Discreet Body Shaming

Ever think to yourself, “Wow, I really shouldn’t have said that!” Or, “Why did I say that?”
I’m pretty sure everyone has a moment like this and I’m sure some of them were pure unfiltered booboos. But sometimes, you say something you “think” is alright, but it’s really not.

A few weeks ago I went on a hike with my parents. It wasn’t long or difficult, but it still brought on a sweat. Afterwards, we were going to do some quick shoe shopping and stop at Ben & Jerry’s. Which, by the way, I had never been to a storefront for the dessert. I had only ever tasted the delicious ice cream from store freezers.
So, I was excited to say the least.

“Well, there goes the hike.”
There goes all the work and calories you just burned, down the drain.
The person who said this explained they meant no harm.
Really, though?

I sat in the hot car, crying to myself, because I felt ashamed. I felt guilty wanting to eat something, which I don’t have very often, because it contradicted everything I had just done.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

The past month, I started working out again. I only go three times a week right now. Yeah, that may seem like nothing for some, but for me it’s improvement. Getting out of the house and going to an environment that causes me anxiety, even a few days a week, is way better than lying in bed everyday feeling depressed.
Despite working out, I’ve gained weight. A lot. It might be due to the medication I’m on, but it’s really affecting my mood. Which the medication is supposed to help with. So, I’ve gained weight and I’m working things out with my ex (now partner), and I’ve started to feel insecure again.

Today, while waiting for my mother to get ready for the gym she says, “Your grandma thinks he’s going to toss you once he sees how big you’ve gotten.” And then, “But, I told her that’s not the case. He already knows how big you’ve gotten and knows you’re working on it.”

I sat in the chair, crying to myself, because once again I felt ashamed. I felt guilty because I’ve puffed up like the Michelin Man.

“I didn’t mean to make you cry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Really, though?

Then why say it?
Why bring up the fact that I just ate the calories I burned?
Why tell me what hurtful thing someone else said?

Because you want to get a message across.
And that message is ridden with guilt and shame.

You may say you didn’t mean harm, but that’s exactly what you meant to do. You may justify it as helping, because that’s the only way you can come out feeling alright after “unintentionally” tearing someone else down.

But lets face it: You have your own personal thoughts, feelings, and preconceptions of what a “healthy” body should look like. And although you may not want to admit it, you project that upon others.

And someone gets hurt because of it.