Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
I am so sorry for my absence.
I say this as if I know people read this. It may just be my mom. But in any case, I have been absent from my blog.
I have been struggling. When I say struggling, that is a true understatement. Between moving, gaining weight, battling anxiety and depression, and feeling insecure in every aspect of my life, I was drowning.
I worry that sometimes I have to hide that side of me, the one who feels lost at times. The one who still has darkness. The one that constantly doubts herself.
Over the last year, I have been on an amazing journey of self realization. This journey I have documented on social media. And in most aspects, it has been an absolute blessing. I have met amazing women, made amazing connections, and learned more about myself and others than I ever dreamed I could.
But I have often times felt out of body in this amazing, incredible, emotional experience.
I have made an effort to share my story. Raw. Open. Vulnerable. Scary.
And it has been amazing. It has led me to strength and courage and bravery.
But I am not always strong. I am not always courageous. And I am not always brave.
The last few months, I have been sad. I lost focus and motivation. I truly felt like every move I made was an act. And for me, that was hard. I am not one to hide my emotions. I have never been in a position before where people are looking to me for support and inspiration. What am I supposed to do when I can’t figure my own shit out, let alone help others?
But, I have spent time working on myself. I have been focusing on how I want to feel, not how I want to look to others. I have spent time eating and working out and treating me right, not on looking a certain way on social media. I have dedicated my time and thoughts to not impressing and inspiring others, but inspiring me. Because I had lost my fire.
I want to say, to all of you, that it’s okay to be lost. It is okay to feel like you are in a dark room with no exits. It’s okay to feel alone and scared and not enough. Everyone has been in that dark room. Everyone has doubts.
It’s what you do with them. I am not a perfect person. I do not have answers for everyone. I barely have answers for myself. But I have a heart that wants to help. I have a soul that wants to share. I have a drive to make changes for myself and others. And I have a will that cannot be shaken.
So I have been down, but I am not out. I may not have an amazing transformation before and after picture, but I have a story to tell. And so do you. So share your story. The good. The bad. The ugly. The everything.
Because you are enough. I am enough. We are all enough. And we need to remember that our stories, good or bad, ugly or pretty, help others know they aren’t alone.
I’m back. I am so back. Here’s to kicking ass and taking names.
Originally posted 2016-10-23 17:45:16.
Let’s just get this off the table.
I’ve gained weight. Numerically, about 20 lbs.
Some of you are judging. Some of you are letting outs gasps and saying, “Bless her heart.” . Some of you are texting your girlfriend to say, ” I told you that PCOS chick gained weight! Ha!”.
Whatever you’re thinking, well-STOP. First, because I want you to know I am completely accepting and comfortable with this fact. I don’t need your sympathy. I don’t need your comments. I don’t need your judgement. Because I am just fine.
And oh yea, because it’s NONE OF YOUR F*#king business.
My hesitation in writing this came from the fact that I am a health coach, and because of our messed up society that is stuffed full of diet culture, where worth dictated by numbers on tags and scales, I know many of you would find me hypocritical.
How dare she coach women about health when she clearly is not in control of hers?
Well I dare to because I think health is more than what the industry driven by shame and fueled by fear of not being what is currently considered ideal. I find nothing healthy about spending all my energy hating myself and obsessing over food.
Health to me is improving your quality of life. But what happens when your pursuit of physical health is destroying your mental health? What if the journey leads you down a road of obsession over food and using fitness and nutrition as a punishment and reward system?
In a season when every fitspo, home health coach will be filling your social media with their programs to “fix” you, I want you to remember one thing- you shouldn’t be shamed into health. You’re not broken. The health industry is, preying on our insecurities. Motivation driven by hating yourself doesn’t get you very far.
I gained weight. I don’t need to justify it. I just stopped equating my worthiness with my physical appearance. I didn’t “let myself go”. The only thing that I let go of is my fear of judgement about how my body makes others feel.
But regardless, I don’t owe anyone an explanation about my body. I could list the numerous life occurrences that some may accept as worthy of justification for weight gain. I could apologize about how I did XYZ to get here, and quickly follow up with how I am going to resolve it. I could explain to you that at my thinnest I still felt unhealthy and trapped in the diet cycle. I could make sure you understand why I’m still acceptable where I am, even though society might say differently. But I won’t.
Because my weight is not something that needs to be resolved. I’m heavier. And I am happier. To me, this is healthier.
I’ve found acceptance in the fact that health is individual. It is not one size fits all. It is a complex balance between mind and body, and the connection between the two is crucial to understand.
And for those who view me differently for it, I bid you ado. You are the exact unhealthy weight I need to lose.
I have gained. I have gained strength to break up my unhealthy relationship with connecting guilt and reward to food. I have gained the understanding that my confidence can come from something other than my body. I have gained the knowledge to see how closely related your mental health is to your physical health, and both need to be nurtured. I have gained the understanding that loving the hell out of myself doesn’t come with size restrictions.
And I have gained the strength to tell anyone who has something to say about my body that I don’t owe you an explanation. And I certainly don’t need your validation.
Originally posted 2016-12-10 23:44:21.
We woke up today, just like any other day. It’s just you and me and a pancake date planned. After all, we don’t get many days where it’s just you and me. I thought I was ready. I perfectly planned your purple tutu and favorite polka dot bow last night. It was laid out neatly, right next to my list of quick things we needed to grab at the store. It would be a quick stop. After all I was prepared.
We’re shopping away, laughing and giggling as we work as a team to knock things off my perfectly planned list. Toilet Paper-check. Milk-check. Tampons-check. Bathmat-check. Wait. Wait. What size do I need?
And then I feel it coming. It comes like a freight train and I am chained to the tracks, forced to watch the wreckage.
[Tweet “And then I feel it coming. It comes like a freight train and I am chained to the tracks, forced to watch the wreckage.”]
Why didn’t you measure the bathroom Shelby? How could you forget? When will you have time to come back to look for another mat? There’s no time. There’s too much to do. Because Shelby you must always be doing and if you stop doing then something will fall apart. Something always falls apart. Something will go wrong. My God, what if something goes wrong? And people will expect you to have a damn bathmat. Why can’t you do this? Why are you constantly failing? People expect you to have it together.
Now I’m sweating. I feel like I’m being swallowed alive by the shelves of bathmats in all different unfathomable sizes around me. And feel the train run over my chest. I am gasping for air, but my chest feels like it’s been crushed. And I struggle to breathe. I didn’t realize it, but people are looking, waiting to see if I can relax. Because, for fucks sake Shelby, you should be able to relax. Why can’t you relax? Then I try to relax but my heart won’t slow down and I panic all over again because I can’t get the damn bathmats to stop swallowing me alive. Okay think about other things. Oh shit- all those THINGS. Things you need to do. If I don’t do them I will let people down and if I let people down I am failing and Shelby you CANNOT FAIL. I can’t breathe now. I am gasping for breath, sweating and shaking, in the damn bath aisle of Target.
You saw it all. You witnessed mommy break. I promised you princess outfits and pancakes and you got mommy’s panic attack.
Soon, after I regrouped, after the train had backed off my chest and the air was back into the room, I stood up. I took you from the Target employee who had come to help, and held you in my arms. This is my coping skill. In those moments of fear and feeling of doom, I need to know what is real. I need to touch what’s important.
Anxiety is different for everyone. I have learned mine is stress induced. I function just fine and lead a seemingly full, happy life because I know my triggers. Most days, I know I am so much more than my anxiety. I am smart and brave and kind and good. I am not a failure. I am enough. But some days, the doubt and feelings of inadequacy creep in the cracks of my tired, overworked, overstressed self. It gets under my skin and spreads like a rapid virus that may show its ugly head, or may lay dormant until triggered by an outside force.
My outside force is fear of failure. I just don’t want to mess anything up or let anyone down, especially you, my sweet girl. I want you to know your momma is strong and capable and knows what she is doing.
At the end of the day, I just have to remember to be in the moment. Whatever it takes to get me through. In seconds, in minutes, in hours. Just get through. Just get off the floor. Just breathe. Because there will always be things to do and lists to make.
But right now, I owe you pancakes.
Originally posted 2016-07-15 16:52:08.
Social Media Has Made Us All Self-Righteous Assholes.
You wouldn’t walk down the street and scream at an overweight girl, “Go to the gym! You are disgusting”. You’d be thought a total piece of shit if you walked up to a table of two and told them, “You really eat dairy? Don’t you know how many hormone disruptors are in that? You are destroying your chances of having babies. Literally, killing your future children.”
But on the internet, this happens every day. We all become so brave and empowered when sitting behind a keyboard. After all, you can just drop your negative judgements and unsolicited opinions, and then walk away from your screen and go drink your lactose free chia whatever.
You literally have no responsibility to be a good person on the internet.
And in a world of overexposure, where opinions can spread like wildfire with the click of share button, it’s easy to feel important and relevant.
Newsflash: Just because you have internet access, doesn’t make you a scholar. Don’t get me wrong. I greatly appreciate the availability to different views and opinions. There is significance and importance in opposing opinions and viewpoints.
I, in fact, very regularly voice my opinions on social media.
But where does free speech and expression cross into the loss of respect and human decency?
I think of it like this: I have a neighbor. She has a hideous hair cut and frequently gardens without a hat and already has a mole on her neck that quite frankly could be cancerous. Although I hold those opinions of her hair, and have concerns about her dermatological health, I am not going to walk over onto HER yard, and tell her those things. Sure, I may or may not be right about her ridiculous haircut. I might be justified in telling her about her mole I have seen. But just because I feel I am justified in my opinions, I am not going to force them down her throat. Besides, she already dislikes me and would probably call the cops for trespassing.
Don’t trespass onto people’s internet lawn and shit in their green grass.
I got a comment last night that accused me of “Not caring about women who aren’t ready to love themselves” and told me “ you are going to lead to a woman to kill herself because you don’t care about them. Their death will be on you. You are the most hateful negative person I have ever met and I hope everyone knows it”
You would think that I wrote some political, controversial, hate filled content. No. She didn’t like something I posted on Facebook.
I can’t lie. I cried my fucking eyes out reading that. I lost my aunt to suicide, and I, myself, have dealt with depression. I didn’t want to carry that weight. I rushed so quickly to fix it. I drafted up an email to try to repair this non existent life I was killing. I had a full fledged panic attack thinking of how I am destroying people by being a social media presence.
But then I got my sh*t together and realized, that’s just her opinion.
I could have fought back. I could have told her she’s wrong and defend my opinion. After all, she came on my internet playground and forced her views on me. She attacked me on my home base like most internet bullies search out to do. I’m sure I could of come up with or searched some really big adjectives to describe her shitty behavior and lack of respect.
But instead, I kept scrolling. Because that’s what big girls do. They respect the rights of others to have opinions. They know their worth and value aren’t decreased because someone tells them their thoughts and feelings are irrelevant. And then they go write a seething blog post about respect on the internet.
Because, after all, social media has made us all self righteous assholes.
Originally posted 2016-07-12 20:25:07.
Picture it. It’s 4pm on a Friday. You just drove 4 hours with two kids, working and trying to make to do lists in between the fighting and “are we there yet?’s”. You can’t wait to get to the pool. As you’re walking there, sweating, lugging two kids, 4 pool noodles and beer in your hand, you hear,
“Dude. She needs to lock up the two piece and beer. I can’t tell if that’s beer gut or mom fat.”
I stopped. I saw two girls, no older than 16. I shouldn’t have walked over to them. I should have kept walking. I should have chalked it up to “ young immature minds.”
But my kids heard, too. So I couldn’t.
So I walked over, introduced myself, and I told them,
“ I want you to know I appreciate your opinion. I understand every one of us have them. I spend my days giving my honest opinion all day long online. I wanted to let it go. But my kids are listening. And I am teaching them to have a voice, but to use it for good. I am teaching them that you are free to have an opinion, but not to be rude. You can be honest, but without empathy it is just abusive. The truth is, yes- I do have mom fat. I also have a beer gut. Whatever this stomach that you find offensive is, keeps my kids warm during snuggles and is fluffier because of smore’s under blanket forts and pajama pizza parties. This two piece, once gave me so much anxiety in a Target dressing room that I cried for two hours. I could sit here and tell you how I have worked hard to overcome disordered eating, anxiety and depression. I could tell you that I spent years at war with my reflection and missed out on life because I hated myself that much. I could tell you how hard I worked to take care of my body and respect it enough to stop hating it. I could force my opinion on you of how damaging I think your comments are. I could give my opinion on how rude and damaging I think you are being. I could give you my honest thoughts on how you are small minded, rude little girls who need to find a damn hobby besides judging other women. But that’s just my opinion. So instead I will tell you, I will not apologize for my mom bod. I will not lock away my swimsuits, nor my body, nor my right to go swimming and drink a beer in the summer. I hope you never feel insecure or inferior because of others opinions. I hope you know your worth and never feel pressure from outside forces to look or act a certain way. And I hope you raise your daughters to stand up to anyone who tells them they can’t wear whatever and be whoever the fuck they want. Now, I have beer to drink. Go call your mothers.”
Originally posted 2016-07-09 01:54:01.
(disclaimer: this post is not meant to put blame for what I went through. It’s meant to share my piece of my story and I own it all. I have an amazing family and wonderful support system.)
I’m going to tell you all something I’ve never told a soul. Why? Because maybe it will help someone. And honestly, I feel strong enough to tell it finally.
I used to hate myself. I hated myself so much I didn’t want to live. So much so my mom had me hospitalized after I refused to eat for 3 days and found me crying on the floor of my bathroom with a kitchen knife after school one day.
Why talk about it now?
Because it’s part of my story. A really dark part. I used to feel ashamed of it. I used to hide it away and try to forget it.
It hurts me looking back knowing now that it wasn’t my fault. Mental illness runs rampant in my family. Not that that is the only reason I was depressed. I wasn’t given the tools I needed to understand or cope with my feelings before it got to this point. I was a ticking time bomb of instability labeled as a “moody teenager who didn’t like being chubby.” I felt completely crazy because “girls with so much opportunity shouldn’t be so angry at the world” but I wasn’t angry at the world. I wasn’t in control of my world. It was spinning and I couldn’t see straight.
[Tweet “I wasn’t angry at the world. I wasn’t in control of my world. It was spinning and I couldn’t see straight.”]
Even after I was hospitalized and sent home 3 days later, it wasn’t spoken of. I felt shame for how I felt. I felt shame for something I couldn’t control.
It took my aunt taking her own life 5 years later for anyone in my family to take mental health seriously.
I no longer feel depressed, yet I am aware of it when it does come. I see a counselor regularly for not only anxiety but just for my own mental health well being. I treat my mental health just like I treat my physical health.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I am not ashamed of it anymore. I have learned that just like your body heals, so does your mind- if you treat it right. Mental illness isn’t something that needs to be hidden in dark corners. It’s present in people you know in your everyday life. People who you look up to. People you wouldn’t imagine. And it’s hard and scary and lonely if you go through it alone.
With PCOS comes an increased occurrence of anxiety and depression. I urge you, if you are struggling-seek help. If you have overcome or are facing mental health issues, share your story. Because it’s not shameful to be going through it. What’s shameful is making people feel like they are less than because of it.
Originally posted 2016-06-12 11:51:11.
To the people on the internet who want to “save” me,
I got your messages. I have read your comments. I have received your emails. Thank you for your concern. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your message telling me that you love my page and think that (insert product/diet/lifestyle here) will benefit me. I am assuming you saw PCOS in my name. Maybe you are unique and spent a minute looking at my page and saw I formally was an unhealthy weight. Or maybe you dug deeper like the little overachiever you are and noticed I have struggled with an eating disorder, depression, self hatred and anxiety. And while those things are a big part of me, it is not WHO I am.
I assume you have good intentions. I like to believe the best in people. I am sure you are not just trying to sell me a product. That would just be cruel using my perceived weaknesses as a sales pitch. I know you aren’t searching hashtags looking for vulnerable women to impose your opinions or products on. You must know better. I am positive your days are spent trying to better people by telling them how wrong they are for how they eat or what they wear or how they look.
I want to tell you that I don’t need saving. You may assume because I put myself out there on the internet, that I should be okay with you pushing your opinions on me. I can’t stop you. I have chosen to share my story and with that comes critique and unsolicited comments. I’m okay with that.
But for one second, I want you to think about yourself. I know, this must be hard since you are so selfless with the giving of your opinions. Imagine something you are insecure about. Something that hurts you. Your weak spot. Imagine working on that struggle every day. Imagine the tears and grief and sadness you have felt along with it. Hard right?
Now imagine overcoming it, or at the very least accepting it. Imagine growing into a point of accepting and sharing and loving your story. You are proud and strong and encouraged.
Then someone comes along and tells you you aren’t doing it right. Someone comes along and tells you it’s not enough. You aren’t worthy of feeling good because you aren’t as good as you could be.
It would hurt right? Maybe piss you off?
It is really hard to overcome your insecurities. It is even harder to share them with others and open yourself up to critique. It takes bravery to find your way in this world. I am so glad you found yours. It must be important to you since you feel the need to force your thoughts on strangers on the internet.
I am strong enough to not fall for what people try to sell me anymore- whether it is in the form of product that will “fix me” or words said to make me believe I am unworthy. But so many others are not. Your “concern” may just break them.
In the day of Dr. Google and online forums being replacements for medical and mental health advice, I understand everyone feels they are an expert. It’s easy to feel powerful and all knowing sitting behind a keyboard tapping away your beliefs and thoughts and imposing them on everyone. You may assume you understand me from looking at my page.
But you don’t know everything. Your opinion is just that. An opinion. Feel free to express it, but don’t impose it on others. Post it on your own wall, your blog, your diary, anything you own. But not on me. I am not an open forum because you can see my pictures on the internet.
I’m sure you are thinking, ” Well if you don’t like it why be so public on the internet?”
Touche, my friend. You are so smart. I could very well pack up my 695 pictures, my plethora of stories and tales and lock them away so I don’t open myself up to your opinions. But who would benefit? No one. I share my story to not only help others, but to help myself. I refuse to be stopped because you feel I am doing it wrong. For every one of you doubters or concerned followers, I have 10 that get who I am. They understand that behind the few characteristics you pulled from your skim of my page as weaknesses, are bad ass qualities that make me much more. I am smart. I am a fighter. I am empathetic. I am a believer in supporting and being kind to others. And I am not buying your bullsh*t.
So from the girl you see on my Instagram as someone to save, sell to, or correct- Thank you for your concern. I am so glad you took the time to let me know how much I need fixing. But the one fact you failed to see is that I don’t need saving. I am not broken.
A fabulously flawed women who fought hard to get where she is and knows that your opinions should be kept to yourself and will refrain from speaking hers about you.
Originally posted 2016-06-11 18:48:10.
I will tell you one thing right now. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would one day become someone who works in the health and fitness world, I would have laughed at you. Then I would have referred you to your local psych ward because, well, you must be insane.
Up until a year ago, I really had no idea what healthy was. It was this fluid notion that skinny meant healthy, or weighing a certain amount was healthy, or fitting in to what everyone thought was attractive at the moment was healthy.
I, my dear friends, was far from healthy-mentally or physically. I went in vicious cycles of full blown disordered eating, to over exercising and restricting until the point of failure (because over restriction will cause failure.) , to that failure leading me to depression where I just gave up and didn’t care, which led me right back to disordered eating to try to correct it.
Add in PCOS, which makes it even more difficult to lose weight and feel healthy, and I felt I was destined to be this person constantly dieting and forever wishing she felt good about herself.
I, like so many others turned to the internet for what I thought would be inspiration to get healthy. I filled my feeds with perfect fitness models, super mom bloggers doing it all while still managing to have a rocking bod and clean house, to every jo schmo from high school trying to sell me anything and everything to solve my problem.
And I found myself sad and feeling less than. I once again felt like the fat girl on dance team pretending she had the stomach flu to avoid crop top uniform night. This wasn’t motivating me. This was defeating me. Where were all the normal women like me? Who chose leggings and struggle buns on the regular and don’t have full on contour at the gym? The girls who have been in the trenches of depression from not loving themselves? Where were the ones who have eaten Ben and Jerry’s for dinner and cried because they didn’t understand how to control it? Where were the women who are showing me that, “Hey, life has been really sh*tty. And it’s not fair. But if I can get healthy and happy through my storm, so can you.”
I worked with personal trainers who intimidated me. I worked with “coaches” who disappeared as soon as I bought the shake. I tried it myself, as silly as I looked, all on my own.
Eventually, I decided that I needed to become the person I needed. I turned to social media in hopes of sharing my story, and found I connected with so many women who had been where I was those years ago. And realized what a great need there is for health and fitness coaches that not only have the knowledge of fitness and nutrition, but also the experience of going through it themselves. It is very hard to help someone who you don’t understand where they are coming from.
I had to learn on my own and through lots and lots of failure what worked for me. I lost 55lbs and have kept it off give or take 5 lbs either way for over a year. But even with losing weight, I didn’t feel like I could fully help someone else just yet.
So quietly, I started researching. I spent late nights reading and emailing and researching everything and anything to do with the science behind PCOS, disordered eating, recovering from a damaged metabolism from a history of severe restriction, and how to apply it to your health. I also became double certified and in Weight Loss and Fitness Nutrition (NASM). I started applying my own experience getting healthy, education, and my own research and discussions with others that have been through what I have in my own life. Selfishly, this was all for me. I knew I couldn’t help anyone if I didn’t help myself.
This soon became my passion, and the small flicker of an idea to help others grew. It spread through my heart like wildfire.
I created Get Your FIT Together with Shelby for those girls just like me. I want to help the girl who is tired of quitting. I want to help the girl who is scared of the gym and nutrition and has no idea where to start, and just needs the help figuring it out.I want to show the girl who has suffered from disordered eating and years of restriction that food is not the enemy. I want to be the person who reminds you that you are enough and that you are worth it. I want to give you the tools to change your mindset from always feeling like you are on a diet and break the calendar mentality and teach you how to think of it as a lifestyle change. I want to show you that mental progress is just as important as physical progress. I want to show you that being happy and healthy isn’t just for those perfect people you see on the internet. It’s for everyone, despite your past, your starting point, your diagnosis or your mindset. And most importantly, I want to be the person I needed back then when I felt so lost.
So here I am, announcing that this girl, is excited to be the person I used to hate- a health and fitness mentor. I say mentor, because I feel the word coach is thrown around too often and takes away from the importance of it. Trainers often focus solely on the fitness portion of it.( You are not a health and fitness expert because you buy a shake and a dvd. ) Because in the sea of fitness and health personalities flooding you with quick fixes, unrealistic expectations, and intimidating into thinking the answer to health is “skinny”, I want to be the person who shows you it’s more than that. You are more than that. It is hard. But you can do hard. And I will be there, helping you each step of the way. Because you are so worth it.
If you are interested in learning more about my programs, check out the GYFT programs section of my site! Or email me at Coachshelby@survivingshelby.com
Originally posted 2016-06-08 11:50:57.
While shopping yesterday, avoiding adulting and trying on all Target’s clearance had to offer, I heard in the dressing room next to me two girl’s voices. They were no older than 14.
At first, I heard them laughing and talking about some boy. And then the tone flipped quick and I heard one say, ” I’d look so much better if I was as skinny as you. You suck. I just won’t eat tonight” And her friend didn’t object. They just kept on talking. As if saying not eating to fit into clothes is acceptable conversation. Or it was so normal in their lives it wasn’t even second guessed. It was as easy as saying, ” I’ll have fries with that.”
My heart sunk. I used to be that girl. Somedays, I still am that girl. All of a sudden as I stood half naked, mom bod in all it’s glory, I was overcome by sorrow. It was like I was 14 again. Back then, I would stand in front of a similar mirror, pinching and wishing away all my perceived imperfections. All I wanted was to be as ‘skinny’ as someone else. My sister. My best friend. Kelly Kapowski. ( I also wanted her boyfriend ) Anyone else but me.
Skinny became my obsession. And eventually that goal lead to my struggles with disordered eating. I spent most of those precious years meant for first dates and driver’s licenses consumed in depression, hating my body, and deflecting all my shortcomings onto others. I didn’t care about myself, so I destroyed others. I’d do anything it took at the expense of anyone or anything to be 1 pound less. This rageful, angry girl was actually dying inside, literally and figuratively, hiding it behind a charade of angst and ‘behavioral problems’. I was slowly self destructing, one uneaten calorie or one binge at a time.
When I realized people could probably hear me blubbering and were bound to bust down the door to the sight of my bare ass and last night’s mascara running down my face, I got my shit together. Me, being the fixer I have grown to be, quickly planned a powerful, life changing intervention. I imagined it saving her. Maybe, just maybe- she’d eat that night. Maybe she would not succumb to the pressures we all feel to be and look a certain way. Maybe, this hot mess express could be the catalyst to propel her away from the rabbit hole of self hatred. I wanted to be the person I needed back then.
[Tweet “I wanted to tell her how unimportant skinny is. Skinny doesn’t get you into college. It doesn’t make you friendships ( not the kind you want, anyway.) It doesn’t make you a better person. It doesn’t make you more lovable or liked. If just makes you skinny. That’s it.”]
I wanted to tell her how unimportant skinny is. Skinny doesn’t get you into college. It doesn’t make you friendships ( not the kind you want, anyway.) It doesn’t make you a better person. It doesn’t make you more lovable or liked. If just makes you skinny. That’s it.
I wanted to go into that dressing room and point out anything beautiful about her other than her size. I wanted to drive to her house and throw out her scale. I wanted to take her to lunch without all the numbers and counting and planning of how to rid your body of it immediately after. Just eat. And talk. And learn all the things that make her beautiful, none of them having to do with whether her pants fit or the number reflected back at her.
I said nothing. I froze. Whether it was from my own sadness, or something else. I ugly cried on the way home, regretting it. Wishing I could have just grabbed her hand and looked in her eyes. Maybe more for me, than her. Maybe for my daughter, who I worry I will pass on my old habits to. I thought about how just the other day, I walked in, and saw my two year old doing the scale dance. Get on. Get back off. Get back on. And the guilt set in. Sh*t. That was taught. She’s doing what she sees me do. Without even knowing it I was setting her up to disapprove of herself. You can’t just preach it. You can’t just say it. It’s not enough. You have to show them how to love themselves. And the best way to do that is to be an example of what it looks like.
She’s counting on me. Right then, I vowed to work on breaking the self hatred cycle. I will be an example of what loving my body truly is. Some days I may be faking it. I will still fight the mirror. The scale. The bitch of a voice inside my head that creeps in and tells me I am not good enough. And I worry it will always be there. But I will not let my daughter grow up believing her worth is determined by whether or not she fits into a pair of target jeggings.
When I got home, I hugged my daughter so tight, and thought about the girl at Target. I may not have been able to help her. But this girl in my arms, is all on me. I picked her up and we sat at my mirror. We had a fake tea party and ate REAL biscuits. We planned adventures. We danced. And as she caught her reflection, she exclaimed,
“Meme pretty like momma. Pretty happy mommy.”
And I was. And that’s who I will be, for her. Always.
Originally posted 2016-05-04 10:22:50.
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