Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Social Media Words Can Hurt

When I started this blog almost a year ago, I did it to share my love of running and hold myself accountable to live a more healthy lifestyle. Well I failed. I wrote only twice before this post and have completed sporadic bursts of the healthy lifestyle I aspire to live. 

When I moved back to Pittsburgh 368 days ago, I was emotionally drained from previous years of an unhealthy relationship, without a job in my field that continued for 9 months, broke, and had lost my desire to run. It was just gone, and I was fighting to keep it alive. I plan to address that issue in another post.

Naturally, if you run and eat a lot, then stop running and continue to eat like a runner, you will gain weight. That is unless you have a super awesome metabolism. Which I do not. And I gained weight. It's not a secret, and I clearly am reminded of it every single day. Sometimes hourly. It destroys me inside and I can seriously drain myself emotionally and beat myself up about it so bad that I no longer have the energy to go run. Weird right? I know. But this how it is right now. I hate it.

Earlier this week I traveled out of state with my boyfriend and cousins to celebrate another cousin's Army graduation. A fun-filled couple of days with people I love soooo much. Naturally I posted photos on social media of our adventures, although not without hesitation due to my insecurities.

First comment on the above photo: "Jenn, YOU GAINED WEIGHT". Printed just like that. Nothing else. 

I literally died inside temporarily. A simple photo I shared completely crushed me. I shed a few tears alone in the hotel bathroom, thought a few things about not being good enough, pretty enough, etc. Then built myself back up, then pulled myself back down. Just horrible. Nobody deserves to go through that. 

Almost immediately after that comment, I received private messages, texts, a phone call, and other friends commenting on how beautiful I looked and to ignore people like that. My boyfriend reminded me how much he loved me no matter what and that I was perfect. I couldn't believe it. It's weird to say, but I was shocked to see that people still cared about me even though I gained some pounds. My opinion of others never ever changes no matter their size, shape, etc. I love my friends and family because of who they are no matter what they look like on the outside, and if someone told me that they think the things I say to myself I would hug them and tell them to stop thinking that way and that they are beautiful no matter what. And I would mean every single word. 

Words are powerful. They can be so inspiring but also hurtful. Some people have a thicker skin than others, and everyone has internal battles they fight daily, hourly, or by the minute. Be kind and respect others. Just because someone runs doesn't mean they will be tiny. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and ages and colors and backgrounds. One of the things that attracted me to the sport was that anyone could do it. There's no size, age, or time limit to participate. We all fall off track for whatever reason and I think when you have amazing support you're able to get right back on track. 

I realized I have that. So even though that comment hurt so bad, I was given back some of the confidence I lost. Confidence to believe in myself, confidence to get back on track, and confidence to live my life and surround myself with POSITIVE PEOPLE ONLY. Be kind to others, but more importantly be kind to yourself. Don't let anyone tear you down. Because if I would've allowed that comment to affect me any longer than it did I would have missed out on some pretty special moments with some very special people in my life❤️