Friday, March 13, 2009

What did you learn from your mother?

It’s said that your mother can influence the way you feel about your body. If she openly criticised hers then her daughters are more likely to feel bad about theirs. But what about food? Does the way your mother eats impact you also? From my experience I would have to say yes. I know I didn’t get my body image issues from my Mom, but I do know that her eating habits have rubbed off on me. Well, at least in my dreams they have. See, I truly believe that losing and maintaining weight isn’t about counting calories, points or even attempting to balance carbs and proteins. I believe in earnest that a healthy diet (and by that I don’t mean dieting) can incorporate all food without needing to label it as bad or naughty. So where did I get my attitude towards food from? My Mother.

She is a woman who I have never seen refuse any food because it might be ‘fattening’. She has never dieted before or controlled what she eats. She regularly enjoys a little sweet treat, a glass of wine or some creamy cheese. What she does do is stop eating when she is satisfied and only eats when hungry. She will regularly save a bit for later and guard it closely if by chance its cake. Getting outside and being active is something she does for the love of it rather than to work out. I am totally in awe of my Mother as she is a perfect role model for how I want to live. It helps sharing the same genes, body shape and knowing how she does it!
For better or for worse, looking to our mother’s may just be the place to find out a bit about ourselves wether it’s attitudes to our bodies or food or what may be ahead of us as we age. What have you learnt from your Mom?


  1. My mom eats healthily but also allows herself treats every once in a while. Her form of exercise is basically moving around while doing things she needs/enjoys to do (gardening, home improvement projects, etc). Everyday, she sets enough time for her to relax: read, drink a cup of coffee, talk with my dad, watch the dogs. Thanks for making me realize that my attitude towards my body may just be as simple as following that of my mom's: eat enough + move around + relax.

  2. To be totally neurotic about food, criticize all fat and claim to never eat (unless nobody is looking) and to always think I'm fat no matter what?

    How's that?

  3. Very healthy relationship. My mum eats whatever she wants- she's all about really enjoying food. Thanks to her, I didn't even know what a calorie was until sometime in junior high. I really appreciate that I was so oblivious to the idea of dieting and everything as a child!

    - Sagan

  4. Banana - Sounds like your mom is a great role model. I failed to think about relaxation and relationships, but sounds like she's spot on.
    Just Julie - I'm sorry to hear that. It does make it incredibly tough to learn positive habits growing up with that sort of example.
    Sagan - That definetly sounds like a good way to grow up.

  5. that's so great - sounds like your mom is a really good influence. :-)(

  6. Your Mom sounds like a great role model. :)

    But I am curious -- how did you get from there to here? I can directly trace a lot of my behavior around food to my Mom, but your mother didn't pass on any unhealthy food behaviors, so where/when/how did you learn or acquire your struggle between mind and body as it pertains to food and weight?

  7. Trish: I'm lucky that she is. Perhaps I should listen to her more often!?
    Bikini quest: I don't know too much about any my mom's childhood from an emotional point of view. For me, the trigger was the move to Australia, which was very emotional in the years after it. I basically ate to dull the stress and that's where the rollercoaster began.

  8. My mom eats what ever she wants and then move around working alot. Sometimes she gets a little overweight and complains but she is always active. Since she is in her 50's and healthy I think it's great!

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