The Closet Eater

Anyone who knew our mother knew she struggled with her weight. She would fix some kind of dinner for us (that’s another story) and seldom if ever joined us at the table. It appeared that she ate very little but the pounds just kept piling on. It was puzzling to me that she seemed to be getting bigger and bigger but never put a fork in her mouth.

I hoped that I would not be subjected to this same malady. How horrible to not eat and constantly gain weight!

A diet rich in soy and whey proteinBeing young and naïve, I finally (after a long time) figured out that she had been eating all day long. And all night. She tasted. She took sips (and then more sips) from her favorite aluminum glass. She ate in secret before we sat down and consumed tons of calories before the meal was on the table.

Mother ascribed to the flawed idea that if you did not eat from a plate or ate while standing, the calories did not count. And I came to learn that was a “closet eater”, ingesting only small amounts of food in anyone else’s presence but then gorging herself when nobody was around.

She also constantly claimed that “medical professionals” had said that a drink or two was actually quite good for one’s health. While research has indicated that for many people, a glass of red wine on the occasional night can help one’s health, our mother never limited herself to actually having “just one or two.”

Bottle of Jack DanielsMother was the queen of denial and thought she was fooling us with her apparent refusal to eat. As her weight continued to climb, we knew she had another serious problem.  To her, drugging yourself with food was almost as good as liquor.

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