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"You Are So Pretty... for Someone of Your Size"

August 20, 2014



One of the biggest compliments I receive from my readers is that they appreciate my honesty and writings of not just the good in life and health, but also the bad. That makes me connect with you on a deeper the level; the level I strive for. I do not just want to be another "health and fitness blogger". I want to mean more to you than that. By sharing my afflictions, demons, addictions, and struggles, you all help me become a better person. 

There is a contrasting side though. Unfortunately there are people in the world, who take the weaknesses you share, and manipulate them to bring hate and use against you. However, I believe that if you acknowledge your weaknesses and are aware of them, then the power is in your control. Today I want to take control of something that has deeply affected my life. 

Typically I try to shy around from writing posts that eulogize one female body type over the other. I am a curvy, muscular woman; and I love my curves, however, they do not make me more of a woman than someone who has a thin body type with small assets. I loathe the popular quote "real women have curves". It is discriminatory and dividing. If you have a vagina, you are a real woman. Real women are not determined by their body type or shape. 

What I do want, is to bring awareness to the size of health. The world sometimes has a misconstrued standard on what a "fit and healthy" person-- specifically women should look like. 

I have received some pretty heartbreaking comments about my looks over the course of my lifetime; which at 25 years old may not seem like a lot, but it has been a chaotic journey. I grew up as an ugly duckling that no one ever gave a second thought or glance. I finally started to change when I was 16 years old. I was still not thin or small by any standards, but I was healthy. I was in the weight room at school lifting weights with the guys, I ran track, and was a cheerleader. 

When I graduated high school, and began college while still working part-time, my weight ballooned to it's highest. Below are some of the comments I received from my family, friends, and complete strangers. I can recite a few of them verbatim. One never forgets something like this: 


"If I had a face like yours, I would wire my mouth shut to prevent me to from eating."

A family member of mine was showing some of my photography pictures [like the one above; I like to pose and take "artistic" like pictures sometimes for fun] to her friends. One of her friends made the comment:
"Who cares if she has the face of a model? She is fat so none of it matters".

"You are so pretty... for someone who is your size."

"Can you imagine what you would look like if you did not have all of your weight holding you back?"

"She is actually really pretty to be a big girl"

It was never fun to hear comments like that. Some of the comments I knew were malicious; but sometimes it would be hard to decipher the intent: to be kind or passive aggressive? Nonetheless, I did not dwell on them. 

It was not until I received similar comments this year, that they effected to me.

The first was in February: 

It was a Saturday afternoon, it was warm, and Kelly and I were on the way to the "Spring Home and Garden Show". I felt confident; I was 3 months into my weight loss journey, had lost over 20 pounds, and was wearing a pair of white capris that had not fit in a long time. I was so happy that they fit, that I remember dancing around to Kelleigh Bannen's new single "Famous" in my living room before I left. 

On the way to show, we stopped at a gas station so I could get gas and Kelly a coffee. I walked into the gas station once I finished pumping gas to find Kelly. As we were waiting in line to pay, a woman walks up to me and says "You know how to dress your body well. You're bigger, but you have good style.".

I said nothing. I was so taken back that I just stood there. She continued; "I mean you are really pretty and I like the fact that even though you aren't skinny, you dress yourself well". 


I finally muttered a "thank you" then ran out of the gas station. Kelly was behind me; her face almost as red as mine. Being the best friend she is, she assured me that it was a compliment and that the woman just did not know how to properly deliver what she was trying to say.


I understood that, but it still hurt. It had been a long time since someone had made a comment like that; at least to my face. It just caught me so off guard. The first thing this woman noticed was my size. I had felt so confident and been working so hard; whether the comment was meant in a positive way or not, it hurt. 



The second instance was in May: 

It was not a good weekend. My plans had fallen through that I paid a lot of money for, and I felt like nothing was going right. My girlfriend Alexis stepped in and saved the weekend though. She and I decided to spend the day together. I had gotten new clothes the night before and was excited to wear them out. 

For the first time in years, I was going to wear shorts. I wore black shorts with a really pretty white blouse, black and white wedge heels, and a black and white necklace. I am no fashionista, but this outfit made me confident. I thought I did a good job (for someone like me).


Alexis and I went to the movies then out for dinner and drinks. Once we finished, I realized I needed to go by the grocery store for something. As I was walking through an aisle, two women approached me. One of the women put her hand in front of me and moved it up and down. She smiled and said "Honey this works". I laughed and asked what she meant. She said "You have curves and you dress them well. You look great. Your looks really suits you". 


I smiled and told her thank you. This did not hurt like the other one did. I felt more confident in myself. The only thing that really "irritated" me, is that once again, my body was brought into it. Why is it not enough to say "I think you're pretty", "I think you dress well",  or "I like your outfit today".



The most recent comments were written over features I have had online about my blog and/or my weight loss journey.

They were from women thanking the author or company for featuring a woman that was not small or skinny. For featuring a woman that gave them hope... that showed it's plausible to be healthy, but not have to be thin. 


Then I understood the comments; everything came together. 


Like I said, I have received comments similar to this most of my adult life. I did not understand the stigma that had to come along with them: why could someone not just say they liked my hair, makeup, outfit, that I am pretty, etc.... why did people sound so shocked to see that because a woman was not thin, she could still dress her body nicely and look attractive?


Years ago and even earlier this year, I would get so upset and talk to my mom about these comments. Her reply was always "maybe you need to break the mold and boundaries. Maybe you are meant to inspire and break stereotypes. Embrace your body's makeup; do not let this defeat you". I shrugged her attempts at consoling me off since she was not telling me how awful people were and how sorry she felt for me. I would pretend to agree and think to myself, "I will be thin one day, I'll show them". 
Now I understand what my mom was trying to say. Now I understand what other people were trying to say. 


Health and fitness have many different shapes and sizes. A person does not have to look like who you see in magazines, TV shows, and/or fitness competitions to be healthy. I may not look like some of the fitness bloggers out there, but I am now in great shape.


Since I have lost a significant amount of weight thus far, I have closely monitored my health. In November of 2013, per my doctor at my annual physical, I was rapidly approaching "morbid obesity". I had put on so much weight; and at the rate I was gaining, I was only a few months away from 300 pounds. The triglycerides in my blood were abnormally high, but I was fortunate enough to not be at risk for diabetes, however I had to make an immediate change. 


Since that checkup, I changed my life drastically. I dropped a ton of body fat, added a lot of lean muscle, strengthened my cardiovascular system, corrected my view of food... and in a sense, made over my life; not just my body. I had my blood drawn again last month at an RLS checkup appointment, and I have corrected my health 100%. All levels are not just normal, they are great, and I'm in nearly perfect health, even though I still have about 25 more pounds that I personally want to lose. 


I do not know who developed this standard that one must feel they have to follow; but I would like to break it. I may not be thin and small, but I am solid, curvy, muscular, and in great health. I can hike mountains, do single armed bicep curls with 17.5 pound dumbbells for 3 sets of 15 repetitions all the while ensuring my form is perfect. I can leg press 270 pounds comfortably and for just as many repetitions, but I do not fit the mold whatsoever as skinny or thin. The truth be told, no matter how much weight I lose, those words will never be accurate adjectives to describe my looks. Well, I suppose I could be if I wanted to stop lifting weights, boxing, and force myself to follow a strict nutrition plan; but I know what that would lead me to mentally; and it would not in anyway be beneficial. 


I am more than happy to show the world that you can be curvy, thick, muscular, and most of all healthy. (
I would also like to add that the opposite could be true. A person could be genetically just very small and be mistaken for anorexic or bulimic; yet they're perfectly healthy. I just did not write on the subject because I do not have direct experience. That is part of the reason why I was hesitant to write this post; because I know it must be just as disconcerting for people to think you are sick and need help, when you don't). To me, healthy living is all about balance. I enjoy "bad" foods at times, and enjoy clean foods most of the time. I stay active, get plenty of rest, and most of all I have found a happy median when it comes to fitness and maintaining great health.

I overcame binging on foods, stuffing myself with junk until I was sick-- an all out addiction to food, and depression to this point. I may not fit a typical mold that one may expect, but I am healthy and fit. I do not hold myself to unrealistic standards either-- and if you are, and that is what is preventing you from even starting a weight loss journey, let it go. I know that feeling all too well. I would see the women on the fitness magazines and think "My God, look at me. I will never get to where they are". Those thoughts would prevent me from even trying. 
You have to specifically learn your body and know yourself before you can find what will work for you. That is precisely what I had to do and 63 pounds lighter, it worked. For me personally, it is important for me to keep this median that I have, because if my diet were to become too strict, it would undoubtedly pull me back into those awful eating habits.

Throughout my recent journey and now understanding those comments, I can for once in my life say I love who I am. My imperfections, my genetic build, the strength that I have had to exude. My only hope for whomever is reading this is that you can find it within to love yourself, too. Please love who you are. Love yourself for your strength, for your work ethic, for your drive, for your family values, for your artistic ability. Your body and looks should never define your worth. I hated myself for so long, and it is such a miserable way to live. I hated every single atom of my physical makeup. I chastised every imperfection I had and let it tear me apart. 

Now I embrace them: I have a gap in my teeth, the upper part of stomach holds no fat and because of that, my lower stomach carries it all. It would make me cringe the way my lower stomach would stick out.  It looked especially awful in bathing suits. My butt is abnormally large for my body ratio-- and before school in the mornings, when I was young, I would stare at my body in the mirror in the living room tugging, pulling, ensuring my shirt was big and baggy enough to cover it so it would not stick out as much. Now I love it. I have lines on my forehead, and deep smile lines around my eyes. My face is very red without makeup. I have imperfections and now I embrace and accept them, because they make me who I am. This is who I am supposed to be. 



I may not be the standard picture for fitness. I may not be what someone ever aspires to be, but one by one, I am going to keep "surprising" people until this standard of health and beauty is finally broken. I am finally content with that. 


My blog and my story is about being healthy and happy; they are the same thing. A healthy mind brings a healthy body. And if there is one thing I have learned, it is that a weight loss journey is more about a person's mind than their body. The first step to change your life is to love who you are. I wish I had learned this a lot sooner. 

52 comments

  1. GGIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLLLLL....this was SUCH a good post and I'm up early just so I could read it :) You are truly an amazing spirit, so happy that you've fought the good fight to get to where you are. This is so inspiring. If I didn't have to go to work, I would run around my neighborhood listening to "Freedom" by George Michael, it was that inspiring :) LOVE IT!

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  2. bitches be rude. for real. i get comments that are off putting that either gets a "wtf?" face or a legit "what the fuck are you talking about?". i'm a small person with a small frame and i hate the "oh, you're so skinny; go eat a cheeseburger" yet they have no idea how hard i work and they have no idea that it's not skinny i want to be, but healthy. i think those comments are rude so i'm rude right back and feel no way about it.

    ignore them bitches! you do you and you're doing it right :) xoxoxox

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I do not have what is considered a "normal" body type either and have received many unsolicited comments. Thank you for being open and honest. I love your positive outlook! Your blog is so refreshing!

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    1. That is what I love to hear Lindsey! Thank you gorgeous.

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  4. People can be so rude when they think they are honestly giving you a compliment. Of course some of those comments are meant to dig, but I guess I try to see the good in people. Doesn't make it hurt any less though whether it was intended as mean or not. :( Good thing you're one of the strongest people I know, you're able to turn that negative energy into motivation.

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  5. Keeping it simple and straight forward….you GO, girl. You're amazing. It's that simple. :) Thank you so much for sharing this story.

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  6. love this x1000000000. First, people need to remember that if you don't have anything nice to say then just shut your mouth. Though we have yet to meet, you are one of the strongest women I am blessed to know! Though words or things as such get thrown your way, you always look toward the positive. we need more positive people like you in this world.

    This world we live in makes everyone think that women need to be a size 0 to be beautiful and it hurts my heart, honestly as a mother of a girl, it kind of scares me that my daughter has to grow up in a world as such. I will make sure my daughter knows first and foremost that no matter what she is and always will be beautiful. I hope my daughter can find an inspiration like you to look up to

    xoxo

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  7. I can't believe people could do such backhanded comments. I know theyre trying to be nice but why ever imply that someone is "fat"?

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    1. Backhanded comments are the frickin' worst; they're just so passive aggressive and that fires me up, ha.

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  8. Oh hey I'm just here wiping tears at my work desk! I love love this post! It brings up such an important point with the "compliments" that people give. I surround myself with people who are a lot like me, so I kind of forget there are people out there who say things like "she's pretty for a big girl". I think it's really important to explain to these people WHY that is NOT ok to say. A friend of mine recently said something like that to me and I chewed him out, and by the end I realized he didn't really understand why that wasn't an ok thing to say. We gotta get out there and educate these people!

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    1. Exactly Lindsey! That is my point in today's post; I feel it's so important.

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  9. I do not understand where these people you came into contact with came from! I could not imagine someone coming up to a person and saying you dress well for your size. That is the weirdest damn thing ever. I think you're a beautiful girl and your journey is so awesome and inspiring.

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    1. You are telling me. I teared up after the incident with woman in the gas station. It was just literally so out of nowhere and uncalled for... I was in shock. My best friend tried to calm me down, but I was pretty much in a bad mood after that. People just don't get it sometimes. The incident in the grocery store I laughed off. The women were older and seemed spunky so I thought it was funny.

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  10. This post is gold! I sometimes cannot imagine why people say the things they do, and it drives me insane. Honestly!

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  11. What people think is okay to say boggles my mind. And what's worse is that they probably don't even realize they're being rude. It's why I get so crazy when people just say whatever pops into their heads without giving it a second thought before it comes out of their mouths. Those backhanded compliments, to me, sting more than an actual insult.

    I love the message of this post so, so much. It's not up to anyone else to be happy with you. You need to be happy with you. There's nothing wrong with wanting to change but there's nothing wrong with staying the same, either. I have a quote pinned that says "Once you accept your flaws, no one can use them against you". I think it's perfectly true.

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  12. I will never understand at least 50% of what people say and like Jana said I don't think they realize they're being rude.

    You control your own happiness. Know your weaknesses, embrace your strengths, and be happy with the overall picture.

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  13. I agree wholeheartedly. I really hate it when people mention my weight or size in any manner. I am not my size or my weight, because I am the person inside that shell. I like to take care of myself, but what I look like certainly is not who I am! People are so shallow. =/

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    1. "I am the person inside of that shell" - exactly Tricia.

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  14. People are so rude! Seriously! Who says things like that? So mean. I've heard people say "She has a pretty face." "Or she's pretty for a big girl." No, it's just pretty thank you very much, rudes.
    xo Krissy @ Sneakers and Sequins

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  15. Wonderful post, lady! You are beautiful!

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  16. Great post as always!! It just blows my mind the audacity of people to make comments like that. Just plain ignorant! You are beautiful and inspiring! Your style is amazing and your weight loss is a true accomplishment! Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise! I have always hated that saying about "real women have curves", I have always been naturally thin and I am not blessed in the chest by any means, I was made fun of in grade school constantly for being flat chested, just because I'm an A cup doesn't mean I'm not a real woman!! Thanks again for sharing your brave story!

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    1. Exactly Elena, you are why I hate that stupid quote. Even though I am curvy, you are just as much, if not of a woman than I am; look at what you have been through and you keep trying and pushing forward. I admire you so much!

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  17. This made me teary eyed because I sooo get so much of it. Thank you thank you thank you.

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  18. I have been waiting for this post and once again you did not disappoint. The ignorance of some people baffles me. Keep up all your hard work pretty girl. You are doing amazing and inspiring so many people! :)

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  19. For me this hit the nail on the head! Even after losing 70+ pounds I still struggle daily with my body image, but I am the healthiest I have been in years! You are truly inspiring and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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  20. YES.
    Just YES.

    I love your intelligence... you're so wise... A sage....

    You words ring true, and you don't just limit it.. It's for EVERYONE... These are lessons FOR everyone.
    And you sharing this epiphany with the world is amazing and empowering.

    The one comment I get a lot was "I didn't realize how big you really were".... I got that a lot after I lost the weight... And that used to really irk me.

    UGH.. Anyway... Keep being you. Keep being positive... Keep inspiring us all.

    Love you girl

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  21. girl you ARE gorgeous! and you do dress so well.
    I understand some people really think they are giving compliments sometimes but I agree, bodies should not be brought into it.
    I know it's not the same but when people tell me 'you don't need to lose weight!' or 'I wish I was skinny like you' its just as bad as when they called me fat a few years ago, 'you'd look so much better if you lost a few kilos' because my body is never a topic for you to comment on. it doesnt matter what you think of my body, making a comment on it makes me doubt my own opinion whether its good or bad, and makes me feel like I should think differently, when all that matters is your own opinion. does that make sense?
    but people being outright rude, well screw them. "If I had a face like yours, I would wire my mouth shut to prevent me to from eating." SERIOUSLY? what a dick thing to say!

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  22. You are beautiful inside and out and many many others agree. Keep being you and doing what you do to make you happy because as long as you are happy that's all that really matters. I feel like the only reason other people make rude comments towards others is because of their own personal insecurites...people can be real ass' sometimes.

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  23. This is FABULOUS!! Preach it sister! It always drives be absolutely crazy that people immediately pull one's body weight into a compliment. "Oh, you can fit into anything because you're so skinny." Or "What do you weigh? Nothing??" People don't realize that sometimes it's just best to keep the weight out of it, and just give a darn compliment lol!!

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  24. Amen! I love your realness (funny, because I blogged yesterday on how I just didn't want to be a certain blogger, and enjoy putting it all out there). I have struggled with my weight forEVER. And a lot of people will say I am too pretty to be heavy...and I mean I know it comes from a good place, but at the same time it definitely stings and makes you feel un-pretty, right? Keep it up!

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  25. What a fantastically honest post. People have no idea how their words can affect others and the comments that they make so off-handedly are the ones that sting the most. Hopefully someone who's said something similar will think twice the next time.

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  26. Seriously one of your best posts EVER! It actually brought up those bad memories for me while reading and anger crept back in remembering how it was those comments or 'compliments' that probably were the seeds of what ended up as unhealthy self esteem and warped relationships with food.

    Thank you.

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  27. It really boils my blood when people speak before thinking how it may impact the person they are speaking to. Why must people hold women to impossible standards. We are all different. I will always be curvy and muscular but I like it. I am so proud of you for spreading positivity and giving a voice to those who don't see that there is hope and that there is more than one way to get fit.

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  28. Thank you for this post! Again you are an amazing woman! Woman thats right, no matter what size or shape. I believe half the battle with loosing weight (personally) is my view of myself. I struggle with self esteem issues as I have most of my life. Beating myself up in my own head is the greatest hurdle I have yet to overcome. Thank you for your views and thoughts.

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  29. I just don't understand what people think before they open their mouths?! I am amazed every day. Why does it matter what size you are, if you like someone's outfit...just say it! There is no need for a negative/positive comment. If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all!

    Isn't the average American woman a size 12 or 14? Why is it that the media and magazines have to focus on the size 2 people? I would much rather see people of all sizes be in commercials, magazines and on TV. Because that is real life!

    You are beautiful on the inside and out. I am glad that you dont let words bring you down. It is hard to not get upset about it, but words have no matter.

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  30. I think you are amazing! I hope you do not mind that I wrote about you in my post today. You inspired me to talk about positive enforcement and I made reference to a portion of you and your story. Please feel free to let me know if you do not like any part of what I wrote.

    You are gorgeous and have made tremendous accomplishments. Thanks for sharing!

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  31. As I read this, I feel like I can remember exactly those 2 times you were talking about, I remember those outfits. It made me sad to know that those 2 days are now tainted with some hurt from ignorant people. You are so amazing, I'm sorry that people hurt your feelings. I don't understand why people have to focus on this either. I've seen so much of this lately, in both directions, and it's just sickening and mind boggling to me. If you think I'm too fat or too skinny, then fine. You are entitled to an opinion, but you don't need to voice it to me and cut me down. If more people would just focus on being positive and lifting people UP, the world would be a better place.

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  32. I really don't understand why people think it's ok to say whatever they want or to even give a opinion when they aren't asked. I've gotten a lot of the same comments. My boyfriends dad is horrible with it. I don't think he does it to be mean, it's more than he just doesn't think about what he says. The last one was when I was had already lost about 80lbs in my journey and I was laying in the hammock in our yard while the kids were playing and he made a comment about how I'm never going to lose any of "that" if I just lay around and that I needed to get up and run around with the kids. I was pretty proud of myself for already losing 80lbs and I never once had a single compliment from him on that but the one time I'm relaxing he makes a comment on me not moving around.

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  33. You are speaking words that were in my mind...
    I get that stuff all the time. I got a check up at Sam's Club the other day (they were giving free testing) the lady couldn't believe how good my stats were for cholesterol & blood pressure for 'someone my size'... she said, You must work out. I finally said, "Yeah, & apparently it doesn't look like I do"... she said, Yeah, but you're good on the inside. Thanks lady. Bite me.

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  34. Ah yes. The backhanded compliment. I have had far too many of those in my time. The worst offender would be my mother.

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  35. People can be assholes. Sometimes they mean it and sometimes they're just fucking ignorant... which still isn't an excuse. I think you're beautiful... on the inside, too!

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  36. This is such a wonderfully written post!

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  37. You are a gorgeous woman, period. I will never understand backhanded compliments or why someone would have to add in "for your size". Who cares what "size" you are? If your outfit looks amazing, then it is an amazing outfit. If you are beautiful, then you are beautiful. I have always had the opposite problem, I am a tiny person. A lot of my friends give me backhanded compliments for being small, when it isn't my fault. I remember we were playing a game one night, I think it was similar to Loaded Questions. On the card it said, "Write down one thing you want to tell someone." Out of my three friends, they all wrote down, "You're a skinny bitch" on their papers directed to me. I wasn't sure how to respond. I'm still not.

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  38. This is so incredibly well-written, and kudos to you for realizing all of this! I think all women (and people) struggle with these same things, and it is so sad that we live in a society where we can't embrace all women, no matter their shape, size, color, whatever; for who they are. A true picture of health can look very different for every person.

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  39. Well, I've had people say that I look pretty and younger than 36, so in my case, it's my age that becomes the 'thing'. Haha! However, I don't mind. People do judge naturally, but just in different proportion. For example, people often say "She is very nice, though she is very wealthy." (as if wealthy people cannot be nice) or "She is the most beautiful girl at the office, yet she is sweet and down to earth." (as if all pretty women are snobbish and rude)

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season
    http://stylenseason.blogspot.com

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  40. Wowwww. Wow. Girl, you are beautiful because you are freaking beautiful! The end
    Obviously one beautiful thing about you is how physically stunning you are. It's clear to anyone who sees you, and probably anyone who knows you sees it all the more (because I can tell you have a great soul).
    Your intelligence is also incredible - you wrote this piece so eloquently and expressed yourself with such incredible emotion and honesty. I have even MORE respect for you than I did before, love!
    Food addiction comes in all shapes and sizes - I had (and still struggle with) the opposite problem, where I wouldn't eat to cope with life, and that became an entirely different type of addiction. So I can relate on a different level, but the concept remains the same - we are not our weight and shouldn't be defined by it.
    I adore you, girl!

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  41. I can so relate. I get comments about how pretty my face is all the time. I know people mean well and are giving me a compliment. I have gotten comments on my style as well. Luckily, not too many people say anything about my weight. If anyone says anything these days it is usually noticing I've lost weight.

    You have come such a long way!

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  42. I have the opposite problem as i am a "butter" face or so I am told. I have also been told that I don't have hips to hold things up, that I make people feel bad when I eat salad. My mother in law regularly asks my opinion on her clothes and when i say it looks good, she replies with something along the lines of "you don't know what your talking about bc your thin". I really think people just want to hate on each other bc we always want the opposite of what we have. I love that your message includes all women of all shapes. It means so much.

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  43. I absolutely hate back handed compliments. They drive me insane!! Just remember you are gorgeous inside and out- thanks for being such a role model to not only me, but to everyone else!

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  44. I've never had the style to receive compliments on that *Ü* I've received the "you look good ... considering you've had five kids" or "for your age"

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  45. this is so fabulous! the comments that you have gotten are crappy but i love your attitude change towards them. people are weird how they can think comments with a rude undertone/side comment are "compliments." we are obviously all different shapes and sizes, but being healthy is the most important thing for sure. and then being happy with ourselves as we are too but continuing to work towards health and self acceptance. you are beautiful and awesome inside and out!

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