Aug 20, 2014

Positive Reinforcements From a Fomer Pizza Face Girl

This morning I read Fitness Blondie's blog and it really promoted a lot of thoughts, feelings and personal opinions.  She talked about the nasty comments people made about her size.  Some of the comments were meant to be compliments that came out wrong while others were just disgusting.

It made me think of some specific scenarios in my life.  In my early 20s one of my girlfriends was overweight and we were walking down a popular college town street -probably heading from one bar to another.  Some guys were walking behind us and they said something about her weight and made reference to a farm yard animal.  I remember being totally and utterly humiliated because I knew it would hurt my friend's feelings.  I pretended I did not hear it because I hoped she had not heard it.  In reality I wanted to turn around and tell them how rude they were and if they had normal sized d!cks they would not have to say something like that at all but I did not because I did not want to bring attention to the situation or make her more embarrassed.  Also, she did not say anything so I really hoped she had not heard it.  She never said anything about it but if she had heard it I can only imagine the damaging impact it may have had on her self-esteem.

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Then I remember a time in junior high when one of my mom's friend's came over and commented on how beautifully clear my skin was for a teen of my age.  I think I was about 14 yrs old and I had begun to develop but did not have the hormonal outbreak that most kids had.  Not one zit.  I felt so good and was ecstatic that I never experienced the unfortunate breakout!

A couple weeks later all hell broke lose.  My face broke out SO bad that I looked like the worst of the worst.  I had noticed other kids who were broken out and had "bad" skin but I never ever said anything to them or about them to anyone else.  I never paid much attention to how someone's feelings were -I just knew it was a fact of life.  What I mean by this is that I did not focus on being kind (like I do now) but it was not in my nature to be mean or nasty.  I was a typical teenager but I understood that we were all human.  I guess I was ahead of the emotional learning curve... not really sure.  Maybe, looking back even further, it was because I was a shy kid and did not have many friends so I did not develop habits of the other kids-whether it was good or bad.  But once I broke out I was extremely thankful I never said anything to anyone!

Apparently that was going to be a benefit to me because my turn came.  My face had zit upon zit upon zit.  I am talking about, literally, I had pimples on top of each other.  Some were red and others were white and it was ALL OVER my face.  The worst part of my face was on my cheeks and lower part of my face but that did not exclude the rest of my face.  I had them on my nose, upper cheeks, temples and forehead.  Millions of them.  This was 9th grade and I had just begun making friends and they were the cool kids so I felt the pressure of just being able to fit in.


I totally knew that my face looked like a pizza and I tried every damn thing I could.  I washed my face in the morning, used Clearasil, washed again when I got home and at bed time.  I tried many products.  Nothing worked.  One day I was at my girlfriend's house and some boys came over that I heard her talking about before.  I heard one of them was really cute and his friends probably were too.  I was so excited!  They came over, we hung out and the boys left.  I went home and the next day my friend told me that the boys had said they thought I had a cute butt but I had a pizza face.

This crushed me.  I felt so ashamed and embarrassed that they had said that about my face and that they had told my friend!  This was probably the edited version so who knows what the hell had really been said.  Which leads me to think about what people probably said when I wasn't around.  I did a pretty good job of not thinking about it or dwelling on it but it is kinda hard to put that kind of stuff out of your mind when you hear what others say.  I thought we got along great but once I knew what they really thought I was sure they were just pretending for the sake of my friend.  I knew I had no chance at one of them liking me.



I had NO control over my face and I KNEW that it looked like a train wreck.  I changed my pillow case every damn day!!  No matter what I did, nothing worked.  This continued through to my sophomore year.  All the way through the end of it.  The good news was that it started to subside, somewhat, about halfway through the year.  I still had really bad acne but it was not super excessive like it was in the beginning.  Eventually my face cleared up and I had scars which also ended up clearing up too.
I have no idea why the scars cleared up but I still remember the way I felt when I heard what people said about my face.  I have done a pretty good job of burying the emotions of what I went through during that time of my life and there are insecurities I have in my life today that could, possibly, stem from that time in my life.  I did not get made fun of on a regular basis so I don't really recognize it as something that I need to deal with today but the fact is that I am human too.  Just because I have buried those emotions it doesn't mean that it didn't cause damage today.  For example, I tread really lightly in topics on my blog because I am worried about what other people will say but the fact is that no matter how perfect someone is, there will always be someone else talking shit.  And just the opposite, no matter how much a person is imperfect and working on their flaws there will be someone else talking shit. 

from: www.pinterest.com
Referring back to Fitness Blondie's post from today.  She was achieving great success during her weight loss journey and people made comments about her size that were so hurtful and whether they were meant to be compliments or not they are disgusting.  The way we treat other people can lift them up or detrimentally harm them.  None of us have any idea how harmful comments can affect a person.  Negative reinforcement does not promote positive results.  I do not understand why making such crappy comments come out of people's mouths.  I am sure that the person making the comment may have 101 flaws to work on themselves - the first starting with personality flaws.  Negativity breeds negativity and spewing that yuckiness all over the rest of the world is a HUGE flaw all by itself.

I have never bullied or made fun of another person a day in my life.  Looking back I realize it is because I didn't have friends up until about junior high.  I had a few friends here and there but I experienced what it was like walking to and from school by myself every day.  Wondering who I was going to sit with at lunch because I did not want to sit by myself.  When I finally started making friends I did not want to do ANYTHING to mess that up.

Then I gained weight in my early 20s - read about my weight loss journey here - and even though I did not have 100 or more pounds to lose I still lost a good chunk.  I talked about weight discrimination here and the way I have been belittled because I only need to lose about 50 lbs.  As I mentioned I did not have a scale at the time because I did not want to know how much I weighed so I could have lost more than 50 lbs - I don't really know but the point is that my weight loss was deemed irrelevant.  My struggles deemed irrelevant.  My feelings irrelevant.

It was not irrelevant and what each and every one of us go through is never irrelevant.  The things people say can boost us or break us down.  The saying "Be kind because you never know what the other person is going through" is so true!!

I am super ecstatic about the progress of others and I want to encourage them to continue doing well because I want to see them succeed.  I want to see Liz continue to succeed and if she never loses another pound a day in her life she has already been a TREMENDOUS success.  Nobody knows the battles she has had to endure to get there nor does anyone else know the journeys she has taken besides weight loss.  She has expressed those so I happen to know there are more but the point is that we ALL have journeys and the things we say can and WILL impact others.

I prefer to enforce positive encouragement.  I want others to feel good about themselves and have positive self-esteem.  This impacts every single aspect of their lives- their overall well-being.  I am also a firm believer in supporting healthy habits and while I support those I also support the self-esteem of those who are not in healthy ranges or of those who are working toward being in the healthy range.  Maybe I can be a positive influence on someone.  Maybe my kindness will encourage them to work toward being healthy, to work on their self-esteem, to develop better habits to overcome anxiety or any other troubled area of their life.

Thanks for sharing, Liz, and keep up the great work!  You are a positive motivation for many many others enduring the same journey and you have conquered the world already!

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14 comments:

  1. :) I loved Liz's post too! And this one as well.

    It's all about moving forward and upward. Surrounding yourself with quality people, who will not judge based on astethics.. but more importantly about gaining confidence in oneself and learning to love who you are as a person.

    I thank you for sharing your story too...

    Love you Tricia!

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    1. It is amazing because I don't focus on the bad things in my life so it is easy for me to forget that anything ever happened. In the meantime, I try to make others feel like they are important and compliments come naturally. I don't have to search - and I truly mean it.

      Luv u! Muah!

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  2. I read Liz's post this morning and now reading yours and it makes me so angry to think about all the ridiculous and hurtful things that come out of people's mouths. I have never bullied anyone a day in my life. Sure, I might joke around about being judgy with my friends or whatever...but it is only a joke. I surround myself with amazing people that do nothing but uplift and encourage others. I have no time in my life for people who have nothing better to do than to hurt others with their words to feel better about themselves.

    We all have things we are self conscious about. I would feel better about myself if I lost some weight and didn't break out from my birth control pills....but I don't let those insecurities rule my life. When I am in line at TJ Maxx and I see the person in front of me standing there too....I usually try to compliment them on what they are wearing, or what they are buying....or maybe saying their kid is adorable...or whatever I can find. Because I know that when I am having a bad day, it only takes a few kind words from one person to uplift me and I hope that I am doing that for that person.

    No matter how strong one might appear on the outside, you NEVER know what is going on in the inside. What they went through or what they are going through.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I joke with my friends too! Friends can say stuff to each other if they trip over the rug or do a crazy funny move while dancing :)

      I love giving compliments. It makes me feel good to make someone else feel good! Plus, you are right. It seems like compliments come back at just the right time.

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  3. People can be so damn cruel. No one is perfect.

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    1. It might be kinda boring if we were all perfect!

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  4. I really like this Tricia, you bring on a different perspective to contrast with what I wrote. Your big issue was about your skin. So many people can relate to that, especially teenagers. I still battle breakouts on my skin often. It's hard. What we are doing by writing these posts are bringing awareness to other people so hopefully they will be more careful with what they say. You summed everything up in this one sentence "Negative reinforcement does not promote positive results". I can't thank you enough for your shout out today and follow up post.

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    1. So funny about the breakouts because I remember complaining in my mid 30s that I still break out like I am a teenager. It has subsided somewhat but I still break out (every month). The great news is my skin looks young so I guess all that oil was a good thing!

      You are welcome for the follow up post- thanks for inspiring these thoughts :)

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  5. Love this post! Liz's post was so great and I like reading your side too, and how much you encourage others. Beautiful!!

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    1. I am glad you like it. I re-read it and felt like I was tooting a horn for myself and it wasn't meant to be that way. I am glad it was encouraging.

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  6. I really wish everyone had self esteem and love. We all have something hard. Support and encouragement are great!

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    1. Self-esteem doesn't always come easy so it is important to avoid banging it up or damaging it for another person.

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  7. This is a beautiful post! We are ALL human and we ALL have issues to work through. I had perfect skin up until a few months ago, and I've had to work through insecurities about it. I look at it as a life lesson. I'm also happy to say that I've always tried to treat people the way I want to be treated.

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    1. My friend's mom used to say "I never got a break from Clearasil to Oil of Olay" and now I always joke that I have the skin of a 16 yr old.

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