The F Word

I basically have an infinite number of drafts I have not posted, because, let’s face it. Nobody wants to read a blog post from an upset/bored blogger. Collin’s been gone and every time I go to blog, it’s typically in one of those moments where I find myself with nothing else to clean or fold, and no more songs to attempt to butcher with the guitar.Β 

You guys know what I mean. The whole, I’m taking a moment for myself to do this one thing for myself, yeah, perfect, gonna do it because it’s going to make me feel good about myself right now this very moment, nothing else to do yeah, awesome….

Whether you’re picking up your paintbrush or sitting down with your laptop, we can all get in a bit of a forced-feeling creative rut.

Okay, so here I am.Β Sitting on my couch, eating orange chocolate and waiting for the UPS man to possibly arrive with clothes I ordered off of an online clearance from ASOS. (Couldn’t resist finding something for a wedding video shoot! πŸ™‚

Sitting on my couch feeling rather passionate about a certain topic that’s made it’s way into my life in several ways lately.

I’m talking about the F word. Not the fun swear word you use every time you walk your hip into something or right before you honk your horn at that personΒ who doesn’t know they can turn right on red. Not the word that “rhymes with hug me.”

I’m talking about FAT. Ugh. It almost feels as if itΒ gags me and partially gives me heartburn with its potency.Β 

Literally makes my eyes water like I’m chopping a white onion. Only it’s the onion of insecurity and body-image. Twenty-million complex layers of hate, love, and confusion all pulled from a soil rich in twisted words like FAT.Β This is so hard to blog about. I don’t know why it’s evoking such an emotional reaction from me, but I don’t want this to be an aggressive post or a sappy post.Β 

(Does that simile make any sense? I know food analogies are kinda eh whenever I’m talking about something so touchy like weight and body image, but it’s all about the onion layers, people.)

Anywho, we all hear it. Most of us probably hear it everyday, I know I do. Every. Single. Day.Β 

I hear it thrown around by men at work, talking about celebrities and fellow coworkers of mine. I hear it in passing from innocent family members and friends, pinching their arms and smacking their full bellies after a meal. I hear it through smiles, laughs, frowns, pleas. I see how toΒ blastΒ it on magazine covers and how toΒ shed it over the span of three days on popup internet articles.Β 

I hear it and I hear it and I hate it. I am genuinely hurt when people I love feel like their bodies are less than flawless, and I’m deeply offended when I hear guys say things about girls they don’t even know.

I’ve been called this word countless times in my life. I remember the first time someone said it to me. I was in first grade and I was walking around the edge of the playground, balancing on the boarderΒ that kept the little wooden chunks separate from the grass. A boy named Andre deliberately walked up to me, pointed at me and said I wasΒ fat.

And so the seed was planted, and from that moment on, I knew the word to be a part of my identity.

From that moment on, I began the battle I still face with how I see myself in the mirror. With how I see myself as a woman, and how I see myself as a person.

From that moment, I began to put up barriers between myself and other people. Barriers that prevented relationships and connections with people and friends who didn’t give that word value.Β 

I used to weigh a lot more than I do now. Numbers will never matter, and I’m hesitant to show pictures, because I don’t want to possibly trigger anyone into thinking my weight loss is something they want, or something they envy. I’m showing this because this is a part of my story and a part of my struggle.Β 

Image

Β 

This is a photo from when I was sixteenΒ and again when I was eighteen.Β 

This is a post to share the psychological effects of bullying as well as the emotional and physical effects.Β 

This is not a post to say one word matters and defines you. Quite the opposite! If only I had known whenever I was younger that those kinds of words hold no merit in my life and speak no truth. However, whenever you’re a kid, combined with other psychological traumas and the ever-present puberty you must survive, it’s borderline impossible not to let those words affect you! Β 

Though I am happily engaged and plan on starting a full and incredible life with my insanely gifted and perfect future husband, I still struggle when I hear the F word. Β 

I think of the daughter I might have some day. I think of someone whispering about her across the room.

I think about my mother and everything she overcame and struggled with as a young woman and adult.

I think about all of the women existing, applying society’sΒ beauty standards to themselvesΒ and feeling as though they never measure up.

I’m hear to proclaim an end to the power of the F word. There’s no way to erase it from anyone’s tongue, or to yank it from every Webster Dictionary on the market, but there is a way to rob it of it’s glory.

I am healthy and I lead a beautiful life. I am grateful for this body I feed and clothe everyday, and I finally treat myself to a balanced lifestyle with food, exercise, and love. God intended everything to happen the way it did for me and I’ve grown in every possible way and don’t see it ceasing anytime soon. I don’t feel sorry for myself and I don’t plan on ever taking anyone else’s negative words about me to heart.Β 

It’s a word. It doesn’t describe who you are, and it doesn’t define who you are!

πŸ™‚

Β 

Β 

Advertisements

34 comments

  1. Taylor Pulsipher · April 15, 2014

    It’s not often that a blog post makes me cry, but yours, darling, made me sob.this is an issue I’ve dealt with my entire life. In high school I had an eating disorder, I was a size two and still believers I was the f word. Today I’m the biggest I’ve ever been, but, after years and years of struggling, I’m also the most comfortable with myself that I’ve ever been. I’m so glad you’re publicly stripping the power from that word. You’re such an inspiration and I absolutely adore you and look up to you in so many ways.

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      I’m sorry for such a tardy reply, but the wedding has had me all over the place. Thank you so much for opening up about your struggle. It’s crazy how getting “what we want” doesn’t provide happiness. Our bodies deserve to be loved and cherished for allowing us to live our full lives! Thank you so much for reading, girly! πŸ™‚

  2. bailey · April 15, 2014

    Karsyn, this made me tear up because i know exactly who you are talking about. if it makes you feel better, Andre lives by me and one time when i was little he threw giant concrete blocks at me. i am so glad you are happy and healthy πŸ™‚ warms my heart!

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      Awhhh! Bailey Rae! Yeah, it’s crazy how everyone we went to school with and all my friends I grew up with obviously recognized an issue, but I’ve been so private about it, especially to my readers! I was like, girl, bout to get deep! I feel so good about sharing, and I’m so grateful for your support, little lady! πŸ™‚

  3. melissaaputnam · April 15, 2014

    As a person who has been down the same route since I was 16. Still at 29 with an awesome husband and a child I still have that struggle. My son is underweight because he is so tall. I hear people say he’s too thin and say this infront of him. I don’t think using the β€œf” word or using thin should be a way of taking about people. He is two and never want my struggles with food to ever effect him. I don’t think people strongly understand the effects of judging other people. I was called too thin when I was younger than too fat as I hit that crazy preteen crazy life than back again to being dangerously thin. I do have patients when I hear judging because not everyone has been down a road of having an eating disorder. The world of an Ed is lonely, tiring and hard work that never stops. I think only people that have been there can truly understand the power of β€œf” word. But hopefully with time everyone will understand and care about it’s power.

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      I completely relate/agree with every statement in your comment, girl! I’m rather delicate whenever I hear judgement, especially when it’s from loved one’s who have no idea they’re being offensive. But still. Living in the world of Ed is SO consuming, whether you’re in the worst stages, or recovering, it’s a 24/7 gig, and there are triggers for intrusive thoughts everywhere! I was also called too thin whenever I was at my sickest, and it drove me to put more stress and limits on my body. You rock for sharing your insight! Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  4. Ashley Dunston · April 15, 2014

    I really needed to read this post, Karsyn. I know how you feel 100%. I too used to weigh a lot more. I lost over 100lbs from age 20 to age 21: (http://instagram.com/p/gD1xyyxeMi/) and even now, at age 25, I still have a hard time separating myself from my previous identity as “fat.” I still buy clothes that are way too big. I still hate mirrors. I still remember every single word of all the teasing and bullying. (The bullying didn’t stop once I lost weight either, with people asking if I lost weight because was bulimic or on drugs.) It’s all so hurtful. I am so very glad you know how it feels, because it reminds me that I’m not alone. Our culture makes weight such a determiner of value, and it sickens me.
    We are creepily alike, girl! Haha. I too am engaged–wedding May 17th this year! And I’m so thankful for a fiancΓ© who loves me inside and out, just like Collin loves you. God is good. My passion is to help young girls see themselves as beautiful, just the way they are. I hope to start a nonprofit or something, that promotes healthy self image for all girls. I’d love to meet you someday, maybe even collaborate on this vision πŸ™‚ I wish you all the best, lovely girl!
    Xoxo,
    Ashley

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      Oh my God! I finally am getting around to reading and replying to these comments and what the what?! Our lives are like THE SAME! Are you so excited?! I’m so excited. Nine days, girl! I don’t know if we’ve ever emailed, but I’d love to talk to you more! Especially about the bridal pressure and stress. You’re so cool. Wow. Thank you for opening up, this is so exciting that we’re twins! I’m so happy for you both. Good luck on everything! That day is going to be rich with love! πŸ™‚

  5. Allie · April 15, 2014

    You’re beautiful; your stength to overcome a mindset that controlled your life is inspiring. And your smile is beautiful as well! As a child, I always thought of myself as fat. I remember the day, at 8 years old, realizing that my stomach was big and none of the other girls had big stomaches. It didn’t help that I was always at least 4 inches taller than my classmates growing up, the boys and girls! My self-consciousness and body image have always ruled my life. I was never able to do ANYTHING without it revolving around being completely uncomfortable in front of anyone. I could never trust my friends who would tell me I wasn’t “fat”, because in the next breath, they would be tearing apart other girls bigger than me with the word “fat”. I never thought anyone, girls as friends, or boys as love interests, could ever love me because of the way I looked. I had a guy come to me and literally tell me, in front of other girls and guys, that I “had to lose 30 lbs” if I wanted my crush to ask me out. This obviously humiliated me. Countless remarks from males about my weight during my teenage years left me with zero self esteem. I actually finally grew into my body and ended up proportionate by the time I reached college, and was a healthy body weight for the first time in my life. That didn’t last long, being that the stressors of college combined with the lack of physical activity, and I gained an unhealthy amount of weight. I am in the worst shape of my life, when I should be in the prime at almost 23 years old! In a few weeks after a long awaited college graduation, I plan to shift my whole focus from passing classes to beginning my journey to becoming healthy, and finally accepting myself for not how I look, but how I could feel with a healthy, strong body to live my life to the fullest in. πŸ™‚ Plus, I want to be able to fit into a wedding dress next year without too much hassle. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for sharing some of your story.

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      Girl, you are an inspiration, whether you see it or not. I love the sheer recognition of your insecurities and willingness to change. I’m not talking about the weight, and I hope you aren’t either. The journey will be about your love and maintenance of your body and your health. In treatment, I learned “bigger pants, bigger life!” and it mortified me! But all the weight I’ve gained has brought me all the time with Collin and has happened over the course of becoming his bride! Take it from a girl who never dated and was mortified of boys, and also never trusted my friends because they talked crap about everyone but always lied to me. I hope you have a good support system, just people you can talk to and open up with about this struggle and help you move forward on your journey! Thank you for being so awesome!

  6. Taylor Neel · April 15, 2014

    I don’t think I could ever had worded what I was thinking as beautifully as you just did. I hate that word. I’ve heard it since I was about the same age and it beat me down ever since. I started putting my own self worth into other people instead of myself and God. And it only made things worse. I’m so happy that the both of us can look past those times and that awful word, even though we may still hear it, and be HAPPY! Thank you for the post, Karsyn! And thank you for the good cry. Sometimes you just need a good cry πŸ™‚

    Much love,
    Taylor Anne

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      Oh my gosh, girl I cried the whole time I wrote this! In a freeing way, though. I realized that I wasn’t ashamed of my body. I needed to own my past, and own my present so that I could propel my confidence into my future, because Lord knows it’s easy to doubt yourself with future decisions! You’re the sweetest, and I love you for commenting! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  7. rachaelemily · April 15, 2014

    Karsyn, you are such an amazing and inspiring person. Truly. You’re the type of person who everybody needs to be around because they spread so much positive and love.
    Keep being amazing, you are fantastic!

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      Thank you so much Rachael! You’re the sweetest. You girls are the reasons I post! πŸ™‚ ❀

  8. hwheelan · April 16, 2014

    Such an amazing post! I’ve struggled with my weight and body image my whole life. You’re truly an inspiration!

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      Thank you so much for the support! We’re all in this together, and sharing our stories are the best ways to ensure we don’t feel alone πŸ™‚ ❀

  9. Alice · April 22, 2014

    This post made me cry. You’re such a beautiful and strong lady! xx

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      Thank you so much :’)! You girls make me cry with your inspiring replies!

  10. Ashley Salazar · April 26, 2014

    Teared up. I loved every word. Felt every bit of this post. And I also had no idea you looked any different than you do today. But thank you for sharing. We all need to be more real. I love you.

    Ps. I met you in San Antonio last weekend. And I’m so happy I did! You’re great.

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      I remember you, cutie! Hahahah that was such a fun night! Thank you for commenting sweet girl! πŸ™‚

  11. Kimmy · April 29, 2014

    Wish the power behind a lot of words could vanish. But you’re right, as long as you change how you see it, that will help you change how you feel about yourself and how you view the world. What a great post.
    Also, congrats on your upcoming wedding. πŸ™‚

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      I know! Like, I want to say that word is nasty and that word is hateful, but it’s the way it makes me FEEL! That word is three letters and ain’t nothin’ mo! A word is a word is a word, and we are the holders of it’s power! You’re awesome, and thank you so much! πŸ™‚ ❀

  12. Rachel · May 6, 2014

    Thank you for sharing your story and for your honesty. You’re an inspiration. My weight is something I’ve struggled with since I was about 7 or 8… :/ Way too young. At 13, I’d had enough and was determined to shed the weight through exercise and cutting back in my diet. Looking back at photos of myself at that age, after I’d lost about 60 lbs, I think I look almost too thin :/ but I felt good about myself. I was a healthy weight but I kind of wish a proper diet, etc. had been more reinforced by my parents. Anyway! My weight went up a little again in high school and then dropped right before college. Then shot up again (no thanks to stress). You get the picture πŸ™‚ Now, I’m 28 and the heaviest I’ve ever been *sigh* A couple years ago, I was diagnosed at the ob-gyn with PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome) which can make it even more difficult to lose weight… it’s been a bit uphill since that point. It can be so discouraging so you start to want to give up a little. All this to say, your story inspires me – thanks for sharing and for keeping it real πŸ™‚ You’re gorgeous and love your spirit. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I still remember Collin as a “kid” from my first Eisley concert in 2006, lol. Best wishes to you both ❀

    • BlissBranch · May 7, 2014

      I completely relate! I began losing weight really young, too, and that’s so hard on your body and your brain. As women, it’s so hard to recognize that half the time, people grow up and into their body. The picture of a perfect woman sets us up to feel terrible about ourselves and never just EAT or just LIVE you know?! Well you’re awesome for sharing your incredible story, especially your diagnosis. I can’t imagine your struggle, but your journey is a beautiful one, and please don’t forget it πŸ™‚ ❀

      And awh! Yes! Everyone always says that! He IS only 19!

  13. patternsofpaisley · May 8, 2014

    Thanks for sharing so many intimate moments of your past! Remember you’re a beautiful soul internally and externally. Don’t let ED define you but only make your life the best it can be!! It’s wonderful to see that you’ve found meaning in yourself beyond your appearance and that you have found an epic love. A lucky gal you are.

  14. Ashley · May 14, 2014

    Karsyn,

    This post made me cry. I know wholly and truly how you feel, even if it was the “s” word for me. I was always severely underweight, and was born a preemie. I was called a holocaust victim, a skeleton, you name it. I finally got to my comfortable weight at around 16. Before that I would chug ensures, eat egg after egg, until I would get sick crying that I wanted to be normal. I hope this isn’t offensive, I feel that so many people with weight issues do not see being too skinny as an issue. But it was one that defined my childhood. Always being called too skinny. I am still waiting to accept myself as you have accepted yourself. Karsyn, you are so beautiful inside and out. I am so thankful to have you in my life. Truly. I bought a merriment shirt and maxs cd from you for a reason :). God is good.

    Ashley

    • Ashley · July 1, 2014

      Ps… Miss you girl!

  15. abbeyhaynes · May 18, 2014

    I’ve always had problems with the F word. Ever since I was little. My family always teased that I had “my grandpa’s belly’, sometimes they still do. I know they mean well, but it’s always been something I’ve hated about myself, and when they point it out, I end up crying about it. I hate having to be so upset about my weight, but I always have been and I’m not exactly sure how to change it. Though I am trying. Trying is very hard, but I know it’ll be worth it. And it’s people like you who are helping me feel better about myself, so thank you Karsyn. πŸ™‚

  16. Rachael · June 17, 2014

    Hi Karsyn,
    Thank you so much for sharing this! It is a subject so hard to talk about but something that is so helpful for all of us to read. I have struggled a lot with body images issues and want to come out on the other side (I know I won’t ever stop having thoughts comparing myself to others as long as we have billboards and magazines but I want to get to a point where I don’t feel like my brain is taken over by them. I also want to not pass on issues to any children I have). I know it’s hard to talk about but my question to you (if it’s not too personal and you’re okay with answering it) is what helped you get on track to a balanced lifestyle? What did you find useful?
    Rachael

  17. Nikki · June 29, 2014

    Thank you for writing such a beautiful post and opening up a side of yourself that is vulnerable. I also have scars from childhood like being called “ugly” or being asked why I’m so brown. Always felt silly that I still remember those insults from elementary school, but it is just a lesson for how much bullying hurts. I try and spread light and kindness and I really think that’s the only way to fight it. Bullying comes from an ugly place, too. You look beautiful in both pictures and I’m happy you’ve found a healthy life balance and that it’s led you to your soul mate. When we decide to be happy and live positively it’s amazing the path that we’re put on and where it takes us.

    • BlissBranch · July 1, 2014

      Thank you so much for sharing your journey! You seem to have very well-rounded and healthy insight on the matter. You’re awesome! πŸ™‚

  18. Kaci · June 29, 2014

    Karsyn, you are so beautiful inside and out. I have and still am struggling with the f-word. I’ve been overweight my whole life and I’m only 20. It had cost me friends, relationships, and self confidence. Your post really opened my eyes. xoxoxo

    • BlissBranch · July 1, 2014

      It does not define who you are, and please don’t refer to yourself as that word! This post is denouncing that word entirely! πŸ™‚

  19. Lili Pineda · July 7, 2014

    So I came to your blog because I wanted to show my mom your wedding dress because I absolutely loved it! And then I came across this entry. And I was like wow! I’ve seen your pictures on Instagram and you look so happy and I would have never thought that you went through a struggle like this. I too struggle with the F word and that onion. All my life I was the big girl. All my friends were all skinny and then there was me. I never feel pretty and I sometimes break down looking at the mirror. It’s so hard. But to see that you were able to overcome something like and to see how joyful you are really gives me hope. It would be amazing if you could email me what it was that you did to lose the weight but if it’s personal I completely understand. I just wanted to say that you are a beautiful woman and that you’re awesome

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s