Disclaimer: This post contains sensitive topics surrounding bereavement, mental health and body image. Reader discretion is advised.
If there’s one thing that hacks me off more than anything, it’s people making very unwanted comments about one’s body.
Well it wouldn’t kill you to put on a few pounds.
Well that’s not very slimming, is it?
Urgh, you’re so skinny! Just put some weight on!
Eat that chocolate, you fat bitch!
You know guys like something they can get a hold of right?
And my personal favourite…
You’ll get fat if you eat that!
I’ve had all of these thrown at me over the years, experiencing both sides of the spectrum, 9/10 from complete strangers.
Along with the looks, the typical eyes wander up, eyes wander down, then back up to you with that dirty look of “How dare you not be how I think you should be?” And after someone did this to me just the other day, quite frankly, I’ve well and truly had enough of it.
This is what annoys me. People feeling like they have a right to make derogatory comments to you about your exterior when they know nothing about what’s going on in your life. Even then, it’s still not ok. I’ve seen it happen to friends and family, being approached by strangers who get off on hurting others in this way or just plain ignorant. As long as you’re happy and healthy, why should any of that matter?
Now if someone’s saying “Honey, you haven’t eaten all day, you need to get something down you.” or “No I have to stay away from (x) because it affects my heart.” etc. That’s different. That’s out of concern for someone’s health and not being a jerk about it.
But someone having that, “I don’t like the outside of you so I’m going to make you feel bad about it.” philosophy just disgusts me.
Now, all of you know a few months ago I struggled with severe anxiety after losing my grandfather, along with one of the cats having to be put down just before Christmas.
I was in a high pressure job where all you could think about was the job in front of you. It was sleep, eat, work 14 hours, go home, sleep, repeat. No time whatsoever to yourself or to wind down, and absolutely no time to grieve.
So I comfort ate as a way to cope. There was no time to process so food became my crutch and overall I gained around 30lbs.
Also, some other things happened in my life at that time that was very hard to process. I’d tried to write post after post and ending up deleting all of them.
I wanted to talk about them as I didn’t want to hide away from it and I find writing to be a very healing thing.
It’s something that needs to be talked about and isn’t talked about enough but I didn’t know what to say, how to say it and not feeling ready to talk.
When I got sick with Australian flu as said job finished (It was a two months contract, grandfather passed away one week in) my mind finally had some thinking room and in one fell swoop, two months of pent up grief and anxiety erupted out of me like a volcano. To cut a long story short, I had a breakdown.
Not the type where you’re a threat to yourself, but the kind where I was so severely anxious I was frightened to leave my own bed at one point (the fact I was flu-ridden and throwing up being the trigger for that one).
I was terrified to leave the house and I was in a constant state of panic from the second I woke up to the second I went to sleep.
I got the help I needed from my GP and was prescribed some medication to help, which I can now say it definitely has done and I’m feeling better than I have in a long time.
But the final nail in the coffin was not long after coming back from Aussie flu, I had an early miscarriage.
Though I had my suspicions I may have been pregnant, I just put it down to coming back from a really rough time. I couldn’t take a test as it was far too early to tell and the chances of me being so were quite slim.
But things happen. I won’t go in to the graphic details, but I didn’t properly know I was pregnant until I was miscarrying. I would have been around 2-4 weeks so you can’t really get much earlier.
Just because we weren’t planning on children any time soon if at all, doesn’t mean we were any less upset. Me and my partner were absolutely heartbroken. As early on as it was, that was still what would have been our first baby.
Anyone who’s gone through that knows it’s not something you’d wish on your worst enemy. The physical exhaustion, the feelings of shame and guilt despite knowing it wasn’t your fault, the depression, the works. In that situation there’s no choosing to look after yourself, you need to.
That’s why after what happened a few days ago, I’d just had enough. We all need to take care of ourselves and I needed to. Societal norms have never been particularly high on my list and after that it was thing I’d ever think about. Normally I just think, “water off a duck’s back” and brush it off to ignorance.
But this time it made me angry. Not only angry at the situation but angry for anyone who had been affected, upset, etc. by something like that, verbal or otherwise. What matters is what’s on the inside (I know that sounds cliché but it’s true).
I felt like saying, “If you’d stop judging and actually know what’s happened you wouldn’t be doing that.” It put a massive bee in my bonnet and I’ve not been able to shake it.
I don’t hate my body anymore. I used to, but I don’t now. It’s gone through a lot, withstood a lot. I’ve eaten healthier than ever and work out regularly. Does that mean I can’t love my body along the way to a fitter, healthier me? Of course I can!
It’s strong, all mine and I’m proud of that. Like many of us, I went through a really crappy time and I’m certainly not going to apologise for that, just because I don’t happen to conform to an ignorant person’s ideal.
My mental state is better than it has been in a long time and it’s so great to actually feel positive for the first time in ages. That what matters more than anything to me, I actually feel happy and I’m grateful to be surrounded online and offline by such wonderful people.
All I can do is just implore that before you make an outward judgement on someone, just think about what might be going on in their life first, as we never know until we actually know that person.
Be kind to yourselves, folks 💓
All my love,