My mom left this afternoon. I’ll see her again in about 4-5 weeks. I walked her to her car and before she left she looked at me and said, “You look good. I don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s working. Keep it up. You look really good.”

I couldn’t even say, “thank you” in response. I just shrugged, and grimaced, and said something incoherent like, “yeah, well”.

I don’t know that I will ever be able to have a coherent conversation with her about this.

There is just too much baggage.

I know that she means well. I know that she is trying to be supportive and encouraging and, well, she’s trying to be nice. But it tends to mess with my head.

You know how many people would say that their self-esteem is tied up in the scale? If the number is up then they feel bad about themselves and if the number is down they feel good about themselves.

For me, I’ve always liked myself, but for years and years and years it was about how worthy of love from my mother I would be depending on the scale.

The weird part is that I don’t think she ever said anything of the sort to me. She would certainly recoil in horror at the idea that I inferred that from her behavior.

Did she imply it?

At one point in my life I would have instantly answered that question with a shouted, “YES!”

At another point in my life I would have deliberated and then said, “No, she meant well, she was just misguided in her approach.”

Right now? Right now I say, “I don’t know.”

Maybe she implied that my worth as a person was hinging on my weight. Maybe she didn’t. I doubt that she meant to even if she did imply it.

Regardless, though, it’s what I felt. She always seemed so confused by my inability to control my weight. She seemed to look at me as a conundrum she couldn’t solve. Why did the ability to control what I ate, control my weight, control myself with food elude me?

I wish I had had an answer when this began for me all those years ago.

I wish I had been able to have the insight being in OA has brought me.

I wish my mother hadn’t put me on my first “diet” when I was 8 years old.

I wish my mother hadn’t moved food away from me at the table when she thought I should stop eating.

I wish I hadn’t reacted with rebellion so even when I was finished and didn’t want anymore I would insist on eating more once she’d moved the food.

I wish she had realized how she was contributing to my food issues.

I wish she still did realize how she contributes to my food issues.

I wish I was over them.

I wish a lot of things.

But this time is different. Two weeks ago when she told me that I was looking good I promised myself that I wouldn’t let it get to me. I promised myself that it wouldn’t mess with my head. I promised myself I would keep putting one foot in front of the other and stick with my plan.

I am making the same promise to myself tonight.

You see in the past one word of encouragement from my mother usually resulted in the demise of my dieting attempt and the yo-yo-ing back of all the lost weight.

But, today, I’m turning all of these thoughts out of my head and turning them over to the empty abyss of the internet.  It’s coming out of my head and won’t drag me down.

You know what? I am looking better. I might even look good. But if I am, it’s for me to decide and her words need to go in one ear and out the other.

Someday, I just hope I can have something better to say to her than “yeah, well…”