Day 12 – Back In My Day

I was talking to mum today. She’s in her 80’s now and although she creaks a bit and takes more pills then can be good for a person she is very lucid and her memory is sharp as a button thankfully.

I don’t see any of my family other than one niece and I only speak to my mum, there are reasons which I can’t explain but which are perfectly valid why I don’t visit and I’m at peace with my choice and so is she.

I was telling her about my healthy lifestyle (knew it would be a mistake but hey ho) She said “Oh again? Why, are you even fatter now?” Imageand me brushing it off with a “Yeah I thought I’d give it one last go and yeah because I’m the size of a house, in fact if you stand at your gate I’m so huge you can see me from there” and her laughing (not laughing because she realised how negative her comment was but because she thought I was being silly, not sarcastic, silly) and me laughing (not laughing because I know my mother doesn’t know how offensive and demoralising what she said was but because I knew that she did know how offensive and demoralising what she said was).

We got over that I’m used to it by now. Then she said “Isn’t it strange though that when I was young it was virtually unheard of for anyone to be fat, definitely not men and the odd woman but usually later in life, there was the odd fat kid at school but it would be one in a huge school, very rare. We didn’t have healthy eating, we just ate what there was. We ate full fat cheese, cream, butter, milk, we ate meat with great chunks of fat on, we even ate fat on its own in the form of dripping from meat (tell me if you don’t know what dripping is and I’ll explain), all the fat from meat went into gravy, we ate tons of puddings and fatty milk puddings and I don’t recall anyone jogging, there were no gyms, we had a swimming pool and people walked more and used bikes but other than that there was no health or fitness fads. What went wrong? I think that as soon as they brought in healthy eating and all this modern stuff it just made more fat people.”

We discussed other factors such as changing lifestyle and the advent of fast and convenience foods but even so she said “Yes but still we were eating tons of fat before Macdonalds.”

I wonder does she have a point? Were people more content to be the average size they were,(thinking of the photos that do the Imagerounds of Marilyn Monroe having been a sex symbol and icon and yet she was far from what would be widely regarded as ‘hot’ today. That was the average size and women were happy there, they wanted to emulate that.

So it’s the media at fault all the way then. The media just made us want to be thinner pressured by business to create new markets for their products.

I guess the intention was originally to make us buy a wider range of products and then those products became brands in their own right. Heinz owned Weightwatchers for years and I believe retained the rights to the Weightwatchers food branding after they sold the weight loss section of the business for silly numbers of millions of dollars.

Whatever, the beast was born.

I saw on Facebook the other day one of my year mates posted a photo of our girls athletics team after winning regional championships. They were all 15/16, all wearing the school vest top and sports pants (the big knickers type ones) and were proudly standing or kneeling around the trophy and the sports instructors. (This was around 1982/3)

I showed my kids and said “What is the first thing you notice about that photo?”

They looked for a minute and then said “They’re the sports team and yet they’re all fat”

I remembered some of the faces, my friends at school and I remember going shopping with them as teens and how they’d wear size 10 (the skinny ones) and a 12 (the normal ones). I tried to remember seeing anything less than a 10 in the shops and realised there was just no such size. It all ended at 10. Even catwalk models had to be a size 10. So when did 10 get fat? When did it become OK to be a 2?

When did it stop being OK for 15/16 year old female athletes to have a bust and hips and some meat on her bones?

And a size 10 has changed because my mum always points out that Marilyn Monroe WAS a size 10 and she knows this because her sister was an official Marilyn lookalike promo girl and she had to be the same size and she wore a 10 in replica outfits sent by Hollywood to her door. (Evidently when Marilyn had a new movie out, icon that she was and transport being what it was, she couldn’t be present at every premier or promo event globally so an army of Marilyn official lookalikes were recruited all over the world and they were contracted to ‘be Marilyn’ at regional and local premieres and promo events. They were styled and dressed as replicas of the original and my aunt was one of these who worked in Singapore/Hong Kong/Malaysia region)

ImageThe health food and exercise sector, the diet industry needs us to be fat and needs more and more of us to do so because we pay more for our food than regular food and let’s face it we just eat more of it. They make us fat so that they can make more money from us and make us more miserable.

If nothing else when you find it hard to resist temptation today think of that and don’t let the fat cats win. We can have our own mini revolution and we can have our victories each and every time we put something in our mouths and we can help others have their victories by supporting them.

Viva la revolution fellow fat fighters! We can win this one.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Day 12 – Back In My Day”

  1. I can’t agree wholesale with your ma: obviously SOME people ate tons of fat, but not ALL, by any means. Also, in her day the servings were smaller, and that’s a fact: it’s only recently that we’ve come to eat big platefuls during our meals. I know that my own problem is caused by two things: eating too much and eating it too fast. So why can’t I fix that ? – because I’m on my own in every sense of the word. There is NO-ONE to help me become, let alone stay, motivated.

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    1. That’s what I said to her. When are we talking because when she was little food was scarce so I’m assuming she was talking when she was first married so 1950’s and I doubt everyone eats like our family used to, even in the early days before the latter ones of us came along. Mum had a thing about feeding people.

      I eat fast too. I have to remind myself to slow down, I find drinking water with my meal helps. I have a pint glass of water beside me and try to make it last the meal, so I’ll have an inch of it before I start and I’ll keep on stopping, putting down my knife and fork and drinking some more water then eating some more then stopping. I find that just gives me a chance to take a breather and I do find that since doing that I often leave some food, something I never used to do.

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      1. Been there. My problem is that I’m always watching the telly by the time it’s dinner, so I eat it on my lap.
        I have SO MANY habits I have to change; I don’t know where to start.
        And the underlying problem is that as there is no-one on the face of the earth who gives a rat’s, why should I bother ?!

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        1. If you are happy as you are don’t bother, I certainly wouldn’t. But if it’s something you really want to do you’ll find a way.

          Habits are hard to change and that’s one of the keys to changing other things. I’m still not getting anywhere with my commitment to go to bed early. It’s 2am and here I still am, working away planning lessons for next semester, listening to music, typing on my blog, reading my blog, having my self administered therapy.

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  2. Mothers, eh? What would we do without them? Don’t get me wrong, I do love my mum, and I don’t blame her for every single problem I have, including my weight, but to this day, though she is in her 70s and I am in her 40s, she only has to mention a tiny little thing about weight and, on a bad day, I react as though a doctor has tapped my knee looking for a reflex and found it. That’s how violently I react at times. I am trying SO hard to stop this, but part of me just thinks that if at my age I’m not accorded the courtesy of running my life (however badly), something’s not right. And having it come from someone who, while certainly not as fat as me, is no lightweight, just makes it worse. If anyone’s ever seen the Fat Fighters skit on ‘Little Britain’, sometimes I try and see my mother’s commentary by pretending she is Marjorie Dawes, i.e. “I may be fat, but YOU are something else!” Otherwise I think it’d drive me insane. I don’t know what the answer is, though. I think it lies in me changing MY reactions because I sure as heck can’t change hers at her age!

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    1. That’s so true. I just face palm now but it does bring back a lifetime of the same old hurtful stuff.

      I think my mum had such a negative attitude to everything that was different, she couldn’t understand anything that was not ‘normal’ in her eyes. She had problems with disability, race and weight.

      She was scared of anything that was different, she still is.

      I have to just accept that’s the way she is.

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  3. That’s right. Acceptance is really the only way. I think I learnt that the hard way when my grandmother passed away a couple of years ago at the ripe old age of 92. When I was a kid my mother and her used to kind of gang up on me (or at least, I felt they did) and I spent literally years being scared of my grandmother and/or not liking her very much. In the end, though, once I saw she had turned from a martinet into a feeble old lady, I recognised that in her own way she was trying to help me. Well, they both were. Trouble is, their methods only made the problem worse but that doesn’t change the fact that their intentions were good. The hurtful comments still sting a bit, though. 😦

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    1. It’s so true, they were trying to help. I’ve had to check myself sometimes with my own daughter and consciously think about the messages I’m sending her. Fortunately she doesn’t have food issues and has always been a very healthy responsible eater and always very active. She has learned from my example in a positive rather than negative way. Probably because I’ve always let her know how miserable this is.

      My son is a bit more difficult as he is 14 and growing a foot a day (or so it seems) he is devouring a serious amount of food, craving proteins mostly so I’m keeping him stocked with lean meat and fish and letting him eat whole animals if he wants to. It unnerves me to feed this appetite but he is definitely growing up and not out and so I’m hopeful that it really is just his body craving proteins and energy to get him through this final huge spurt of growth. His arms and legs are changing to big strong solid guy stuff and that must be using up an amazing amount of calories.

      I balance him out with lots of fruit and veg, to be fair he would eat a cushion if I put it in front of him at the moment he is constantly starving so I’m making sure it’s good stuff to make him grow healthily but I was so worried when it began that he was heading for a food problem. I’m more relaxed about it now and see it for what it is and I remind him that his body is using this mammoth amount of food for a purpose so he sees it as fuel and nothing else.

      Looking inside the head of a fat person is intriguing, we are so complex!

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