I'm not weak. Or manipulative. Or whatever. I'm heartbroken — for now.
It's one thing to end things on mutual terms, but it's quite another to be dumped. This we all know.
We know it in the way we cry. We know it in the way we vent. And we know it in the way that we recover from the heartbreak of either scenario.
Me? Personally? Well, I'm more likely to sit around weepy-eyed and plotting after I've been dumped or ended a relationship after being dumped on.
Admittedly, a lot of the things I do during this time aren't healthy.
I tend to party and drink more to take my mind off things, stalk the hell out of his Facebook (along with his sister, mother, and BFF), and focus on making him see the error of his ways.
Yeah, nothing about that sounds particularly healthy, but rest assured, no matter how pathetic you may think I am right now — you've probably taken a page from my unhealthy, slightly crazy book once or twice — even if it was back when you were 14.
But, here's the thing — the last one — focusing on making him regret hurting me ... well ... that's my favorite part of it all.
Hell, my friend and I have joked about wishing we thought of the show because it's truly all of us.
Instead, she ended up creating an athleisure brand called "Thank My Ex" (after all they were the initial motivation), and I continue to passive-aggressively hit the gym looking for inner strength, peace, clarity, and more confidence than ever.
So no, this is not just an action reserved for petty 20-something women, believe me! The entire concept of revenge body resonates with women of all ages and even men, as we hit the gym in hopes of creating a body that makes our exes feel regret and — and our hotline bling with "I fucked up" texts.
I don't think it always (or even frequently) has anything to do with an insecurity that your ex may have disliked your body. I think it's just natural for us to want them to eat shit knowing that you're doing better than when they left you all fucked up and broken.
You want them to know you've overcome those last moments in your relationship where you showed your entire hand with hopes of working things out, even when they weren't willing to keep fighting.
That's the makings of a "revenge body." Those are the thoughts that go into it in the beginning.
But you find that as you transform you fall more in love with yourself and care even less than ever about the opinion of any one person.
You fall in love with your transformation because, during that time, the gym slowly but surely heals you in ways you didn't even realize you needed healing.
The premise of the "revenge body" is more about your own personal health (physical and mental) than anything else, despite super-feminists or people who generally take life too seriously sometimes who think it's a shallow, weak, or otherwise a less than positive motivation to achieving your personal body goals.
A Psychology Today expert noted that "the aftermath of a break up can be a devastating time, but it can also be a time for tremendous life-changing growth."
If you're ultimately creating a better, healthier you — you look better and feel better (gym = peace) — then who the hell cares why and how you got there?
Even when you start the journey thinking it's about your ex, it's really all about you.
At first, you do it seeking some sort of vindication until you just don't anymore need that anymore — and that's more than OK. It's human.
Nothing about this process means you didn't love yourself before.
It doesn't mean you're a manipulative b*tch who likes you use your body to get your way.