The weight loss/fitness paradox:
Simultaneously feeling better about yourself while being anxious about how people perceive you.
I used to be dumpy and awkward looking. Clothes two sizes too big, terrible haircuts, worse dye jobs, bad skin, the works. But I had my nerdy friends and I wasn’t too impressed with boys around me at the time to care about how they looked at me. I hated exercise and did everything I could to not participate in physical activities. Good news: I have successfully removed digital traces of myself from photo evidence. Bad news: I can’t make the comparison point I wanted to make as easily, but here it goes.
Since starting to exercise and taking care of myself in general, I’ve been judged for my appearance. I’ve been called shallow, had multiple comments made about what I eat (or what people think I don’t eat), dismissed as being “too” active, pretty, etc, and in general my social self esteem has plummeted while I have never felt better about my abilities and my body. It bothers me a lot that being better in one area of my life twisted opinions from people that I thought were my friends into something that I’m not.
On one hand, I find it amusing to be described as “shallow” based on my current appearance alone. On the other hand, I am constantly on guard about my habits and backhanded ‘compliments’ from people I used to be able to relax around.
Some things that aren’t “just a joke” that really cut me:
-“All I ever see you eat is fast food and bread, I bet you throw up half of it.” – former roommate and the reason why I refuse roommates now.
-“ooooh, so healthyyyyy” – mocking comments made about my food every single day at my previous job.
-“I thought you were on a diet?” – ordering a burger once, while commenter orders twice as much food.
-“you’re too pretty, I don’t know how to be around you.” – this was the day I learned “pretty” can be an insult.
-“They’re only nice to you cause you’re hot/that only happened cause you’re hot.” – thanks for making sure I never trust again!
It took me a good few months to really come to terms with the fact that the people I thought were my friends are just people in and around my life. I used to defend them, but now I shrug and change the topic when their names are brought up.
I also learned who really is my friend. There have been some people I would never have considered that constantly give me approval and support, people that aren’t intimidated by someone else busting ass to improve their life. My family has been wonderful. My real friends listen to what I say instead of what they want to hear. I have better hobbies and I’m working on branching out into more supportive social groups.
So, to sum up my rambling, I learned a valuable lesson about the type of people to surround myself with the last couple years, and I’m finally starting to pull myself out of the crippling headspace snide comments left me in.
To the people that were there, thank you. Really, you’re why I keep going and why I post updates. I could have kept to myself, but you, dear friends, inspire me to bloom and show off.
To the people that were rude.. BYE FELICIA!