Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fear of Fat Trumps Fear of Death

ALL I have ever wanted, more than money or fame or friendship, is to be thin. This shallow goal was implanted in my brain at an early age, as a direct result of my older sister ballooning to the size of the Goodyear Blimp in adolescence and staying there for life. Her distressing size made my mother, a former dancer with little appetite for anything else, go insane, literally, and turn her sights on me, the younger one who was not yet fat. I swear she came to my room at night and whispered in my ear as I slept, "Don't get fat, never get fat, fat is bad, fat is ugly," but then again maybe it was only during my waking hours that her dire message was implanted.

And thus, as I approach my 65th birthday, and despite hovering between a size 8 and a size 10, I am still--always--on a diet and still weighing myself daily and still working towards that same goal. My sister, father and mother are all gone, yet I am stuck with the early imprint of living with that particular threesome for the first 18 years of my life, allowing me to feel superior to the likes of Oprah Winfrey, a successful billionaire, because of her unseemly girth.

What damaging message have I passed on to my own child, I wonder. When I ask him that now he usually gives a flippant reply, like saying I made him think he was going to die any minute or I was going to die any minute, simply because I told him when he asked, at age three, that people indeed can and do die any minute! (The other mothers answered this same question by saying "only old people die," which we all know is a crock, and I refused to lie to my son. Never have, never will.) But will he live his life in fear of being hit by that wayward bus I told him could run over any of us at any minute?

Oh well, at least he's thin.


  1. brilliantly neurotic-love it!

  2. I have to say, love the picture you used. LOL!! We all carry some stupid thing our parent's told us that has mentally scarred us for life.

    That is why my son will have a job when he finishes his Masters. .. a Psychologist.

    Thank you mom!


  3. Just because he thought he or you was about to die any minute, doesn't mean he was afraid of it.....
    Zack, are you afraid of anything?
    I doubt it.

  4. i am unique among my friends in believing that we can all die at any minute. i do not like leaving in the middle of an argument. one time i had an argument with my friend and then she found out that her sister had a heart condition and almost died. so point proven. the sister is fine by the way


  5. Zack, I am glad you got that important message. Most young people squander their time because of their very strong and very wrong belief that they have so much of it. I hope and pray you have a long life, but in the event it is cut short, I am thrilled to know that you value each and every minute of it. xxxx