Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Be careful what you say.....

I wanted to chime in on a certain model that said some cruel words to a woman. Why am I doing this...because body shaming sucks. So I thought I'd share my story.

I have always been overweight, not always but for 99 percent of my life I was and still am. Being overweight is not something I choose to do. I get up, I do what exercise I can, I do as much for my family as I can.

When I was in High School, I weighed 154 lbs. How do I remember this? Because 154 lbs brought me torture at the hands of bullies and shunning from many of my peers. My family didn't have money for the designer clothes that other people thought were the "in thing" So I did what I could with what I had, I had no need for designer clothes. They were just a name on a label, but again I was teased brutally for it. I had a few very close friends, I was hated by some, and ignored by many. People would tease kids that became my friends by saying "you're friends with ...... (insert my first and last name." And the hateful words did not just come from kids, I had a teacher in high school when I was very ill threaten to kick me out of class she told the nurse I was faking, she told the principal I was faking. Oh my mom fought for me and I thank her every day that she did because one fateful day and one right and thorough doctor finally figured out what was wrong. I'd had Mono for over 4 months and was misdiagnosed by more doctors than I can count. I felt vindicated, the teacher felt otherwise and made my remaining days in her class a living hell. Not all the teachers were like that....I had some incredible teachers who really really helped me through some of them were Mr. Witt, Mr. Weeks, Mrs. Miller and so many more.

With all the teasing that I took I tended to draw into myself, I was my biggest critic. After so many years through elementary and middle school I started believing them. I started seeing what they saw. And that is why that post makes me so angry. I've been thinking about writing this post for hours now and have taken pause to not write the angry things that spun through my head when I saw his post. Why am I repeating this now...I said that I started believing them and seeing what they saw. This feeling has haunted me to this day.

In high school I finally decided the only way to lose weight was not to eat anything, so I didn't. By my senior year I'd gotten down to 133lbs. I was still being teased for being fat. I was a medium framed five foot four girl and 133lbs was the low end of my ideal weight for my body type. I started getting sick more often and missed many days of school, however I continued this pattern. Looking back at the pictures from back then I can't believe how thin I was or how sick I looked. Still I believed my tormentors and saw only what they saw. Then one day I took 30 aspirin in an attempt to kill myself and put myself out of my misery. My mom fed me mustard water and I threw all the medicine up, the capillaries in my face broke and that brought on a new round of teasing with some kids saying "You failed at it try harder next time." I was devastated.

Needless to say dating was out of the question, if someone even showed an interest in me they were ruthlessly teased until they recanted and began teasing me themselves. I couldn't shake the bullying. There are a few who still to this day say cruel things, unfortunately for some people never grow up.

It wasn't until I got into college and a dear friend caught onto my pattern of not eating. (I was eating croutons and Catalina for lunch every day and very meager dinners. She told me I had to stop, or I was going to kill myself. She told me I was beautiful for who I was and damn the other people who thought I was ugly and every day she would sit with me and make sure I ate a good lunch and she and a few good friends came over for my birthday. I started feeling human again, these same friends got me through the loss of my grandfather, through the breakup with the boyfriend I thought was the one and through so many awful times in my life. I am still friends with them through the magic of facebook today. She saved my life (Thank you Ellen).

So when someone says something this incredibly cruel to someone who admires them I find it abhorrent. What if that person did just what you suggested? What if they went and ate a 380 calorie Blizzard then hung themselves. Would you feel vindicated....or guilty. I hope it is the latter. Then why say it in the first place? Why commit career suicide for your own cruel tendencies? Yes you deleted it but the damage is done! People are removing you from their book covers and there are so many authors who will never use you because you body shamed.

I still feel self conscious about my body and I've tried to lose weight. It's hard weight to come off gained after several years of steroid treatment for a cavernous angioma in my brain that bled after a car accident. Now I have several medical conditions that prevent me from being as active as I'd like to be or as active as I was before the accident, but at least I try. Overweight people aren't "lazy" there are many that try to lose the weight, me included and have a hard time doing it; they continue to try. You didn't know this girl or her story....so how dare you say anything at all.

Body shaming and bullying is an epidemic that has been around for many years. It's something that people should speak up about, and share their stories. I still have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror, I still see what they saw...

I once even had a boss say to me Big girls like you should watch what you eat..... without even knowing my story. It was post baby weight thank you....and that baby died of SIDS...yes the same baby you asked me to take the picture of down because it made other people sad. Of course I didn't do it, but this was a professional person in a Supervisor position!

It's an epidemic, people need to stop. See the beautiful person inside. Some people who are gorgeous outside, are ugly inside. Looks aren't everything and it is so true. So I am thankful for the body I've been given, and one day I'll be able to accept it as beautiful. Right now I think it's OK and that's fine for me! And for all women of all shapes and sizes. You are beautiful, you are amazing, and most of all you are loved <3 You are not alone!

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