Saturday, September 25, 2010

You have such a pretty face

I will give you a little background on this story.  Growing up my grandmother use to watch us while my parents worked and then when I got alittle older we lived right next to her so we were always seeing her.  My grandmother wasn't a bad person and she took good care of us but of all the people in my life that have made me feel bad about myself my grandmother was the worst.  She would always make the dreaded remark, you know the one....."you have such a pretty face if you would just lose weight".  Why is it people act like thats a compliment or that they are doing you a favor by pointing out how fat you are.  I assure you we already know and we don't need to hear it from anybody else.

About 10 years ago my grandmother moved away from here so I don't get to see her that often now.  Well she is staying with my parents for the next three months and this is her first night here so they decided to take her out to eat.  My kids went with them and my husband and myself stayed at home.  I ended up going to pick us up some take out at the same place my parents were going out to eat with my grandmother and as I was walking out from picking up my order they were getting out of their vehicle.  Now I haven't seen my grandmother in probably 6 months or more and when she saw me today you would expect her to have said hi and hugged me or something like that but what did I get?  The first remark out of her mouth was "Oh Christina"....I knew what was coming after that but luckily so did my mom and she said momma don't.  I went right back to my childhood of my grandmother making me feel like the ugliest duckling in the pond.  In that one second all the hardwork that I had done over the last 5 or 6 weeks was gone.  I was that same insecure person I have always been.  I couldn't wait to get in my car because I felt like I was a giant blimpe standing in the parking lot with everyone staring at me.

As soon as I got in my car I called my husband and he got to hear an earful about what had just happened.  Rest assured that as awful as it sounds my grandmother will not be seeing me much during this visit.  She has been called out on this many times before by mom who has told her if she doesn't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all.  And in her defense she does have alzehiemers and dimensia but I can't deal with the feelings she brings out in me.  I'm going to strong right now to let someone tear me down and possibly sabotage my weight loss journey.  I have to think about myself right now.

Well I better get to my exercise before it gets dark outside.  I'm sure alot of you have people that bring out these same emotions in you, what do you do about?  Just stay away from that person? 


  1. Do unto others as ... well, you know the rest.

    Instead of responding to negativity, just ignore it and try to set a better example by gently changing the subject and complimenting her about something.

    It sounds like she has more problems than you do, and she probably needs kindness and encouragement. Try it and see if she responds in kind. Even if she doesn't, you'll feel better about yourself for being kind to someone else.

  2. Sometimes, sadly, you do just have to stay away from certain people. Other times, though, and I believe the majority of the time, it's important to lovingly tell your truth. And that's hard for those of us who feel like crap about our weight - or any other issue that plagues us with low self-esteem. But there's no reason that you can't lovingly look at grandma and say, "Grandma. I know you love me. I know you want me to be healthy. I want that, too. And, believe it or not, I'm working on it. But when you say that to me, it hurts me. I feel like you'll love me more when I'm thinner. And I'd like you to love me for who I am no matter what size, no matter what age. And, in the meantime, I promise to work on being healthier, okay? I want you to be proud of me. I want to be proud of me." Or whatever version of that is true to your heart, mind, body, and soul. But bottom line - don't push down into yourself anything you feel anymore. Find and create ways to express those feelings. #1) you deserve to, #2) "stuffing it" is what got us here in the first place. Not to mention, it sounds like your grandma and my dad should go bowling! lol Love you, sister. Keep keepin' on!

    Becky from

  3. Rene I understand what you are saying and I know that she probably doesn't even remember or understand what she is saying at this point but I've dealt with this my whole life from her and maybe I'm being childish but her words hurt more than you could know. Its just really hard for me because I definitely don't want confrontation with her and we have never had a lovey dovey kind of relationship. I have learned to just change the subject with her when she is talking about someone else or being really negative but when the spotlight is on me then thats very difficult to do. All I want to do is flee from the situation. I know that my grandmother probably won't be with us much longer and I don't want this to be the kind of relationship that we have but she has always been a very negative and critical person.

    Becky I do like your suggestion about how I should respond to her and maybe if it was someone else I could do that but like I told Renee I don't have a lovey dovey kind of relationship with my grandmother. I can't invision myself talking to her like that. I just wasn't brought up in a very affection environment so to voice your emotions would be so uncomfortable. Now I do not raise my kids like that and I'm not that way with my husband but with my parents or grandmother thats just the way it was. It helped me to express those feelings to my husband and I won't let her remarks sabotage what I'm trying to do. Maybe next time she is here I will be who she wants me to be and then she will be proud of me but I seriously doubt it. I don't think I've ever made anyone in my family proud so why start now.

  4. Childhood hurts carry long shadows--even when you know better. My mother has serious mental health issues so I know that I shouldn't take much of anything she says seriously--yet,I do get upset. Even tho I know better. Then I feel guilty for being upset...

    So, I understand that even tho your grandmother's care kept you from day care and allowed you mom to work outside the home, what lingers are those bad feelings.

    And, apparently, her dementia isn't bad enough for her to be unaware that you're overweight--but probably bad enough that she lacks the inhibitions needed to refrain from commenting.

    Old wounds are easy to pour salt into. I hope you are able to heal in time for you to have peace with your grandmother.

    As far as what I do. Well, fortunately for me a lot of forgiveness and healing has occurred, so even tho I get upset, I am able to push past that. Well, that, and I am her legal guardian and am rersponsible for her care. I do not have the luxury of avoiding her.

    My brother, on the other hand, hasn't spoken to her in years. shrug. weigh what action will give me the least amount of guilt, and go with that. I do what I can live with.


  5. Oh, for the love of everything good in the world, I wish people would stop starting sentences with "You have such a pretty face, but...." Once, during one of my very many battles with weight, I went to my doctor, who I avoid at all costs because of the conversation about my weight that I know is coming. So, it came. And I told him that I had lost 5 lbs. And he followed it up with "Well, that's not enough." And continued with a lecture.

    It made me want to give up and I did. So, don't let grandma make the last 5-6 weeks feel useless. You are the only one that can make yourself feel inadequate. Just keep telling yourself that.

  6. I guess thats why I came home and jumped on my blog so I could vent and that way I can move forward. I refuse to let anything or anyone stand in my way of losing weight and making my life what it should have always been. I will succeed this time and I will deal with whatever issues pop up in the meantime. I'm not that little, weak, ugly duckling anymore and noone can ever make me feel that way again. I just talked to my mom on the phone about what my grandmother said and she said your grandmother has been that way her whole life and she will be that way until the day she dies so I guess I just need to find a way to deal with it.

  7. No, of course I don't mind! Thank you for the follow :)

  8. Bless your heart :( My grandma used to say the same thing to me and it never stops hurting.
    At this point in my life I am ready to MOVE ON from toxic people in my life-family or not. Life is just too dang short to be unhappy around people.
    Glad you vented! Hope you can work this out and find a happy resolution :)

  9. I'll echo what a lot of the other comments said - sometimes you just have to stay away from people. There are a few people who were once close to me that I had to cut out of my life because they were toxic and always pulling me or putting me down. Things like that hurt so avoiding people is a form of self-protection that is sometimes necessary.

  10. That must really have hurt; especially when you are making such strides and progress. Honestly, if it were me I would try to stay away. Unless you have a very close relationship with her and want to spend time with her, that attitude is only going to throw your momentum off. If she can't focus on the positive, then she will only be preventing you from keeping a good mindset.

  11. I try to turn it around and tell myself that the person who just hurt me has a much bigger problem than I will ever have, callousness. At least I can lose weight. Most people like that can't, or won't, change their personality and they're stuck with that personality for the rest of their lives.


  12. I have relatives that don't say anything to my face. But, I know they are happy that the skinny girl has finally gotten fat. I choose to stay away from them so they can't get so much enjoyment out of it. However, as soon as I lose all this weight...I'm going for a visit!

  13. *hugs* I know how it is to want your close family to be proud of you, but get negativity and criticism instead. Don't let her stupid comments ruin your days. She is wrong. Her words are worthless. Do what you need to do to stay positive and move your life forward. If it will take staying away from her to do that, so be it. Stay strong!

  14. I was always told I was the kid who would be so beautiful if only I could lose some number of pounds. They tried to bribe me with money, told me to look at sweets and think POISON! (like that was going to happen!) and even ridicule. My reaction? I got heavier and heavier. But you know what? When I look back at old photos, I was beautiful then! And until I was 17 I wasn't even really all that fat. I am truly a big boned girl, which I can prove now thanks to my handy hand held body fat monitor, and I was then too. We have to let it go. We have to live in the present. If grandma can't stop herself, and you can't let those harmful words slide off of you, then I'd avoid her too. One thought though, is she saying the same hurtful things to your kids? I'd ban her from their lives if she is. Life for kids today is too stressful to add that into the mix.

  15. I so appreciate all the comments and suggestions as to how to deal with this. I'm sure I will have to see her again while she is here especially since I live right next door to my mom which is where my grandmother is staying. I guess when I see her I will just try to make it a quick visit and distract her by talking about other things. She does make remarks to my oldest son who is overweight and I don't like that either. He has actually started walking with me lately and is trying to get healthy and I don't want her remarks setting back the improvements he has made already. Its hard to make excuses to not be part of the family events and be around her because my mom is alot alike her to as far as being negative and critical so if I'm not there then I have to get an attitude about it. Let's just hope the next 3 months fly by.

  16. Not only are you fighting for YOUR life, you are fighting for your son's, too. I truly believe there is a time for all things... and sometimes, it's to fight. Not in the literal sense, but in the protective sense.

    It is totally your choice... you sound very aware of how she affects you, and you don't want that same damage done to your son. So you can choose to set boundaries. It is NOT wrong to protect yourself and your son from someone who, whether they can help it or not, will hurt you. It is not wrong!

    This is your time. It is your son's time. Let NO ONE, nothing, no circumstances, no relative, no history from childhood, nothing, steal this from you and your son. Hard? Yep. Doable? Absolutely.

    My guess is, no matter how much you try to explain, they won't "get it". So what... do what is healthy for you and your son. Sure, you can try to be as loving and gentle as possible. But sometimes you just have to walk away, or stay away. And don't allow them to guilt you!

    I hope you can see that you have a lot to feel proud of... getting healthy, and helping your son achieve that too, is big stuff! Hold on to that, give yourself the pats on the back that you wished "they" would have... and here... come closer... pat pat pat pat pat... I just patted you, too, cuz you are doing just fine!!

  17. Loretta thank you so much, your words were so powerful and true. I am fighting for myself and now for my sons life to. This is my time and nothing is going to take that away from me. I hope that I can be this supportive to you sometime. Again thank you.

  18. Girl, we have the same grandma. And yes, regardless of that person's mental state, if you feel their behavior would derail your weight loss success, then you need to keep your distance. Because losing weight means being a little selfish in order to take care of yourself first for once, right?

    So keep your head up, and focus on the positive influences in your life. We are all pulling for you!

    Polar's Mom

  19. Thank you Polar Mom and you are right about putting yourself first for once. I'm pulling for you to.

  20. (((((CHRISTINA)))) ~ I can't agree more with those who said keeping your distance from 'toxic' people is the best thing to do, for your weight loss efforts, and not to mention your sanity. I SO UNDERSTAND. I've had to do this with several people in my life too. But like Polar Mom said, there comes a time when we just have to put ourselves first for once. Sending a ton of hugs your way. Hang in there.

  21. Thank you Stephanie. This is why I love the weight loss blogging community so much. You get so much support. I did see my grandmother yesterday after I finished my walk and she asked me why my shirt was so wet and I said I just got done walking 4 miles so maybe that will shut her up. She didn't say anything about my weight, we will see what happens.

  22. Oh, I can relate to this one. One year I was hosting everyone at my house for the Christmas holidays. I had cleaned and decorated and cooked and bought stuff like crazy. Lots of work, and I was excited about the next few days of company. Lots of company - parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, the whole gang was there. My grandfather arrived late, and everyone crowded around to greet him. His first words to me were, "Wow, Charlotte, you sure have gotten fat!" Nice. I guess I was expecting "Merry Christmas" or "Good to see you," something along those lines. So I can relate. It's also humiliating in front of others. And I did let it get to me. Sometimes he'll still say something like that, but he is getting better. He has dementia too, but was that way before. The funny thing is that he's a chubbo too. At this point he lives in assisted living, but my parents contribute greatly to his care, so I am in a lot of situations to see him. He's not going to change dramatically at this point, I know, so I've resorted to trying my very best to just saying, "Come on, don't be mean." For some reason, that usually shuts him up until the next visit. You just have to do whatever it is that works for you - no matter what that is. Don't let someone else dictate who you are.

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