My weight loss journey was recently picked up by two of the largest newspapers in the United Kingdom: The Sun and The Daily Mail. Sounds exciting, right? Not entirely.
The articles that were written about me correctly mentioned about 65% of “my story,” specifically highlighting my weight loss journey, my bariatric surgery, the sagging skin, my fundraiser and my attempt to be healthy. However, I felt like 35% of “my story” was missing, which meant readers did not get an entirely accurate or complete view of what I stand for. Nonetheless, this is not what shocked me the most. I started reading the comments on The Daily Mail article. Immediately, I started crying.
While some of the comments were funny….
A majority of the comments (and there were A LOT!) consisted of people attacking me, my size, my looks and my character…
(For context: The Daily Mail newspaper is a conservative, middle-market tabloid newspaper known for its misleading journalism and slander (in my opinion), which might explain why some of the readers attacked me.)
Since the published date of these two articles, multiple other newspapers/ bloggers have written about my story. And those comments have not been all pretty either. Some have even been derogatory towards my loved ones…
I could not stop reading the comments and crying. I wanted to respond to EVERY bad comment. Initially, I talked to my significant other Chris, my BFF Kike and my sorority sister Lia, who eventually calmed me down and finally convinced me to stop reading the comments. I thank them for that.
I was shocked by how I reacted. I consider myself a pretty confident woman even though I sometimes get comments from people telling me “I took the easy way out by getting the surgery.” However, this time around, I just could not seem to ignore the gravity of the comments. I have not really told anyone about the articles or have not been blogging for the past month because I wanted to take a breather. This honestly affected me and hit me at the core. I am still working through my feelings about the articles and am still sensitive.
So, why become public about this horrific experience now? Plain and simple, the comments have been haunting me. I feel like I need a place to voice my opinion and reiterate a few things (even though I do not owe an explanation to anyone). I feel like I need a space to vent about my experience being fat shamed by these online trolls.
A few points that I want to reiterate about my experience:
- As I have mentioned time and time again, getting bariatric surgery DOES NOT mean you are taking the easy way out. There seems to be a misconception that WLS means those of us who have surgery can still sit around all day long on our bottoms eating Snickers and that there is no dieting or exercise involved. This is very far from the truth. Weight loss surgery is a lifetime commitment and requires that you eat right and exercise regularly. It is not the answer to weight loss but instead, it is a tool to guide you in your efforts to live a healthier lifestyle.
- There is nothing wrong with being “Fat,” as some comments called me. Big is beautiful!! My size is not the issue, nor has it ever been. I am beautiful and will rock it at any size. Do I have insecurities about my size now that I am smaller and have sagging skin? Of course! It is natural. My new size/excess skin is the bittersweet part of my weight loss that I am extremely uncomfortable with and proud of at the same time. This is my new reality and I am learning to accept/embrace it. It does not mean I regret anything I have done to get my health on track; it just means I am taking the time to learn what these changes means to me.
- Regarding my fundraising page, for those that think I am lazy and begging for money, simply do not donate. With or without donations, I plan to get the surgery to remove/lift the skin. My insurance will not cover the surgery. I am currently working two jobs to make this happen. However, any support is greatly appreciated.
In conclusion, it is not okay nor has it ever been okay for individuals to hide behind computer screens and attack other individuals. It is darn-right pitiful. I am proud of the progress I have made with my health in 1.5 years and am working hard to maintain and improve my strength daily. While I am still working through my contentions with the comments made about me, I REFUSE to let these online trolls dictate my story and progress I have made. I am way better than that. So to the online trolls…YOU ARE NOT WORTH MY TIME, TEARS OR ENERGY.