I had the strangest realization while my mom was visiting: she is sad that I'm fat.
A couple of events brought me to my revelation:
First, we were watching an episode of Flip this House on A&E when Lori, the team member from New Haven, Connecticut, appeared on screen. Mom said, "Looks, she has such a cute face...just like you." And she was sad when she said it. She's fat, I'm fat, fat is bad - message received.
Next, we were watching the intro for How to Look Good Naked with Carson Kressley which features women of various sizes stripping to their bra and underwear. Mom looked at it wide-eyed, asked, "Do they do this every week?" and then said, "How disgusting. I'm going to bed." Wow, these women have better bodies than mine if you look at them with the conventional "thin is better" mindset and you're disgusted by them?
A few months ago, I would have taken Mom's implied criticism as a call for change. I would have been hurt and sad, and I would have burned with shame. This weekend, I just let her have her opinion and said nothing. (She's nearly 70 years old. I won't change her opinions and it just doesn't matter, so why upset her?) I know that I'm comfortable with who I am, how I look, and how I feel. I dress becomingly more often than not. I've purged ugly, schlumpy clothes from my closet and banished the thoughts that made me turn to them. I've actually worn makeup (just foundation, under eye concealer, and mascara) most days this week. Old thoughts are just that...old, and also unnecessary.
This, I think, is growth.