Shame About My Body Transformed My Worldview

Shame About My Body Transformed My Worldview

  While I don’t want to tell you this story because it left me feeling pretty icky, I think that it might help someone. So I will press on with hope that you don’t think less of me - and if you do, please don’t tell me. I grew up terrified of athletics. Gym class was horrible for me - from kickball to trying to learn layups. I felt self conscious about my body because I had boobs starting in the 5th grade. Kids called me a slut because I was new to school and physically developed. I didn’t even know what that meant. Instead of athletics, I played piano and read a ton of books, and I rode horses. I didn’t play sports. In fact, I was the only person in my family who did not play soccer. A College Crush When I was in college, I was enrolled in the musical theatre school. We had dance classes every day, along with singing and scene study. During that time, I developed a crush on one of the few straight guys at the school. He was a bodybuilder, and so several of us started going to the gym after school to work out more. His name was Michael, and he taught me how to lift weights and how to warm up and cool down. This was in Dallas, where your body image was and still is very important. One day, a new trainer at the gym called me into his office. I didn’t realize he was trying to drum up business for himself. And I wasn’t sure what was...
On Body Shame, Self-Love… and a New Year

On Body Shame, Self-Love… and a New Year

We all made it through another holiday season, and now we have to “face the music” - open the bills, look in the mirror. It’s a New Year. It’s a new you. This is the time when most of us make New Year’s resolutions. We make them every year, even though we know they don’t really work. I love this fact about humanity. There is a part in each of us that never gives up hope. We say to ourselves: This is the year… I’m going to finally… And you know what, some people actually do honor their resolutions for more than 5 days. I am not criticizing. I’ve been there myself, many times. I would like to, however, offer a different approach. First you should know where I am coming from, so let me give a bit of background about me, in case you haven’t heard my story or seen me speak before. Background on my body shame I was put on my first diet when I was in the first grade. My stepmother used to scream at me: “Elaine, you’re fat.” I’ve seen at the pictures of myself as a child, and I was never fat. I even had knobby knees. Everyone else in the family could eat whatever while I felt hungry and deprived. I started to obsess about food, not eating, over exercising, and thinking so bad about my body. I developed an eating disorder, and went from starving and purging to laxatives. Then doing crystal meth to lose weight. I have been a size 4 and a size 10. I know ALL about diets....
An Unprecedented Settlement: Pass It on

An Unprecedented Settlement: Pass It on

Landmark Case Ruling Regarding Sexual Assault and Death As an expert on sexual assault and alcohol awareness and prevention, I was really affected when I read about Audrie’s case. It is an unprecedented settlement for sexual assault survivors. Hearing about Audrie Pott’s suicide, which was linked to being assaulted and humiliated, was heartbreaking for me. The news fueled me to go out and preach prevention and sexual assault awareness more. I believe that losing a child as a parent has got to be one of the hardest things anyone ever has to go through. I cannot imagine the pain, especially when the loss could have been prevented. What saddens me most is that the suicide received lots of attention from the media, but there’s been little attention about the unprecedented settlement that just happened. Audrie’s Story Audrie was 15 years old when she was assaulted by three 16-year-old boys in an unsupervised house in Silicon Valley. After they assaulted her, they drew on her naked body with a felt tip pen and then documented their “trophy” on Facebook and sent the pictures out to other classmates. Disgusting. I am still trying to understand why anyone would think that this kind of behavior was ok. What was their thought process? What kind of brain thinks that that is ok? Did these three boys have any mental illnesses? I am not making fun of mental health issues, but I am trying to wrap my head around how this could have happened. As if the photos and bragging weren’t enough, the boys continued to harass her with texts and more shaming online...

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