After recovering from breast cancer surgery and an unexpected intestinal infection that had hospitalized me for four days, I had posted a selfie of me in a full length mirror wearing a new outfit.

Prior to my surgery, I had promised myself that I would do a full weekend of self care when I felt better and was not in pain. The weekend was sunny and beautifully temperate for Southern California. Saturday morning, I did a walk-in at a local hair salon and where they could take me in about an hour and a half; so I went nearby and enjoyed a luxurious hour long pedicure. I had not had my nails done in months since my extra money had been going to medical bills. But not this weekend.

The hair dresser lovingly highlighted my hair and I enjoyed a wonderful shampoo and then cut and blow out. Sunday, I went shopping for new clothes and bought outfits that fit me now, not later after I lost a few pounds. I am a size 20 and I wanted to feel comfortable in well fitting clothes. It had been months since I was without pain or medications and I looked and felt pretty.

I posted a selfie on Facebook of me in one of my new outfits in a full length mirror. Many friends commented that I looked great.

Then I received an email from a Facebook Friend, “Thought you would be interested in this….” and attached was a link to a fad diet that had been on a popular talk show. At first I was confused, why am I getting this from her when we have not spoken in years and only followed each other on Facebook? How did she get my email?

Initially I had thought her email had been hacked however, I asked my daughter, who is also her Facebook friend if she received an email from her and she said no. Slowly it dawned on me that she had purposely sent me a diet tip. I was being fat shamed.

The email crashed my wonderful feelings and sent me down into self doubt and body negativity for a few hours. Sure I had gained a few pounds but what was important to me was that I was cancer free. I was working on modifying my diet to more veggies and no processed foods. Diet modification takes time and patience, losing weight takes time and patience, and fad diets can be dangerous for someone with gastrointestinal issues.

Reflecting on my reaction to that email, I am more confident and aware of my health and am enjoying all my curves and dimples. I’m going to keep posting full length selfies and plan on buying a full length mirror for my bedroom. Even though others might think I am overweight and judge, I won’t give them another thought or more of my time. I am good just as I am now, alive, healthy and living cancer free.

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