Body shaming: my experience

Have you ever been a victim of body shaming? I was, and it’s not funny.

The middle school period was hell to me. Ask my mom, she definitely remember as much as I do. She was my rock in a moment in which I felt I was about to sink.

Everything started because one girl wanted to be best friend with my best friend. She wanted to cut me out of the picture, and she succeeded. I was losing my best friend, and these girls were treating me like shit. Every day I was coming home crying, overwhelmed by all the mean things that her and my ex-best friend would do. I was 12, I was insecure and I didn’t know how to react.

Luckily, the rest of my class had my back. I had friends supporting me, not accepting what they were doing. But besides that, the two girls started body shaming me.

One day, she called me “pig” in the middle of the class.

That word still hurts.

While my mom kept saying I wasn’t fat, I started to believe it. It hurt so much. Until that time, I’ve never felt that I was fat. I didn’t even know what it meant.

After that period in middle school, in the back of my mind, the word “fat” is still there.

It didn’t matter that I had people supporting me. The only thing that my brain could think about was that word, and that’s how I labeled myself for years. I didn’t even know what body shaming was, I just felt bad.

Middle school ended, high school started. In school, I didn’t have any problem. Even though there was a majority of girls, I’ve never felt out of place or judged like I was in middle school.

On the other hand, body shaming didn’t stop at school. During the summer, I used to wear capri pants because I was ashamed of my legs.

One day, a guy came to me and told me that I had big ankles.

I was around 14. Still insecure, still didn’t know what to do.

It’s crazy how a comment can sink in your brain for such a long time. I don’t even think those people remember what they said. For years, I didn’t feel comfortable showing my ankles or wearing things that could show them even more. I really started to believe that I had big ankles, even though I didn’t. That was body shaming, and I didn’t know.

Years after high school finished, I found a picture of my middle school class. I looked at me and I was surprised. I wasn’t fat. I wasn’t chubby. I was just wearing big sweatshirts to hide the fat that didn’t exist. I was shocked. I called my mom and told her. She smiled, told me that she knew but I needed to see it with my own eyes.

Words can be so powerful and so dangerous. They can lift you higher or destroy you. That word “fat” didn’t destroy me. It hurt me, knocked me down on the ground for several years.

Just growing up, looking at that period from far away, I really understand how much that word “pig” has influenced my thoughts.

I stopped myself from doing a lot of things because I thought I was fat. I was hiding behind clothes that were too big for me, that didn’t flatter me. I was scared of public judgment. I cared too much about what other people thought of me. I was insecure and I didn’t know what to do.

Many people could say that those were just two comments. They weren’t. The girl who said “pig” made fun of me daily. The guy who said “I had big ankles”, kept reminding me that I was fat whenever he had the chance.

I didn’t need people to say that I wasn’t fat, I needed my brain to understand it.

It took a fair amount of time and a long path along the road of “self-development” to understand it. It’s not easy.

It’s not the word “fat” that hurts, it’s the intention of it.

We live in a society where fat means ugly, where if you carry a couple of kilos more or you have a naturally Mediterranean body full of curves, you are labeled as it like an insult.

It took me a lot of work on myself to be where I am today, but still I have moments in which I go back to the 12 years old Elena. It never leaves you, even when you know perfectly that you are not fat.

That’s why, focus of my health coaching work is empowering and supporting women and men in their holistic weight loss journey.

I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a dietitian. Them, they are the ones that will give you meal plans and diets to follow. I’ll never suggest a diet, but I will support you wherever your journey leads you. I will help you overcome what’s blocking you, understanding the why behind the weight loss decision. I’ll be there listening, supporting, and teaching too.

Sometimes we just need a push, a person who can listen to us and not judge but at the same time guiding us in the right direction. I had my mom, but it wasn’t enough because it took me all my teenage years and part of my 20s to realize it.

If you are interested in a FREE health coaching session with me, follow this link and find a time that could work for you. We will meet online, on Skype or Zoom, and we will talk about understanding your goals and how to reach them. If I’m in Italy, we could even meet in person.


I’m here for you. I understand you. I support you.



26 years old Italian living in Spain. Yoga teacher and health coach with a passion for writing, traveling and learning.

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