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The shame in shaming

May 29, 2017 | Candice King

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For some reason when people look at me they see someone who is confident, someone who has it all together. Wrong, so wrong. Over the years, people who are supposed to love me made me look at myself in ways that one should never look at themselves. 

In a previous relationship I was called fat. Actually, he had a nickname for me and would call me that instead of using the word fat but we both knew what it meant. I was told not to wear certain things and told when my hair didn’t look good. My flaws were constantly pointed out. To this day, compliments make me uncomfortable.

For the longest time, and still now, I am uncomfortable in my own skin. I am constantly looking in the mirror and pointing out my flaws to myself. I actually feel bad after eating and have thought of making myself throw up countless times but I didn’t. That’s no way to live. After I had my son, I went on this insane diet – and by diet, I mean that I was starving myself. I thought that I needed to lose weight quickly after having him because even though I was pregnant, I was called fat and I felt bad about myself. I was determined to lose the weight within months and I did – 4 months to be exact. I lost the 16kgs that I picked up during my pregnancy - plus some.

I may have lost the weight but I wasn’t happy, why? because instead of telling me that starving myself was utterly stupid, I was told ‘you’re doing so well!’ How could someone who claimed to love me, watch me do that to myself; not just watch, but encourage me! It is mentally insane to starve yourself because other people think that you would look better with less body fat. Nobody has the right to tell you what an acceptable body image is.

Despite what we want to believe, people get into our heads. They have a bigger impact on our lives than we would like to admit. I lived a large portion of my life with someone who hardly ever complimented me, with someone who never made me feel like I was good enough. From my body to my parenting skills to my life as a whole, I was made to feel like everything just wasn’t good enough.

All those things impacted me greatly. I find it so difficult to take compliments. Not necessarily because I don’t believe them, but simply because its not something that I’m used to and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Because of this, I don’t feel like what I’m doing is enough. I am always striving to do better as a parent and better in my career. In some ways, those constant insults made me never want to give up.

The sad reality is that there will always be someone that makes you feel less than what you are. I have seen fitness bloggers shame people on snapchat because of what they eat. Just because you choose to live off egg whites and broccoli doesn’t mean that everyone else should. It’s truly sad that we live in a society where people feel better about themselves for putting other people down.

Right now, I am working on my body, not just for my physical appearance and for what people see on the outside, but because it’s helping me feel better on the inside. What I am slowly realizing is that I shouldn’t care what people think – easier said than done – but I will get to the point where others opinions of me don’t matter.  I’m trying to get better at it but I am a work in progress.

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