I know bullying is a pretty popular topic amongst media outlets and day time talk shows, but back in the day, it just didn’t seem like bullying was all that bad. Granted, the advancement of social technology has escalated to include Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, blogs, and so on. So basically the days of calling and hanging up are long gone and have been replaced with utter humiliation on the internet, even to go as far as record the hate and post it to YouTube.
Well, I am victim of bullying. I usually don’t let it get to me like kids seem to let it get to them today, but – then again – bullies now have super powers (internet, cellphones).
1-800-Jenny2000 is the old Jenny Craig slogan that ran once the millennium hit in (you guessed it) the year 2000. The year 2000 was the year I turned 12 and also the year 1-800-Jenny2000 was signed multiple times in my yearbook. MY YEARBOOK!!! Yes, we were kids going through that terrible puberty phase (although we all know the girls that blossomed beautifully in middle school) but seriously, why would you write in pen something that hurtful in someone’s yearbook that they will have FOREVER? I was humiliated and very distraught; I highly doubt I handled it well at the time. I have an idea of who did it and I want to be mean and blast them on my blog, but I don’t want to be a bully. Basically once you put something out on the internet for everyone to see, it doesn’t matter if you take it down; it was there and someone has seen it. (That’s a dig at people on Twitter who tweet awful things, then say they got hacked. Liars.) Middle school was a tough time for me, but I can honestly say that when those words were etched into my yearbook I knew I would never forget them.
Fast forward to my last year of college. I was looking for a job in the school newspaper (holy crap, I got a job from the school newspaper), and I happened upon an ad for a client coordinator position at Jenny Craig. I applied for the job but was nervous. Even though I had been successful in my personal weight loss journey up to that point, I had definitely put weight back on and wasn’t sure if they required everyone to be ridiculously skinny to work there. After a few weeks I learned that I had gotten the job. I started there, and I was really nervous how clients would treat me when they saw that I was overweight and working there. Needless to say, I only had a few encounters of prejudice from the overweight populous that frequented JC. I am chalking that up to the fact that they were struggling with their weight, so they saw I could to relate to them. In fact, once I became consultant, I saw the most clients and did the best business. Additionally I lost 40lbs on JC and was able to really share my struggle and my wins with my clients and build lifelong friendships.
Speaking of friendship, Elle and I met at Jenny Craig. She was the client and I was the consultant. I remember this one time Elle came in; she had gained 1lb and was visibly emotional about the weight gain. I gave her all the normal reasons for why she could have gained weight this week, but as I rattled off the reasons, I knew from her expression that this was not one of the “normal” reasons. So instead of reprimanding her, I got out a piece of paper, and I said, “Tell me what you ate.” She was reluctant, but she listed off all the food she had binged on. We each grabbed a corner and ripped it all up. I told her it was that easy, that we can move on from this and never look back.
Elle has changed my life; she’s so strong and determined, and I look up to her. When we decided to write this blog together, I knew that without her I wouldn’t have built up the courage to share details about my struggle. We’re leaning on each other. I don’t remember the exact day that Elle and I clicked, but I officially know my life would have a little less meaning without her in it. Even though we live miles apart, I still feel close to her. Elle introduced me to Jillian Michaels, and even though I had been working out with a trainer for several months, she schooled me on Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred.
I guess what I am trying to say is that you never know what’s going to be done to you that will change your life. I can look at the yearbook signing in two ways. I could have let it determine my life or I could build upon it and use it as motivation to prove all the “haters” wrong. At the time, I cried because it was so permanent. Now, several years later, I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t worked at Jenny Craig. I know they encourage you not to be friends with the clients, and for the most part I followed that rule. However, Elle was the exception.