There are so many times when I’m so hyped, so proud of myself, and so proud of what my body accomplishes.
After a challenging bike ride, or extending myself through Yoga, I unclip, or step off the matt, take a deep breath, and congratulate myself for starting and trying.
But as someone who has struggled with disordered eating — and still maybe does, I have really hard days when it comes to acceptance of how my body looks.
There are some days, where I walk past a mirror and I love the way I look – lumps, bumps and all.
There are other days where I’m completely triggered by my body. I avoid mirrors all day, or I cringe when I open my iPhone camera and it’s in selfie mode, instead of away from me.
And like this and last week, I may post a video on Youtube, or with a partnership.
My kind and nurturing community might not be there, and so floods of negative comments about my body, or my face, or my hair may be visible to me and others.
It sounds stupid, but it’s triggering.
It’s impossible for me not to read the comments unless they’re hidden or not there. And so that’s all that floats around in my head for days on end.
I did not grow up pretty.
I spent most of my adolescence with short, poofy hair, glasses, and consistently in jeans and t-shirts.
I spent almost all of my time until my 20’s without a boyfriend or any sort of mutual affection.
I didn’t blossom until just before I met Bryan, and the time when I felt prettiest was when I was consistently struggling with an eating disorder. It’s a pretty twisted cycle.
The internet can be the cruelest place, and no space is safe. I joked with a friend that if I was hot, I know people would find something else to complain about, but they’d at least listen to my words before they judged my appearance.
I think that’s what hurts the most? This body is the first stop of ridicule. But I’m smart, and talented, and that part gets overlooked a lot in favor of something to make fun of – whether it’s my hair, my double chin etc.
The other day I celebrated “onederland.” It’s a weight-loss term people use to describe getting that 1 in front of your weight after being 200+ pounds.
I never felt both so happy at onederland, and so sad.
Happy, because I worked my tail off for it. I hop on my Peloton every single day. I increase my resistance. I try to beat my personal best anytime I can.
I stretch, I do strength workouts, I do cardio. I’m slow as hell but I challenge myself to do more than I did yesterday.
So I lost more than 20 pounds recently – almost 42 pounds since my highest weight ever. That’s a FEAT.
But then I feel sad because that’s not enough. Because people see where I am now, and they think “wow she’s lazy.” or “God she’s fat.”
It makes me furious that some people can only value you for your body and outward appearance – and not everything else that’s right with you.
I’ve been carrying these pissed off feelings and frustrations for weeks now.
After having my annual checkup and learning about potential heart complications and having 5 doctor’s visits in the first two months of the year alone, I’ve felt depressed, and frustrated.
I’ve thought about skipping out on opportunities that would grow my business, but require me to be on camera.
I’ve thought about abandoning my blog and just deciding to get a job in my field and not being visible at all.
The comment that I get a lot about this is to “ignore the haters.”
I wish people wouldn’t ignore them. I wish people would call them out.
Ask them why they think it’s okay to criticize people they don’t know?
Ask them what deep-rooted hatred they have for themselves that makes them take the time to write a paragraph long comment about someone who they’ve never met?
Ask them why it was better to hit enter own it and spew some unwanted criticism, than to just keep it to themselves.
Ignoring them does nothing. Ignoring them makes them think it’s OK. It’s not.
I don’t have many complaints about my life. I have a happy marriage and wonderful, supportive friends and family. I get to do what I love every day.
But I always find it hard to pull myself back up after dealing with hurtful words.
I don’t think people understand that it’s not about the words. It’s about the judgment toward things that I hate so much. Things that I spent good money to talk to a therapist about.
Things that disrupt my peace and haunt me.
Things that I’ve worked SO hard to change both physically and mentally.
I am trying so hard to be the best version of me I can think of.
I know how I feel about myself is not up to anyone else.
I know that at the end of the day, people who leave these comments probably know they don’t have anything better going on.
What I don’t know, is how long I can take them. Or what else I can do to cope when it happens.