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How My Body Shamers Got Me to Shame Myself

Love thyself.

I do not own this photo, copyrights go to Salt & Light Photography. 

So where do I begin? Where do I even begin to start when I have endured over ten years of cruel and mean insults? Insulted, "joked" toward and beaten up emotionally about my body. How do I even begin to address these people? Well here goes nothing, let me tell you how I felt. 

To my family who started this all, I know it was a joke to comment how my big toe was just "too big" or how my cheeks were just "so fat." I get that. It is so cute isn't it? So cute to tell a child how fat parts of their body are. I get it—but when did that little compliment turn into a bash of my body? I was six. I was six years old when I started to worry that my big toe was gross. I believed that my TOE (of all things) was wrong. It was abnormal and weird. My toe isn't even weird, it is normal and proportionate to my foot. Just because ya'll's toes are short and stumpy, does not mean my long toe is wrong. I felt bad about myself. I stopped wearing open-toed shoes at the fear that my classmates (in kindergarten) would make fun of me. I was ashamed of my foot. Ashamed that I was made wrong. It wasn't until I was 15 that I wore open-toed shoes in public. My freshman/sophomore year of high school. That is when I forced myself to wear them and overcome my shame of my feet. 

This was the start. A joke, that turned my self-esteem weaker. It's just a toe Lexi, why are you so upset? Because that isn't it. I was born with the frenulum (that little string under your tongue) of my tongue nearly connecting to the tip of my tongue. Therefore; I couldn't stick my tongue out further than my lips. Everywhere I went people would try to get me to stick my tongue out because it reminded them of a head of a penis because it began to split down the middle. I would get jokes that I had a penis tongue (it is pretty funny but when you've heard that since your were seven it gets old). After awhile, I hated my tongue. I never thought I would be able to kiss a boy right, I couldn't lick ice cream, I couldn't stick my tongue out in pictures and I couldn't just be a kid. My tongue was splitting and my frenulum would become so sore from me trying to make my tongue stick out further. At the age of 13, I got tired of being made fun of. I got my frenulum cut down. The doctor, of all people, told me that usually he doesn't have to do this surgery unless one of his patients are going to prison. They like to have their tongue cut for sexual reasons. Like WTF, I was 13!! Way to make me feel bad dude. I just was tired of the pain of the stretching and the jokes. So he got a pair of scissors (what it looked like) and snip snip, my frenulum is shorter. 

I endured the pain of a sore tongue for two weeks all because of some jokes. My tongue now barely sticks past my lips and is still short. Since I got my tongue cut, people left me alone because it was closer to the norm. My tongue is slightly split and will be that way forever. Why bully a child until they get a surgery to make themselves feel better? 

Since puberty started at a young age for me (ten years old), I had gained a lot of weight. I was around 140 lbs. in fourth grade. I never really thought much about it until I was at my dad's house and my uncle (he was like 16 at the time) had his friend over. My uncle was bench pressing his friend. "How much do you weigh man?" he asked. 

"Like, 140 bro!" My face literally dropped. I weighed the same amount a 16-year-old boy did at 10 years old. That was all I could think about. I was fat. I started looking up how much a ten-year-old should weigh and I was shocked to find out the results. A ten-year-old should approximately weigh about 72 lbs. I weighed double that. I talked to my mom and she said it was just baby fat. 

Then as I got older, it didn't go away. Now that I was 13, I weighed 155 lbs. Now everyone called me fat. My acne was rampant, my hair was excessively oily, I only wore basketball shorts and pony tail, I stunk something awful when I would swear and hated everything about myself. My friend and I used to toss around the football for fun because my uncle had shown me how to throw one. We were talking about it in class one day and a boy in my class told me that I should've been born a boy. He said that I looked like one and acted like one. He said because I sat with my foot on my knee instead of crossing my knees when I sat down, that I should've been a boy. Another person told me how small my boobs were while my friend had a C-cup already.

I went home and cried. I looked in the mirror at my ugly face and ugly hair and told myself I was an ugly girl. I noticed how I looked like my dad more than my mom and how small my boobs were. I cried in my mother's arms complaining about my acne and body. She agreed to let me wear makeup. I wore foundation that was too dark for me and eyeliner that was too thick. I felt good though, I felt really good. 

"I bet I look like a girl now! I wear makeup," I told myself. I went to school in shorts and a "nice" shirt with makeup on. That boy didn't compliment me. He pretended I looked the same. I tried wearing shirts that were cut low so that he would maybe notice that my boobs were a little bigger with my new bra. He didn't. Instead, his friend commented on how hairy my legs and arms were. "Geez you look like a gorilla! Shave your arms and legs." Great. Now another repulsive part of my body. I snuck my moms razor and shaved. I didn't ask her permission and I didn't tell her either. Those boys didn't care that I shaved for them the next day. They didn't give a DAMN about me. 

Skipping ahead a little bit, we come to my freshman year of high school. I was 15 years old (I think) and started playing sports. I was so out of shape, it was a new school with new people. My family started commenting on how chunky I (still) was and how I was just so damn cute with my chipmunk cheeks. I hated it. My best friend was skinny now and had big C-cup boobs and pretty hair. Everyone told her how pretty she was and how she was going to grow up to beautiful, and they never said anything to me. I was right next to her, and they never said anything to me. She became my idea of beautiful. I needed to look like her to feel better. I researched ways to lose my belly and get bigger boobs. 

I would wrap myself in Saran wrap super tight and run. I would run everyday in the heat of the summer, in a long sleeve shirt so I could lose weight. Sure—it worked, but I also got super sick from the heat and threw up on the road. I fainted and had to be picked up. I stopped doing that out of fear of my health. I had lost about 15 pounds that summer but my body looked awful. I thought at the time it was great because my stomach was getting pretty flat but it just so happened my whole body shrunk to. My boobs were non-existent, my butt was completely flat. I always have had thick thighs so yay for that, but my body was gone. Now that I was "beautiful" in my eyes, I had more confidence. Until I was told that I was too skinny. 

Now that I was smaller, I was told that I needed to eat more. "Oh hita, you're so skinny. Don't you eat at home? Do you want me to cook for you?" My family would tell that to me every single time I would visit. It would make so mad! Seriously, I worked this hard for you to reverse body shame me by calling me too skinny!? Didn't you call me fat last summer? Who do you think you are? But no—I didn't stick up for myself. I just took it. I took the constant nagging out my stomach. 

My friends started to "joke" about how flat my boobs and butt were. "Ha! You should be the captain of the itty-bitty-titty committee!" "Geez Lex, where's your ass at?" These are what I would hear... All. The. Time. At first I thought it was funny, and I would joke to—but then I started to look at myself. Their comments would flood my brain. I don't have a butt. I don't have boobs. I picked myself apart in every outfit. I wouldn't wear certain clothes because I looked bad. I started critiquing my stomach again. It wasn't small enough. 

My junior year of high school I got birth control. I got the NEXPLANON inserted into my left arm. My doctors failed to tell me that it would increase my appetite. I began to eat a lot more than usual and I didn't notice. My weight on the scale was on a rapid incline. I gained 5 lbs, then 10 lbs, then 15 lbs. I thought at first it was because I was weightlifting every day, but after a 20 lb. increase—I knew it wasn't. I obviously beat myself up for this. I didn't understand how I had gotten so fat. I pointed out how big my arms and stomach had gotten. I remembered how I used to sit down without a big belly roll. Now my clothes didn't fit. I cried and cried because I was fat again. I had gotten into a size five pants and now I was into a size nine pants. I weighed 175 pounds at the end of my senior year. The doctor then informed me of the appetite issue and I was livid. If I would have known this then I would have been more cautious. I thought I was eating the same amount. I didn't notice that I was more hungry. I was 16 years old when I got this birth control so I didn't care about reading the side effects okay? 

I remember that I had gotten cellulite on my thighs and I had been made fun of at school. I had "hail damage" and "cottage cheese" legs. I tried to run again but there was just no weight coming off. I tried to stop eating junk food—still gained weight. I was in a hard sports practice every day and—nothing. No matter what I did, I couldn't lose weight. I was so overwhelmed by the number on a scale, I became obsessed. I weighed myself every day. Sometimes twice a day. I bought an extremely tight waist trainer and tortured myself to wear it all day long. 

I would stare at myself naked in the mirror and cry. I would slap my thighs in anger. I would torture myself by hitting myself harder and harder while I cried in pain. I would pinch and squeeze my fat until I was red and bruised. 

I hurt myself, because I was taught that I wasn't good enough. 

Can you believe that? 

I wrote in a journal how many times I wish I was dead because I was fat. 

My friends, my family, my loved ones bullied me.

They made fun of my precious home. 

They told me I wasn't good enough. 

January 1st, 2018

I found a self-love page on Instagram. I fell in love with it. I joined their body positivity challenge and forced myself to be okay with who I am. It is now March 20th, 2018 and I still struggle. I wear crop tops and shorts now because I CAN. I let my squishy belly jiggle and I laugh because it's cute. I tell myself that I AM WORTH IT. My boyfriend loves my body. He watched and helped me grow. This wonderful man was not mentioned in this blog/article because he never once shamed my body. He helped build me up. He sat in the bathroom and held me while I cried. He let me scream at him when I was down. He brought me up. 

Ladies and gentleman, don't ever let anyone bring you down. 

Your body is far from worthless. Your body houses your mind, your organs, and is worth it. Your body is your temple, and I want your temple to be strong. My foundation was made weak and therefore it only fell over and over again. My foundation is now strong, and continues to build. It falls every now and again but it only rebuilds itself. I love each and every one of you out there. Wear the bikini, be shirtless, wear the shorts and the tank tops. Be you! Be yourself my loves. 

Follow my body positivity page on instagram: @__ChunkyMonkeyy__ 

I thought I was fat.

Nowhere in this photo am I fat. the camera was a little unsteady and out of focus. Who were my friends to tell me I had no body. I needed to be happy within myself. Every day I told myself how no boy would like me because my boobs were small. Every day I told myself that I could be skinnier if I would work harder. Every day my self-esteem went lower and Lower. Every day I hated myself. 

Senior Picture

The end of my senior year. I was struggling but I was getting closer to loving myself. I was 40 pounds heavier, but my heart had grown to. 

Freshman Year of College

Happiest I have ever been. I wore shorts and a tank top out. I danced forever and had the best time. I am 195 lbs. now. My NEXPLANON continued to make me gain weight even with calorie cuts. I had it removed on March 15th, 2018 for my health and have maintained my weight. I was never able to do this before. I am not worried about my weight but only my health. I am working on loving myself. As should you all. 

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