Posted by: chlost | February 4, 2010

Self Image

My daughter has a blog.  She doesn’t know that I know about it.  Thus, she doesn’t know that I have read it.

In her most recent postings, she has been talking about how wonderful she feels after losing a lot of weight.  She is very happy, and has a great self image-that is the summary of her post.  We are both very tall,  When she was young, she was very thin.  When she started junior high, she had a very hard adjustment, and her weight went way up.  She then had a very bad self image, and the pattern turned into a cycle.  She hasn’t been thin since those times as a young girl.

Now, to be fair, I should lose weight.  I should lose a lot of weight.  I have a poor self image, and it probably has played into the same cycle.  I also take medication which includes weight gain as a side effect.  I know how bad she felt about herself.  But it hurt to read about that in her blog.  She is so happy, and she says that she never was happy before.  That makes me feel awful.  I failed her as her mother. 

It is wonderful to hear about how good she feels.  She enjoys seeing herself in the mirror.  She loves to try on clothes.  She feels happy and light-for dancing and jumping, and running.  I wish I did.  But I want that for her.  she is in a relationship that is likely to lead to marriage, or at least a very long-term commitment.  It is great to hear how happy she is.   But on the other side, I feel guilty that it took moving away for this to happen. Were we somehow causing or responsible, or supporting her unhappiness?  Or worse, were we not aware of it?  I did know that she was not feeling good about herself.  She was making some decisions that made me feel uncomfortable.  She was drinking-a lot.  She was in a job that was so stressful that she would be in tears.  But she was an adult, and has always resented me butting in.  She does ask my opinion sometimes, but I usually don’t give an opinion unless it is asked-but maybe you would need to check with her to see if that is true.

My daughter is finishing a master’s program. She has a job she loves.  She is in love.  She is a smart woman.  Why is our self image so intertwined with our weight?  Why are the other things not enough? What is the judgment we make about our worth and our own self love?  I feel it now about myself.  It makes me mad, and makes me depressed to think about my weight, then mad at the world for judging me based upon my weight.

Self image is so complicated.  The core of our being.  How can we as women pass on a new message to our daughters and granddaughters?  I didn’t do it for my daughter.  I feel very badly about that.


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