Sunday, April 4, 2010

Right now....I really dislike my father.

 Warning:  long, rantful post.  And I have an awesome, amazing dad...just right now, I want to say something that hurts his spirit the way he's hurt mine.

Growing up I was around 125 lbs at 10 years old.  Not fat at all.  Heavier than some kids, but smaller than others.  I played sports year round.  However, I've always had a heavy "build."  When I was 10 I got my first period and my "woman" shape began to form.  My dad noticed that I had very thick calves and from that point on, made it his duty to forewarn me about my pending weight troubles.  His concern was that I'd become like his mother, aunts and sisters - extremely obese.  I stayed thin throughout high school as I continued to play sports.  I wore a size 7 in juniors throughout high school, I remember buying 27" waist jeans, my prom dresses were all sample sizes (my uncle is a designer, most were a 6, some size 4s).  And I won homecoming queen, despite a face full of acne.  Yet he continued to tell me that I'd "better watch it...when you stop playing sports you are going to have a weight problem."  Deep down, I knew he was trying to prevent me from being overweight.  In his words, I was trying to "save me from having problems."  When I got to college, his prediction came to fruition...I graduated in 3 years and over all 3 years gained 25-30 pounds.  I was about 160-165 when I graduated from college.  The following year I went through a depression as I received rejection letter after rejection letter from all the medical schools I applied to.  I gained another 10 lbs topping out at 172.  In January 2005 I joined Weight Watchers with my mom and lost the weight.  I distinctly remember my mom and I saying...let's not say a word to Daddy.  We'll just SHOW HIM!  He constantly had something to say about our weight.  He had some weight to lose himself, probably about the same amount that we did to be honest but appointed himself guardian of our weight for whatever reason.  Well, I lost the weight and then got into a graduate program.  When I came back home for spring break the following year I was about 145 (my goal weight was 135 so I had gained 10 lbs in about 9 months) as soon as I walked through the door my father said...."OH MY GOD, YOU ARE OBESE!"  This pissed me off to the highest degree of pisstivity.  I actually was starved from traveling all day and had expressed that to my mom the entire ride home from the airport.  After hearing that comment from my dad - I passed on dinner and went upstairs to my room to call my then-boyfriend about it.  I was so upset.  No "how is school?" or "I'm proud of you" until he had gotten the weight comment out first.  And my stomach was growling and I was going to NOT eat because of what he said.  My ex-bf basically said, stop acting anorexic and go eat.  I realized I was taking it to the extreme.  Never one to hold my tongue, I went to my dad, mom and brother and expressed how them constantly commenting from the time I was in the 4th grade until then had hurt and the "obese" comment was over the top.  Besides which I informed all of them, I weigh 145.  Only 4 lbs above the "healthy" weight range for my height and FAR FAR away from being obese.  My dad was like, "well, maybe by your standards...."  Mind you, I was in a medical graduate program in preparation to get into med school.  I think I just may know a thing or two....

During this conversation...everyone treated me like a hysterical, overly sensitive female who was irrational too emotional to express a civil thought.  Which infuriated me!  How could they not see how damaging they were being?!  The fact that I was driven to want to go to bed hungry, or crash diet because I was going to see my father - that wasn't enough?!  That doesn't speak volumes?!  Everyone tried to pacify me once I began sobbing and saying "sorry you were hurt by that."  It upset me even more because my dad specifically didn't understand WHY I was hurt, wasn't sorry for what he said, and still thought I was being over-sensitive.  He has even said on several occasions that I need to toughen up.

Ya'll....I am not an irrational woman.  In fact the men I date often comment how they almost enjoy disagreements with me because I can be rational in spite of being upset.  But I saw that despite my best efforts that night was not going to be the one to get him to understand my hurt.  So I let it go.  After beginning this, my final weight LOSS journey of all times, I identified more of what I was hurt about.  My dad is here visiting so I thought it a good time to bring it up.  I explained to him that he had always warned me about my pending fatness, but never EVER did anything to educate me on how to prevent it.  He never led by example.  I KNEW that once I stopped playing sports I would most likely gain weight....however....I was not in the habit of working out at the gym.  Never in my life have I known my dad to go to a gym; Once he did run outside for about 2 months consistently - but it was during his lunch hour...I never witnessed it.  So I explained that had I gotten into the habit of healthy eating, understanding what foods weren't good for maintaining a healthy weight and why, and saw parents as examples of exercising regularly - maybe I wouldn't have had the struggles I have had.  I proudly told him, this was the last and final time I am losing weight.  Seriously, this is forever.  I will be working out forever.  I will be eating fruits and veggies, lean protein, limiting on takeout and fast food for the rest of my ENTIRE life and I'm going to teach any children I may have to do the same..  He said...."I hope so...but the percentage of people who do that are slim to none.  Its practically impossible."  WHAT?!   Why can't you just say, "I'm glad you've finally figured it out" or "That's great - that's what I've wanted for you all along."  or how about the best one yet "I wish I had been able to do that for you."?!?! dad is the classic yo-yo dieter - and feels that is a good way of life.  10 lbs gone, 10 lbs gained.  Repeat.  Now repeat times 10-20 years.  Sometimes 20 lbs gained.  Sometimes 15 lost.

The conversation took a turn for the worst.  The edge in my voice lost its careful "I'm talking to my daddy" reverence.  I all but had to prevent my neck from snapping back and forth at him.  Three hours into the conversation and he finally admitted he said I was obese knowing it would be hurtful, but hoping it would motivate me.  I told him hurting me on purpose, no matter how well-intentioned was NEVER acceptable.  And if he thought I was going to let him get away with it again, think again.  *Then I got scared he may slap me!*  But this was after a bunch of back and forth about how the ends justifies the means and how he will continue to speak up on things in my life if he feels he needs to - in other words he'll take the same approach again about whatever he needs to in the future.  He kept saying "I'm sorry you were hurt....BUT"  or "I'm sorry you are so sensitive about this"  Which would infuriate me even further and I'd tell him not to apologize if it wasn't sincere and he wasn't apologizing for the right reasons.  We ended up agreeing to disagree because he wasn't going to see it my way, and I know I wasn't seeing it his way.  He even asked why we are still having the same conversation after so long - I told him because he's never admitted his responsibility in 1) hurting my feelings 2) not giving me the proper tools and education to truly prevent me from gaining weight as an adult and 3) for not recognizing the problem when I brought them to him in a direct manner.

I know some of you have issues with your hubby or bf - mine is my dad.  I swear I wanna reach my goal weight tomorrow, fast forward 15 years and show him not only have I maintained, but I've taught my kids how to eat healthy and live an active lifestyle.  Especially since he doubts that I will do anything close to it.  Saying in a snide way "I hope you do" makes me wish he wasn't my dad so I could slap the taste outta his mouth.  But he I blogged instead.


  1. I'm sorry for all of those unkind things he's said to you. I know how hurtful words can be, especially from the people who are supposed to love you most. Hope ranting in a post help relieve some of the bad feelings... it always does for me. (((HUGS)))

  2. ((hugs)) I actually felt a tiny bit of the sting all of that must have felt like for you just by reading about it. I am truly sorry that you had to go through that. I have been blessed that I never had to go through anything similar with anyone in my life, but I do have plenty of close friends who did.
    But, it sounds like it made you a strong woman, and the fact that you are still so respectful to your Dad speaks volumes of your sweet character.
    Hope you have a blessed Easter!

  3. I got teary-eyed at the part about him saying that to you when you returned from graduate school for spring break. I think I would have just fallen over and died if my father had ever said anything like that to me. He's always told me I'm too thin-skinned anyway, so yeah, that one would have killed me. I'm very proud of you for at least confronting him with it and letting him know how he hurt you. Even if he's not the apologizing type, it doesn't mean that he doesn't "get it" now. He'll never forget what you told him, and that's a good thing. I'm sorry you had/have to deal with this....but I love that you kept respect for your father at the same time. That shows tremendous strength of character....a trait that a lot of kids coming up these days're awesome. :)

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  5. (sorry about that deleted post-too many misspelled words)

    It is increadbile that words have so much power. I know I've been told words that have stayed with me for years...and unfortunately I've done the same.

    For whatever reasons (you can be sure there are some), your father really doesn't understand where you're coming from and it really is a shame. I hope you find peace within to move past those hurtful words.

    Know that we, here in blogland, care about you and believe in you. You WILL make it, you are a strong & brave woman; JUST AS YOU ARE

  6. Family can be the worst when it comes to weight loss. My mother used to say things at time that were very hurtful (although some of the things she said were very true). There comes a point in life when you have to turn your head to what your family has to say and believe in yourself! Good Luck and keep up the great work, I know that you can do it.

  7. Shame on him!! People can be so mean!

    I do have this very similar problem with my hubby and oh how it can hurt. I am so proud of you for sticking up for yourself. I hope this is something I can do someday.

    I am so so proud of you!

  8. I wish I could take you for coffee because I feel your pain. I had parents that did the same thing to me, and it was horrible. I'm so proud of you that you have had the courage and the determination to confront your father. Even if he doesn't change, you talking to him was most likely healing to you.


  9. I swear to you that we MUST share the same dad. That is unfortunate. I have a dad that many would say resembles Denzel and acts like Bill Cosby...but I swear to goodness...often says the most insensitive things that he later refuses to own. UGH...Girl...I got frustrated reading your blog. I may, in fact, print it out to let me dad read :) Though our issues have never been my weight...they have been other things. What happened to dad's being supportive and leading by example? Ok...enough..I will get on a soapbox for sure!!! Good for you for speaking up. Good for you for dieting for YOURSELF. Good for you for deciding to be an example to your future children. Good for you for having the courage to talk to your dad and for writing this e-mail!! You, in my book, are AMAZING!!!

  10. OMg I'm so sorry to hear about this!

    My dad was always on my case too, but always in a health conscious way. I totally think you were right to tell your dad (and family) how you felt because it wasn't cool... not even if they had good intentions.

    Great job standing up for yourself!