Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Grandma Struggled with Weight Issues, Too

I'd like to introduce you to someone very important to me. See the young woman above? That's my Grandma Maxine at about 20 years of age, right around the beginning of World War II.

I love these photographs for several reasons. First, she looks adorable in her pleated skirt and bobby socks! Second, she's flirting with the camera in the second picture. I'm not sure if my grandpa snapped this picture or if she posed for it to send to him in Europe; either way I smile just thinking about her flirting with him!

Most of all, I appreciate the insight into my Grandma that these pictures give. See, I don't remember a time in the 22 years that I knew her that Grandma Maxine wasn't on a diet.

Diet Pepsi and Weight Watchers branded foods filled her pantry. Calorie counting and fad diet books lined her shelves.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those products, except maybe the fad diet books, but despite using them for 22+ years Grandma never won her weight battle.

Seeing these photographs of her as a young woman helps me understand Grandma always had issues with weight. Even as a young woman she was short (not even 5 feet tall) and chubby.

Grandma Maxine passed a lot of things down to me. Love for reading. Love for cooking shows. Love for collecting cookbooks. And a struggle with weight.

Part of that comes from barely reaching five feet tall. When you are that short every extra pound is obvious.

What Grandma didn't give me was the solution to our mutual battle to keep off the pounds. I'm discovering that all on my own. It's not been fun. And doesn't look pretty. But slowly I'm starting to win the fight. I just wish I could go back in time and share the lessons I'm learning with my Grandma.

Do you struggle with your weight? I'd love to talk about weight issues in the comments!


Amanda in RI said...

First, your grandmother is adorable.

Second--I come from almost exactly the opposite--at least on my mom's side. I remember my grandmother going on a diet, and taking off (for good) about 35 lbs. My mom? Is having just the slightest problem with her weight, now that she's hit SIXTY.

I take after my dad's side--sigh.

Stephanie said...

Amanda, my dad's side of the family tends to be taller and thinner (except my dad missed those genes). In my mom's family women hover around 5 ft and are "pudgy" to put it nicely. Part of our problem is that we also love food. I'm working really hard this year to create a new healthy lifestyle for my family!

Carrie said...

I loved this post and seeing pictures of your grandmother.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Carrie. This is my maternal grandmother. She died unexpectedly in 1997, only 3 months after my wedding. She would be 90 yrs old in November. She was quite a woman. The wife of a farmer who lost part of a leg when he stepped on a land mine in France during WWII. She was very proud that she had graduated from high school and had office jobs most of her life. She also made the best Christmas candy ever!!

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