Ignoring Negativity

When I started my blog, I was aware that there was always a chance of receiving backlash... the fact is if you have an opinion, there is always going to be someone who is going to disagree with you.  I always found it easy to brush off those rare comments on instagram or rare tweets from someone I'd never met, as these were always over-shadowed by the array of positive messages received. However, the message seems to resonate deeper when it is received from someone you know on a personal level.

For some unknown reason, people seem to have an issue with other people's happiness: whether this is from jealously, a longing to be happy themselves or some other narcissistic deep routed psychological reason stemming from unhappiness in their own life- the fact of the matter is: one person being happy does not detract from your ability to be so. It is not a case of for every happy person there must be an equally unhappy person- in fact it is possible for everyone in the world to be happy. So there is no excuse for trying to detract from someone else's happiness. Making someone else unhappy will not make you and happier, making a harsh comment on someone else's appearance will not make you any more attractive, and tearing down someone's self esteem will not build your own self confidence.

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, then you have some sort of insight into what I have been through over the past three and a half years of my life. I made a decision to publicise a lot of this journey through my blog, twitter and instagram NOT to gain approval or praise from others, but to share a positive story of recovery, and promote a healthy lifestyle and body image. It was not an easy decision for me to make to publish some of the darker aspects of my life on social media, when so many other people use their facebook timeline as a highlight reel showing how amazing their life is. I made a decision to share my story and this has now been viewed nearly 400,000 times. If even one of those blog visits sparked a positive reaction in someone's head then I have done my job, and I'd love to sit here and act like negativity never gets me down, but unfortunately, behind the blog, behind the instagram filters and behind the twitter followers: I am still a person. Who takes the time to read every comment. And who still has feelings that can be hurt when these comments are negative.

There are countless people that have been spectators to my journey, and the majority of these people have supported me and gained respect for me. These are the people who's opinions I care about. Unfortunately, for every positive response, there are always going to be some people who can't sit quietly and let someone else have even a moment of glory or happiness about something they have poured their blood sweat and tears in to achieve. The way to deal with this? Cut these people out your life. I have decided that in 2016, anyone who has any form of slight negative influence on my life will not longer be a part of it. I want my focus to be on the people that reciprocate my support of them. I learnt through my training in the gym that feeling physically positive and strong goes a long way in supporting you in feeling mentally positive and strong.

People are beginning to come out of the woodwork after years of no contact, people who now try and give me advice, give me their misjudged and completely biased opinion on a situation which they had no interest in until it caught their attention on social media. I am tired of people acting like they are looking out for my best intentions when really they are sadly mistaken. If you were a friend to me where were you over the past three years when I was going through therapy in the hope of bettering my life, and where we you when I made the decision to begin personal training (DESPITE a fear of weight gain, a hatred of the gym and any form of physical exercise). I put myself through that hell to get myself out of the hell that I was currently existing in. I could not continue to live my life as a shell, and I made a proactive (and incredibly expensive) decision to change. 

A year on since making that decision I don't even recognise the girl I once was... and apparently neither do a lot of people. Despite the odd negative comments, the vast majority of the comments received have been incredibly supportive, and so I would like to end this life altering year not being upset by the negative, but celebrating the positive:

"Your blog is wonderful: to read about it your progress in posts bursting with honesty, warmth and determination is just astonishing. You have an excellent voice, and you have no idea how utterly inspiring your posts are. I've been feeling so down with weight loss/mental health at the moment but just reading a handful of your posts has cheered me right up. While our starting points may be on opposite ends of the spectrum I can relate to you on so many levels, and hearing someone else battling to succeed and refusing to give up helps more than you know. You've inspired me to push harder and keep going: I will not be defeated by a hideous voice in my head! Basically, thank you. Your blog has provided me with exactly what I needed to hear."

"For what it's worth, after reading your blog I think you are an incredibly inspiring individual - to work so hard and to have achieved so much is incredible and I hope that next year is an even better year for you because you really do deserve it"

"You're entitled to be happy, you're entitled to celebrate that as publicly as you like not tied by any past"

"Amy, I just wanted to tell you that I find your blog so so inspiring! I have struggled with an eating disorder for the past 4 years that I am only just overcoming. I love your positivity and motivation. Your post on willpower has helped my outlook on things and your journey is extremely encouraging and makes me feel like a positive outcome is possible! Thank you." 

Every time I receive a comment like the one's above it makes my day... it makes the whole struggle worthwhile. However, the one that resonated with me the most happened in the gym around September time. I will never forget the moment a young girl came into the gym whilst I was training, she walked up to me, gave me a hug and told me what an inspiration I was to her. She told me she followed me on instagram, had seen my journey and it had inspired her to get better herself. She told me that she was going to try and gain weight, gain strength and regain her life.  

So please: if you have a problem with me or anything I have done over the past twelve months, do me a favour and delete me off social media. You are not important to my life, if your comments do not promote positivity like the one's above then I have no desire to read them. 400,000 page views represent support and comfort that I have provided to people's lives, if you disagree I'd rather not share my story with you.