Body Image: My Mother Has Ruined Me.

I have weight issues. And I blame my mother....I constantly think she's ruined my life. She doesn't know this, and she never really set out to hurt me. She loves me with all her heart....but she's made me absolutely hate my body. All she ever talks about is diets and weight loss. She's obsessed with appearances, and I know she'll never be completely proud of me unless I lose weight, no matter what I accomplish in life. I'm 26 years old, yet conversations with my mother have never changed since I was a little girl ...she isn't capable of carrying a conversation with me unless she mentions weight loss/gain and diets. I can't eat in her presence without her mentioning something about it, and she always has something negative to say about my outfit whenever she meets me, no matter how many hours i've spent in front of the mirror trying to make myself look perfect. I moved out of my parents' house when I was 17 - it's a big thing in our culture, but I couldn't stand the criticism anymore.

I don't remember ever being comfortable with my body, even though when I look back at photos from when I was younger, I realise I had nothing to complain about because I'm so much bigger now. I remember my mother weighing me and running after me with a measuring tape when I was 9 years old to make sure I wasn't gaining weight. Today I'm on anti-anxiety meds because without them, I feel so ugly I can't leave the house except to go to work. I'm 5ft 1 and I weigh 190lbs. I've gained 70lbs in the past 8 years. At my slimmest, I was 120lbs, but mum said I still had to work on my thighs. She only ever says I'm beautiful as a buffer, before she criticises me about my weight.

Ironically I'm a social worker in mental health I feel pretty pathetic about this. I'm pretty good at what I do and I've had several offers to appear on local tv shows to talk about mental health, but I've always declined because I feel too fat to be on tv, and because I feel like a hypocrite.

In three months' time I'm going to be marrying a wonderful man who loves me the way I am...but I'm dreading being the centre of attention in my white dress. When I got engaged I had promised myself I'd lose weight for the big day, but if anything I've gained some. The other day, mum "jokingly" told me that she's going to be prettier than me on my wedding day. After all these years, I still get really upset when she says things like that.

I'm really upset about blaming my mother every time I fail to diet or exercise. I really want to stop blaming and be more autonomous about this issue. But I can't seem to break ties from her. Every time I consider exercising or deiting, I think "that's exactly what mum wants. Don't do it. Don't give her the satisfaction of thinking she was right all along" Like I'm waiting for her to accept me BEFORE I lose weight. Then I buy junk food and veg out on the couch.

I'm desperate. For the millionth time, I'm crying my eyes out while thinking about my inability to lose weight. It's pathetic. I'm a fully grown woman but I'm unable to say NO to a bag of chips. I've been to 5 psychologists, read countless self-help books, researched dozens of diets and weight-loss programs...but I can't bring myself to do it. I'm terrified of being in this situaiton for the rest of my life. I don't know what to do anymore.
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Jan 19, 2013