Hey hey beautiful people! I hope you are having a great week so far, it is almost Friday…which means it is almost the weekend! Happy dance! I woke up this morning craving an intense workout, so intense is what I did; 30 minute HIIT run (with a 5 minute cool down), followed by 10 minutes of planks. I’ve been really feeling like I’ve been slacking recently and I think it’s starting to show, sooooo yup! That is why I whipped my butt this morning and did some interval sprints and was one sweattyyyyy mess.
I’m linking this post up with the fabulous Amanda to join in on her Thinking Out Loud Party to share some deep, honest rambles!
I usually like to keep things light, fun, and energetic on here, while trying to stay real with all of you…but let’s be honest, we all have issues and we all have things that sometimes we struggle with, and even though I don’t want to focus this little space on the internet with that, mainly because I am sensitive and I hate when people are judgey (judgey is my favorite word of the moment), critical, and just plain mean, please know that I am human and I’m not always this perky, bubbly, I love my life and every second of it girl….well, most of the time I am, but sometimes I am not. Today, I am doing something I haven’t done often on here, I am sharing some real, honest, deep, things with you. Because things have been going on in my head lately that have brought me back to these moments of hurt, so I figured I would write about it…because that’s the whole point of this little blog, right? Beware folks, it’s about to get real on here. This post will have LOTS of words, and probably be all over the place, but that’s what Thinking Out Loud is for right, for some rambling?!? 😉
I’ve been meaning to share some insight into my thoughts on body image and self acceptance for a while now. If you know anything about me, you might know that I don’t really have the best self confidence and the best body image in the world. That is something that I struggle with, and have struggled with for a while. You could say that I try really hard to be the “perfect” everything, but always fail at that because no one is perfect, only God, and I work out every day and try to eat the healthiest for my body. I have those days where I look in the mirror and have the worst thoughts in my head that I would never say to any other person because they are so mean, and then I have days where I look at myself and think “damn girl!”…but those days are few and very far between. And to be completely honest with you, I scroll through Instagram and I scroll through Pinterest and think to myself “if only I could look like her!” but wait, how do I know if she is photoshopped? How do I know if she is flexing? Because I know very well and good that if I flexed and sucked my stomach in every single day, all day, I might actually think I look smokin’ too. But that isn’t real life, and I am real. I am not perfect. I am not that girl that everyone wants to look like, but I am me. And I have learned to love myself and all that I am, even while taking some steps backward at times.
I want to take you back, back to when I was in middle school (a long long time ago) when I was a shy, but kind, loving, and happy girl who thought her biggest problem was what jeans she was going to wear that day, until that was my smallest problem. I had an online journal where I would write how my day went, what was going on in my life, and my deepest and darkest secrets. I didn’t care that I shared it with the world, I pretty much had no filter when it came to what I said. And to tell you the truth I truly did not care what other people thought of me and this was something that was fun. I would come home from school everyday and just do something I loved to do….write. It started out as really fun, and I shared the link on my little AIM profile under all of the sassy quotes, that might I add I did not know what they meant at the time, and just lived my happy life. Until I started to get a lot of these hate comments on this online journal I was writing. I am talking like hundreds and hundreds of anonymous hate comments of these girls who clearly had a tremendous hate for me, telling me (and everyone else) all of the things in the world that a 13/14 year old, confident, happy, loving life girl really did not want to read about herself. Even if they weren’t true, and even if the comments were from jealous people, it hurt. And it hurt bad. But I still wrote in that thing day in and day out, and would check those comments every minute of every hour that I was on the computer. If I could go back in time and tell myself some words of encouragement, it would probably be to shut off the use of anonymous commenting and not let those words even come through to me. Why was I allowing these trolls to ruin my days? Along with that, we had an end of the year English project due which showcased everything we loved from our middle school years; it was a binder filled with a collection of things like poems, pictures, letters, drawings, and stuff like that. Our teacher displayed these works of art all over her classroom for all of our classmates to look at and read. I happened to look at mine one day and see some of my project ripped up, like literally ripped up into pieces. I was absolutely devastated and couldn’t believe that someone would do this to my project. I think I cried about it for like a week, and I still hate thinking about that project, because I worked so hard on it and someone was evil enough to destroy it. I would say that is when the “bullying” in my life officially began.
High school came, and I thought I wasn’t really too phased by these bullies. I was “dating” Michael at the time (we have been together since the 8th grade),and I thought everyone would get over it and stop the hating. Only until some girl in my health class (who I was so kind to, by the way) decided one day that “I reminded her of a perfect Barbie Doll”. At the time I took that as a compliment, because honestly who doesn’t want to be a Barbie? But then she came to class the next day with a barbie doll head colored blue, stuck to her pencil, and told me that she “hates Barbie dolls”. In that moment I got super creeped out and I may or may not have changed my seat, and thought she was just some girl with a little bit of issues, putting it past me (but never forgetting it). Fast forward to a couple months later when some guys asked me if my (long, curly, thick) hair felt any different because that same girl had CUT a piece of my curls off to use it on a voodoo doll she made of me. Hold up, WHAT? Yes, friends. This girl hated me so much she cut a piece of my curls and used it to make some weird voodoo doll crap of me. That is when I told my parents, my parents then went to the school and informed anyone and everyone to get this girl out of my class because she is pretty much threatening me, or get me out of that class. The school did nothing. Yes, you read that right, they did NOTHING. Now, I get it, this was back in like 2004 when “bullying wasn’t so bad”, but they did nothing. Oh, but wait, that girl wasn’t even the worst of my issues at that school. I had some girls literally threatening my life. Rubbing up against me at my locker and telling me that they were going to physically kill me. I couldn’t even tell you what I had done to them, because I didn’t even know them. That, along with other reasons, my parents decided to put me in a different school half way through that year. This different school was a catholic private school, where (you think) everyone is accepting, kind, and friendly…right? No. So not true. I was probably the most hated girl in that school. I actually heard that there was a nasty rumor going around the school even before I got there that I said something mean and hateful about every girl there. But the truth is I never did. Why would I? I didn’t even know any of them.
Fast forward to about a month after going to this new school when I was still hiding in the bathroom during lunch time because I didn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch. That was fun. Now let’s fast forward to the time a girl at that school SPIT on my bare leg (we wore uniforms, so think skirt, knee socks) because she thought I was disgusting. And then fast forward to the time that same girl who spit on my leg hand wrote a two page, front and back, letter about how ugly I was and how much of a bi*** I was. I was devastated. I felt terrible, and I can remember falling down in the hallway after opening up my locker to have this long letter jump at me from crying so hard. You know the crying when your stomach starts to hurt? Yup. It was that kind. I don’t think I told my parents about that letter at the time. Probably because I thought this girl would kill me. But I did tell my parents about how she spit on my leg, and I can remember the principal of this Catholic school doing nothing about it. So then I just felt kinda crazy like this stuff shouldn’t affect me, but it did. Oh it did. Stuff like that ruined my self esteem, self confidence, and my overall personality.
Now that I got all that out about bullying, let’s switch focus on body image, and self confidence. (Because now that I am thinking about it, I think the bullying is probably where all of this started.) I kinda have a hard time in this area, if you couldn’t tell, but I always try to refocus my brain to think positively about myself, even though I usually fall short.
The first time I ever thought about my body and all of that was when I entered into the Miss Teen MA pageant when I was (I think) about 15 years old. I was SO excited, and this was something I really really wanted to do. My mom was my biggest supporter and took me to all the photoshoots, etc. in order for me to give this pageant my all. The photographer I went to for these photoshoots was recommended by the ‘pageant world’ at the time. I thought I liked him and somewhat felt comfortable in front of the camera with him. He actually filled my head with thoughts that I could be a real model, I could be in magazines and wear designer clothes for fun. But he also told me one day that I could probably benefit from hitting up the treadmill more, eat a little less, and tone up a little bit if I wanted to do all of that. Yiiiiiiikes. You might not think that is so bad, right? I mean I didn’t think it was so bad. But that pretty much destroyed any ounce of confidence I had left in myself to get on that stage in an f’ing bikini in front of hundreds of people during that pageant. But I did it, with a smile on my face. And I kind of can’t believe that I had, because you probably would have to pay me the big bucks to do that again, even though I work out and eat healthy every day. Now obviously, this pageant and photographer are not the reason why I am not confident in myself, but I’m sure it didn’t help me build up any self worth, especially after being bullied.
Now fast forward a little bit more, to now. I think it would be so phenomenal if we could walk around in life photoshopped, like all the time. Wouldn’t that be nice?
As excited I was to be in my bathing suit every single day on our fabulous vacay we just had, I must admit to you that I wasn’t so excited to show everyone around me this body. You might remember from my posts about a month or two before our vacation where I was working out harder and more frequently because of those dreaded bikinis I was going to be in. I actually put a lot of pressure on myself every day as it is when working out, but I was putting way more pressure on myself because I knew I was going to be in those bathing suits soon. (And now again, during our Disney trip next month, which is in 31 days! Ah!) So since I was working out like crazy and everything, shouldn’t I have gotten in those bathing suits and felt confident? Wrong-o. But after that first initial “take you cover up” off the first day at the pool, I was fine. I could literally stay in my bathing suit all day, walk from the pool to my chair, to the beach, back to the pool…all just in my bathing suit. And that, my friends, is a win. I mean sure, Michael had to tell me a million billion times “Chi-chi’s up!” (in his best Floribama Shore impression) to remind me to have a little confidence; stick my shoulders out and hold my head up and flaunt this body of mine.
So, that’s exactly what I did….and I even let him take so many pictures of me in my bathing suit. And I wasn’t even thinking to “suck my stomach in” or “flex my muscles”. I just let him take pictures of me, and what is even more shocking is that I am sharing them. Not photoshopped or anything. I definitely have a long way to go until I can say that I completely love myself and this body of mine, but I have certainly come a little ways too.
Maybe you can relate to any of this, or maybe you can’t. But some things have happened recently that has brought up some hurt and I just felt the need to share about my story and my experiences. I really don’t like when people bring up my insecurities, my low self esteem, etc., and it usually stings a little more and makes me realize that as much as I try to be this “perfect Kayla” that I really try so hard to be all the time, it is not true. Some girls (and guys) will always be bullies, will always be jealous, and will always feel the need to point out the things that aren’t so great about you, but that is their problem, and you just need to be YOU!
Have a wonderful day, loves! ♥♥♥