An amazing teacher I used to sub for started a Facebook group called the Body Positivity Challenge. Today I am starting the 30 Day Body Positivity Challenge. Here’s what it looks like: So, here we go…
DAY ONE: Write about why you want to do this challenge.
When I started Embraceable nearly three years ago, I had a lot of expectations. I thought I would lose 100lbs. I thought that losing that 100lbs would give me confidence. I never expected that the project itself would give me confidence and I never expected one boy to be able to destroy a year’s worth of healing in one week.
A year and a half ago I started my credential program at Cal State Northridge and met a guy named Mike in my Ed Psych class. I had spent the last year learning to embrace my curves and walk with confidence, so we started flirting. We had a heart-to-heart about not having confidence in high school. He said he was overweight in high school and was very sympathetic to my story. He asked for my number. He asked to be in my project group. He asked to meet up for a study date. He teased me, created flirty nicknames for me, and I was smitten. I was the most smitten I had been in a very long time. I haven’t had many experiences with men being interested in me, however, so I wasn’t sure how to know if the feeling was mutual. Therefore, I did what I always do when I have boy trouble; I contacted my only straight guy friend– Kevin. I called Kevin up and asked him how you know if a guy is into you. He said, “You ask him out and he says yes.” This was not the answer I was looking for, but I found it to be sound advice.
The following class I asked Mike if he would be interested in seeing a play with me Saturday night. He said he was interested but needed to check his calendar. I said, “And if it works out, would you be interested in calling it a date?” He said, “Oh yeah. Yeah. Totally.” He then vanished. Literally. He walked off and didn’t come back until five minutes after class started. Then he refused to make eye contact with me. He left class early.
I figured that this couldn’t have been because I’d asked him out. If he didn’t want to all he had to do was say no. So, I decided to write him an e-mail with the details about the play. I also included an out. I have been rejected enough times that I always provide an out so it looks like it was my idea to not do it. That way I don’t get hurt when it doesn’t happen as I only have myself to blame. I provided the clearest out there has ever been, sent it off, and waiting…. nothing. He never answered the email. He never texted to confirm his schedule. Four days later I texted him if he was still interested (I knew he wasn’t, but I thought perhaps he’d at least give an excuse or some sort of “Hey, we’re still good. I just don’t like you like that” message). His only reply was, “can’t.”
Now, to any average girl, an inconsiderate fellow who doesn’t answer an e-mail with a clear out and who doesn’t reply to a text message with a subject and a verb would be written off as a jerk and she’d move on with her life. I, however, am not your average girl. I am a fat girl. I am a fat girl with decades of rejection and body shaming. Mike was a thin, handsome personal trainer. My inner monologue reeled with layers and years of self-hatred. “Of course he doesn’t like you– he’s a personal trainer and you’re fatter than any of his clients.” “Why did you even bother. He was obviously out of your league.”
The situation only worsened, however, when I tried to talk to him the next week in class. He ignored me. As I was speaking to him, he ignored me. When I got his attention and asked if we could talk, he blew me off and walked off with a friend in the class.
I was shattered.
There’s being romantically rejected, and then there’s being entirely disregarded as a human being. I was devastated. I felt so stupid. Why did he tease, flirt, and touch me if we wasn’t interested in me? He set everything up. He pursued me for everything. Worst of all, I thought he was my friend. I didn’t know you could ghost someone you saw in person every week. You can. He did.
In the weeks that followed he still did not speak to me. Of course he still texted me for the homework. What’s worse– I still gave it to him.
I had been so proud of my progress with embraceable. It was all gone in an instant. I still can’t really explain why this boy I’d just met had such a power over me. I can’t really explain why all of the boys I’ve liked have had such complete control over my self-worth, but they have.
That’s why I am doing this 30 Day Challenge. I want to learn to stand on my own two feet and not kowtow to male opinions. Rejection happens to everyone. I need to learn to love me for me… let’s see if it lasts this time.