Self Love and Body Shaming
A while back, I shared a picture on Instagram of me in a bathing suit from my trip to Mexico. I talked about how I was body shamed by a couple sitting at the pool who was laughing at me and making fun of my body. I talked about how other people who do not know you or what you have been through have no right to sit there and judge you.
When we were on vacation in Mexico a few weeks ago, it was the first time I had worn a bathing suit in a long time, and it had been even longer since I wore a bathing suit without a cover up. I was nervous to take my cover up off and to walk into the pool or walk on the beach. I still felt like that same 500 pound girl…then it happened. A couple sitting by the pool started laughing and pointing at me and making fun of me as soon as I took my cover up off. So what did I do? I took a deep breath, smiled and walked into the pool. That was a huge moment for me. I had changed. I was not the same girl anymore. Yes I still have a lot of loose skin, I may still feel insecure at times, and yes I may still get made fun of. To be honest, yes it bothered me. But I was not going to let people like that affect me anymore! I am not going to let what other people think of me stop me from living my life. They do not know me. They do not know how I have worked my ass off to lose 350 pounds. They do not know how I am recovering from major surgeries. They have no right to sit and point and laugh at me. That's why I smiled. It does not matter what others say or if they try to doubt you or try to bring you down. What matters is how you react to it. How you feel about yourself. Loving yourself just the way you are is hard. Others might not like that. That's ok. I hope you love yourself. Love your body. I hope you keep doing you and just keep smiling! . . . . . #jacquelineadan #jacquelinesjourney #effyourbeautystandards #selfloveclub #selflove #lovemybody #lovemyshape #loveyourself #teamself #extremeweightloss #weightloss #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #weightlossmotivation #beforeandafter #beforeandafterweightloss #wlstories #onaquest #bodybuildingcom #bodypositive #bodyconfidence #bodyposi #transformationfitnation #motivationmonday #mondaymotivation #fitfam #fitspo #bodytransformation #igtransformations #transformationjourney
But what happens if the people shaming your body are people you know. People who know what you have been through and what you are going through. What if it is someone who knows how much you are struggling and still continues to put you and your body down? Then what? Is it just as easy to brush it off and move on like when a stranger does it or is it harder because the person knows your history?
To start, no one ever has the right to criticize your body. No one has the right to put you down or make you try to feel bad or guilty for what you look like. For me, I decided I needed to lose weight because it was best for my overall health and I was not living the life I wanted to. But losing weight was my choice. I did it for me, not because someone else told me to. They tried that and it didn’t work. When I was ready… I made it happen. While I have been on my journey, I have always made the choices and decisions that I felt were best for me. The decisions that I thought was best for my overall health, happiness, and well-being, that were going to help me reach my goals.
Why am I so Swollen?
A few months ago I had my 5th skin removal surgery and it was part 1 of my legs. I think my body has been through so much, losing 350 pounds, followed by several skin removal surgeries and I think my body is just trying to readjust to everything and figure out what is going on. After this last surgery, I have been really swollen…like really swollen. I have been receiving so many comments from people I did not know telling me how I was gaining weight, telling me to watch what I was eating and that hopefully I can workout again soon because they could notice I was getting “fat” again. This was hard for me to hear and read. I felt my clothes not fitting, I felt puffy and my whole body felt numb and cold. All of these things made me know something else was going on.
I remembered how people did not know what I was going through and had no right to judge me. But I knew I had to figure out what was going on. I talked to my surgeon about this and I was very emotional in his office and he assured me it was fluid and how my body was retaining a lot of fluid. He could see it and feel it. I had my massage therapist check me out too and he said my whole body is swollen and filled with fluid. All of this helped make me feel a little better about what was going on and really made it easier to not worry about what others were saying about me. I am still concerned about all of the fluid and how I am supposed to get rid of it. It is not only causing me discomfort and mentally hard for me, but it is not good for all of that fluid and toxins to be sitting in my body.
Let’s Go to the Doctor
I decided to go have a checkup with my regular doctor. My surgeon recommended I see a specialist, but it is like $700 to see him, and right now that is not doable. I decided to start with my doctor to see if we can figure out whats going on. This is someone who took care of me at my heaviest and knows what I am going through. Maybe she could help me. I had blood work done just to make sure everything inside my body was ok and working properly…and everything that was tested came back fine!
But going to see my doctor is where it all went downhill for me. She pretty much told me that, after looking at my labs, I was just gaining weight and that I should really watch what I am eating and exercise more. What? Are you kidding me? LOSE WEIGHT?!? I could not believe this. Was she really telling me to lose weight? After leaving her office, I completely broke down. I think I cried for over an hour.
Here I was…recovering from skin removal surgeries, still struggling mentally with my body image to now going through being swollen and having my own doctor tell me I was just gaining weight. I felt like the same 500-pound girl again who would go in for an ear infection and the doctors telling me that I had just to lose weight. Why does everything always come back to weight? You are overweight and they tell you t lose weight. After you lose the weight and something is going on with your body and the only thing you are told is to lose weight…it is frustrating.
Focus on Yourself and Love Yourself
I know I talk about self-love and learning to love your body and yourself just as you are. I think with this whole situation of being swollen and hearing not only others but my doctor still putting me down and shaming my body and telling me to lose weight, is a good reminder of why it is so important to remember to focus on yourself and love yourself. When you deal with people like this, because there are unfortunately people like this out there, you need to be strong enough to take their opinions and criticisms. When you love yourself, you can be strong enough to still feel confident no matter what they say or tell you.
There will be people who just don’t want to understand or listen to you and what you have gone through or are going through. Ultimately, they don’t want to understand. That is why I feel self-love is so important. You can take a moment to be upset about what those people are saying, then just keep moving forward with a smile on your face. You can shake it off and keep doing what you feel and know is best for you no matter what others say or think. Loving yourself can help you feel confident and happy with yourself and know that you are ok. You have to do what you feel is best for you and your overall health and well being. Some people will just not want to understand, and that is ok.
I am Still a Work In Progress
Our bodies are very funny things. After you lose 350 pounds, you would think I would just completely love my body now. With the amount of loose skin, and now, all of the swelling from surgery, it is still hard. Don’t get me wrong I am completely proud of myself and I can honestly say I love myself and all of my imperfections, but it is still hard. With my body changing so much, and so quickly, it is hard for my mind to catch up with these changes. I am still a work in progress. I am still learning to be myself and love myself and loving myself is something I practice every day. Now, I know how important it really is!!
As my Journey continues, I will continue to keep fighting and making the choices and decisions that are best for me and my health and happiness. Even though my doctor really upset me, and no matter how much I am struggling with my body right now, I am going to continue to love myself and keep fighting to get rid of this fluid and to do whats best for my body.
Never Stop Fighting
My weight loss taught me something bigger than just how to lose weight. It taught me that I am strong, I am a fighter. No matter what others say, no matter who it is, I am just going to keep loving myself and my body through it all. I learned that no matter how hard the battle may seem, that I will never ever stop fighting. I learned that it is very important to think about how you talk to yourself and treat yourself.
My journey has taught me that how you talk and treat your body is how your body will respond. If you are negative and don’t treat your body well it will not respond well. When you talk nicely to yourself and take care of your body it will be happy. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks about you or your body…its all about what you think and say to yourself and how you treat yourself. You are the one who controls how you feel.
When I was overweight, everyone wanted to just blame everything on the fact that I was just…overweight. Now, after losing all of this weight, they still want to call you “fat” and tell you to lose weight. What those people, doctors included, don’t know is how mentally scarring their words can be. Telling someone who is struggling with loving themselves and their body, to just lose weight, can cause a lifetime of pain.
Let’s Work Together
Instead, why don’t we help each other! Be there for people who may be struggling. How can I help empathize with them and try to understand the reasons as to why they are struggling? How can I help someone with body image issues or mental health issues? Instead of tearing them down and putting them down…motivate them in a positive way. We need to find a better way to help people with these diseases and disorders. Whether it be obesity, body image issues, or people not loving and caring for themselves they are still people and still need love and respect and maybe a little help. We need to find better words, and be more loving toward people, especially when we know they are struggling.
So many people are struggling with not loving themselves or their bodies. Instead of putting others down, or making fun of them, why don’t we help others learn to love themselves, respect themselves and help each other live the best life that they can instead of tearing them down? We must watch our words and remember that how we treat others affects them. The effects of our words and actions can be positive or negative, we just need to be aware of this and remember how we talk to and treat people can help or harm them even if we don’t mean to.
Body Shaming Hurts
SO…YES, it hurts when strangers try to put me down or body shame me but it especially hurts when people who know me do it. The hurt I feel from them only lights the fire that is deep down within my soul and makes me want to fight harder, not just for myself, but for others. I love myself enough to keep fighting. I deserve to love my body and myself and I will not accept anyone telling me I need to change my body because it is not what they think it should be. We have to be strong enough to know that what others say about us, does not define us. We must make loving ourselves a priority!
For me, self-love is just not important for me, it is necessary. When we have self-love, we can conquer anything. Yes we still may get hurt, and feel insecure or feel like we wish we could change who we are, but for me, I am able to cry, meltdown, scream or yell…and move on. Without self-love, I would just sit, stuck with my negative feelings and continue to feel that way. I will figure out why I am so swollen and I will continue to love myself while I embark on that journey. No matter what anyone wants to say, I am just going to keep moving forward with love!