Dear Carolyn: I do not ever remember having a healthy relationship with food. Neither did my mother. She grew up obese and later yo-yo dieted her whole life to try to maintain her weight. She was terrified that I would be fat and taught me that food was something to be feared. In college, away from her watchful eye, I did gain a lot of weight. After college, I only became thin again through bulimia; finally, an ER doctor persuaded me to get help. Through years of therapy, I was able to get a handle on things, but maintaining a healthy weight takes more energy and vigilance than most people would believe.
My mom feels really badly about this and blames herself, but I know she did the best she could while dealing with her own eating disorder.
I’m serious with my boyfriend now, and the question of children has come up. I don’t see how I could ever be relaxed around my children regarding food. Also, there’s no question that eating disorders run in my family; my cousins all have weight issues, and two have had diagnosed eating disorders.