[Take your power back!] Part 1: You Overeat to Please Your Mother

“I’m taking my power back!”

Do you remember how it feels to say it?  Rebellious, clear, energized.

(Of course at first you were pissed. And then you took your power back. Maybe in a messy way. But you did. This is an awesome example how anger can be used for a good cause)

But the other people… they don’t even know they took your power away! 

Looking back at such moments in my life, I saw that nobody intentionally took my power away.

The people who seemed to be more in control of what and how much I ate were simply more convincing. They had a stronger belief in what is “better.”  They spent a lot of energy on convincing (sometimes bullying?) And I had let go of control. It slipped through my fingers, while I was likely thinking “let’s keep peace…” Can you relate? 

When we are not in control of what we eat (Action) we are not in control of our Results. 

(meaning how much weight we lose… how we feel.)

If you don’t control what you eat, others are in control. Are they eating in the way you want to eat? 

Example one

Not one, but several of my clients had mothers who had a “better idea” of what the child (adult child!) should eat. They pushed the food on their adult daughters, convince them into eating more, and if they resisted  – they talked them into guilt.

If you are such a controlling mother, here is a note for you*: 

What your adult child eats, and the quantity she eats has nothing to do with her love for you.

Don’t make it mean anything beyond what it is: she simply doesn’t want to eat so much. 

  • And if she does –  it’s only to people-please you. 
  • If she does- it’s only to keep peace.
  • If she does – it’s only so you stop talking. 
  • If she does – it’s only so you don’t get offended. 

Want it? (In my mind this creates a disconnect, because there is no honesty.) Or would it FEEL better to believe that:

“What your adult child eats in your kitchen has nothing to do with their love for you.”

We are adults now and we are free

But let’s don’t give our Mothers such a hard time. After all, when we are adults and if it happens to us – we can take our power back, even if we spiraled in this powerlessness for years.

  • We are free to set our  boundaries.
  • We are free to say no to overeating.
  • We are free to stop eating before we get too full.
  • We are free to leave food on the plate.
  • We are free to say no to the desserts.

And it has nothing to do with our love and connection with our mother.

*(the controlling behavior may go the other way: the adult child feels overly in control of their elderly parent’s diet) 

Read next: Food and connection

And then:  Strong but Wrong Beliefs