Small favors isn’t it?

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