I don’t think I’ve talked much about my body image on any of my blogs; that’s because my perception of myself is pretty awful. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the way I look. I am very short, and I carry weight weird, or at least, I used to think I did. That was, until I actually gained some weight, and saw I used to be beautiful. I feel like in recent years I’ve turned into a beast. I’m overweight, I don’t feel beautiful, and I have a lot of anxiety about that. I don’t even like to go into public without an hours worth of makeup on, and I change outfits more than I blink. I really don’t like how I look. I gained weight after my surgery, and I’m actively trying to lose weight in a healthy way, but it’s not instant, it’s taking forever, and I don’t feel comfortable. That being said, I don’t like being in public. It’s difficult for me to walk to the grocery store. Part of it is the anxiety of seeing someone I know, and having clearly gained weight, being the subject of negative attention (when the reality is, no one in the real world really cares that much about my weight). The other anxiety comes from people I don’t know; strangers.

I’ve talked before on my sites about run ins with strangers, and the crap people have said; everything from insults, to shitty things other parents have said. I let these people have more power than I care to admit. It cripples me. Comments from people I will never see again, or the projected thoughts I believe people are thinking mortify me. It makes me never want to leave the safety of my home (and even when I’m home, sometimes the worries of the outside world creep in). It’s humiliating; it shouldn’t be frightening to walk past a group of people. But recently, it has been.

I was explaining this fear to some people today when a woman I just nodded in solidarity. She told me she called these people non factors; and for the first time, in a long time, I won back a little confidence.

These people are non factors, because they hold no significance to my life. They don’t mean anything to me, they aren’t helping me grow as a person. When I project these anxieties into the thoughts of stranger’s minds (when in reality, they’re most likely not thinking about me) it’s only hurting myself. I matter as little to them as they should matter to me. They are just a face in the crowd. And when someone does say something, that’s on them, not me. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me; there’s something wrong with the person yelling at strangers on the street. Giving them the name “non factors” but things into perspective for me. Yes, I might be struggling with my body image, but that isn’t anyone else’s burden.

Is there a non factor you’re giving too much power to in your life? Who is it? Comment below.