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Dear Khloe Kardashian, Our Bodies Are Not Meant to Be Revenge

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Though I’ve never been a fan of the Kardashian family, I was intrigued by Khloe Kardashian’s new fitness show. I was interested not because of its host but because of its name.

I had my reservations, simply based on that name: “Revenge Body.” In it, contestants “get revenge” on the people who have wronged them… by revamping their bodies. As much as I disagree with this, there is something we can objectively state: Khloe has come a long way in her fitness. She may be trying to help others with their fitness journeys too, but I don’t believe in this show’s premise.

Fitness shows are not new, but this is the issue that I have with “Revenge Body”: the motivation behind the fitness.

As someone who has grown up with an eating disorder, this hits home for me. It angers me because I used to think the same way. I used to think if I got thinner, more toned, fitter, I could get back at the bullies who were trying to make me feel bad.

This isn’t how you should treat yourself. Sure, the exercises and dieting may be helping you change your body, but just because you are fitter, it doesn’t mean you are healthier. You actually may be less healthy mentally.

Each contestant on this show has their own story about how their lives aren’t going well and they’re going to get revenge on ex-boyfriends, mean girlfriends, etc..

But that’s not what bodies are for.

I grew up with the same mentality. I struggled with this my whole life. Not just the number I saw on my scale but how I felt in my skin. How every time I looked in the mirror, I saw nothing but lumps of fat, jiggling arms, stretch marks, a bulging belly which I could never seem to flatten.

I was also set on getting revenge on my bullies – the people who caused me emotional pain every day. “One day, you’ll see, when I’m hot and fit, you’ll be sorry that you were ever so mean to me.” I obsessed over it, making my anxiety worse than it already is. Stressing and obsession over how many calories burned in each workout session, how many calories consumed, how many grams of carbs or fat consumed, how high my heart rate was…

It wasn’t until many years later that I learned my fitness level, my health, and my body weren’t there for revenge. The negativity was making me sick. Physically sick. And when we are trying to punish our so-called enemies (which is a whole issue in itself), we are also hurting ourselves. Our bodies are not here for punishment – for ourselves or others. Our bodies are not here so we can finally have our revenge. Our bodies are here to help us live our lives to the fullest – so we can challenge and push ourselves to grow, not so we can make others feel bad about making us feel bad.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Photo via Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian Facebook

Originally published: February 7, 2017
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