Be KIND

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Happy (Cookie) Friday! :mrgreen:

My day is off to a wonderful start. I enjoyed an early morning Ashtanga Yoga class, followed by a delightful bowl of pumpkin oats and a glass of iced coffee. In the oatmeal mix: oats, pumpkin, spelt flakes, ground flaxseed meal, soy milk, raisins, and peanut butter.

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So delish! 😀

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Be KIND

As you probably know, I am a HUGE fan of Ellen DeGeneres. I watch her show every single day and meeting her in person is on my Life’s To Do List.

The other day, Ellen chatted with Anderson Cooper about bullying. He shared some of his thoughts about where the problem lies (he cites the internet in particular) and what we can do to help. Here’s the video that Ellen posted her website: An Important Message from Ellen About Bullying. She talks specifically about teenage bullying, but bullying can hurt everyone– both young and old– and have lasting effects.

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Almost two decades later, I still feel some of the effects of middle school bullying. I still struggle with my self-esteem and it takes a lot for me to “believe” that someone is truly my friend.

Growing up in a small town, there weren’t a lot of cliques: you were either “cool” or “not cool.” I don’t specifically remember being part of the “cool” group until my girlfriends “dumped” me and continued to bully me on and off throughout 5th and 6th grade. (Ali shares a very similar experience on her blog.) I’m not sure what I did to deserve it, but these girls made my life miserable. They talked behind my back, wrote mean notes, and started rumors about me. Apparently, I wasn’t as “cool” as I thought!

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Middle school and junior high were a dark time in my life, but I learned early on who was a true friend and who was not. I remember crying to my mom after soccer practice with these girls and telling her that they “dumped” me and no longer wanted to be my friend. My mom told me they weren’t really my friends– and she was right.

After awhile, I stopped wishing to be part of their group and feeling badly about myself. I found my own circle of friends and stayed close with them through the end of high school.

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I still struggle with questioning my friendships, but it gets easier everyday. Now-a-days, I have true friends that think I’m “cool,” no matter what.

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Question of the Day

What are your thoughts on bullying? Where you ever bullied? What do you think can be done to make things better?

P.S. Ellen announced the KIND campaign to help end bullying. If you want to help, just text the word KIND to 85944 to donate $5. (Be sure to respond YES to confirm your donation.) The money supports The Trevor Project.

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95 Comments

  1. I saw that same episode of Ellen and it nearly brought tears to my eyes. If only you could tell your middle school self that you’d have thousands of friends (real and virtual) 20 years later. Thanks for sharing your story, Tina. Happy COOKIE Friday!

  2. You can look at the above photo of me and see why I, too was bullied in middle school…. 🙂 I’m glad we both overcame it and found each other!

    Also, the floral outfit above is very much something that Six from Blossom would wear. I like it.

  3. Bullying is so sad. I wasn’t bullied exactly, just ignored and talked about behind my back for being “weird” and a “nerd”. Those words hurt then and they still hurt.

    There were so many kids that had it worse than me — and I can’t imagine how they felt.

    I love this project that Ellen is supporting — thanks for posting about and sharing your own story!

  4. This brings alot of emotional thoughts to my mind. As a kid I was picked on for wearing glasses and crooked teeth. I was able somehow to just block it out and not let it bother me. I guess it’s just my personality to be upbeat and positive. My daughter, however, who is 29 was bullied, picked on, made fun of thru middle school and some of high school. She never told us untill she was in her early twenties after she had suffered depression and drug abuse. She just held it all in and the only kids that would be her friend were the ones that were into drugs. Kids can be so cruel to each other and don’t think of the consequenses. It seems to be an even bigger problem today. My daughter now has a 2 year old and one of the things she is intent on teaching him is not to be unkind or mean to anyone for any reason. I think the internet today makes it an even bigger problem.
    The oatmeal looks wonderful, very fallish. Don’t know much about the spelt flakes tho. Will have to check those out.

  5. Being alot heavier when I was growing up definitely led to being bullied – esp during the middle school years before I lost alot of weight. It’s funny the things that you remember from those times, like who called you names and didn’t pick you for their team in gym class bc you were the “fat girl”… really does leave a lasting impression unfortunately. I wouldn’t want to go back to being that age ever again, no way!

  6. I used to go to the school nurse every day in 4th grade and say I was sick so that I could go home. It was a small school andmy class only had 35 people and I came in the 4th grade and everyone already had their friends. I had no friends for 4 years of school, and hated it.

  7. Great post. Being from NJ, I didn’t realize how much of an effect this whole tragic ordeal had on the rest of the country. I am in awe of all the people and celebrities speaking out about it. There are so many other great causes out there but this is one that affects everyone in one way or another. Thanks for posting.

  8. I heard the other day on the radio someone say “Bullying is just apart of being a kid. You won’t ever be able to stop it.” That statement took me aback, for 2 reasons.

    1) Do we really have so little faith in our youth today that they CAN and WILL learn to respect and love one another? We have come so far, and yet, it seems not far enough.

    2) Bullying DOES NOT only happen in childhood. I am a recent college graduate. In my program, one girl decided she did not like another girl because of her: hair, hometown, laugh, general existence. The bully made it her business to tell everyone how stupid, incompetent and unworthy this girl was. I watch at almost the entire program of 40 people (ADULTS mind you–ranging from 20-40 years of age) turned on this girl. It destroyed the comrade of the program and really crushed this girl’s self-esteem.

    Thank you for discussing this issue and sharing your own story.

    With the rash of bullying occurring, I think it is important to recognize your own bullying tendencies and to stop them. Recognize them in your friend’s, co-workers, family members, etc. Maybe if we can truly change the way of thinking we really can stop bullying.

  9. Love your pegged pants and floral dress. Oh, early 90’s. The Smith’s have a song with the line “I can smile about it now, but at the time it was terrible.” I think of this line when things are terrible because I know someday I will smile about it, just like I smile about the enormous purple glasses I had in 6th grade and how I was inside reading while my entire neighborhood played sports outside. I didn’t know about Ellen’s mission, but I do know about Dan Savage and his “It Gets Better” effort to tell LGBT young adults in particular to hang in there, that it will get better, and that seems to be the same message. Middle school was hell for every interesting person I know.

    Thanks for sharing. Love your blog!

  10. I was never bullied, nor did I ever bully anyone else. I think bullying is harsh, so cruel and unneeded bahavior especially for teens trying to find themselves. I guess you could say I was in the “cool” crowd (whatever that means!!)because I was a cheerleader. However, I developed a serious eating disorder, as did many of my also “cool” girlfriends so I think regardless if you are “cool” or not, middle and highschool is SO hard. There are so many pressures and regardless if you are bullied or not, getting through the day can be so difficult. Whenever I have a little girl one day, I want to make sure she always feels so loved at home, has a good group of friends, regardless of who they are, and she loves and accepts her body. Ellen is so wonderful and you can tell she is such a truly caring, loving individual, as are you Tina! Enjoy your Friday

  11. I wasn’t heavily bullied but I remember this girl who tripped me in gym class for no apparent reason. I had a hunch she was friends with a girl whose mother accused me and my mother of talking about them. Completely false and I always felt her classmates/friends give me death glares. It wasn’t particularly painful as I’ve always ignored them, but I know bullying is painful. There was even a video on youtube where kids documented the beating of a girl — they kicked, punched, slapped her. It was uncalled for and the girl stood there, helpless and just let this kid beat her.

  12. I’m so sorry you had to go through that 🙁
    I was mildly bullied in primary and high school – I had no friends apart from 2 close ones, and everyone else just thought I was a joke. I felt awkward and tall and was deathly shy so I didn’t ever say anything. An easy target really!!

  13. I think you’re amazingly cool! 🙂

    But I know how you feel. I got picked on for being overweight. And it still hurts me today. I also, like you, now find it hard to believe that people will actually like me and that they are/or want to be my friend. I had so many people be mean to me or pretend to be a friend but then suddenly turn on me. I not only ended up felling badly about me (and how I look – which I still struggle with because it’s hard to overcome when everybody was hating on me just because of how I looked) but I have a hard time interacting with other. To this day I still expect people to not like and to not approve of how I look.

    Bullies are the worst. 🙁

  14. I agree with Sarah O that it doesn’t only happen in high school. It might not be considered outright ‘bullying’anymore but I think there’s still a huge tendancy for a lot of people to make harsh comments behind others backs, judge each other based on clothes, etc and just generally act icky towards each other. Being awkwardly tall and not terribly talkative or quick with little quips, I usually feel like I’m on the outside, but it’s ok. I know who my friends are and I surround myself with them whenever I can.

  15. I was never bullied, but I hear and read such horrible stories about bullying. It really saddens me. Ellen is doing a great thing about bringing it up, especially the Trevor Project.

  16. Thanks for sharing your story Tina. I was bullied in elementary school and I agree with some comments that bullying continues into adult hood. Last year in grad school I had a group of friends that started talking about me behind my back. Its sad that even at a top graduate school people still act in such a hurtful manner.

  17. I distinctly remember a moment in elementary school when I told a bully “you’re only mean because you have bad self esteem and it makes you feel better about yourself.” That shut him up but I can’t help but feel like I was being a reverse-bully?

  18. I feel like most of you. I had a very hard time in middle school and high school. I was smart and I was different and was picked on for years. People were just all out cruel. There were many times where I just gave up. I did find a good group of girls two of whom I am still friends with today but I still struggle with my looks and weight. I dont think that I am ever going to get competely over how bad it really was.

    Now I am going through the same types of things with my youngest son. He is getting picked on all the time and being called by girls names. I watch the poor kid come home in tears. It is so hard to teach him to let it go and just be who he is because he is a wonderful kid.

  19. I think you’re cool Tina!!! Fortunately I didn’t go through much bullying, but I saw kids that did and it makes me sad to think about it now. Thanks for sharing your story – I’m sure your childhood bullies would be totally blown away by where you are at now! 🙂

  20. I’ve been thinking about bullying a lot as of late, as a result of the college boy who jumped off the GW bridge after his roommate bullied him and videotaped him in a private encounter. It is horrible! We have to remember what kind of effects our words can have even if it seems like it is all for fun at the time.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  21. I was bullied as a kid. I was a chubby girl and was picked on about my weight and not being pretty. As a result of that, I am insecure at times but am getting over it little by little. Tina, you truly are an amazing woman and you are “cool” in my book! 😉

  22. It takes a lot of courage to open up about things like this, so I think you’re very brave for sharing! I wasn’t “cool” at all elementary or high school either…my nickname was “chipmunk” because my cheeks were so full, and I remember eating lunch and the boys saying that the chipmunk was stuffing her cheeks again. Kids can be so cruel. I think that comments like that, coupled with a few other factors, really led to my eating disorder…I wish I could go back and tell myself that in ten years, I’d be loving my life in college while a lot of them got caught up in bad crowds and dropped out of high school. The thing is though, I’m PROUD of not being “cool” now- I feel like I have a heart and I have a brain, so why play those things down in order to fit in? Nerdy kids unite!

  23. fantastic breakfast and I love the picture of the dogs!

    my thoughts on bullying – it makes me sad for kids today. It’s not like childhood is easy anyway, but add bullying to it and it can be unbearable. Makes me want to hometeach my kids, or at least give it real consideration.

  24. Yep, I was bullied throughout high school because I chose to look different than what was thought to be cool… think purple hair and baggy pants. At times it really hurt, but I had (have) a great group of girlfriends that I loved and respected so much, that it almost made me forget about the awful situation! Gotta love my girlfriends!

  25. I had my close group of friends but throughout middle school, I was bullied. Someone who claimed to be my “friend” would taunt me in class and once even kicked my butt (literally). For no reason. People would also say that I had no friends and was a lonely, sad person. I was also called a cow on occasion.

    I hate what bullying has become and the consequences it has had on the younger generation. And I think that teachers and parents need to take more of a stand against it. Bullying now is different than what it was back when we were growing up (and before that) so it needs to be handled differently too.

  26. I think so many people get bullied in little ways here and there (and of course people get bullied in big ways). I know if I become a parent I’m going to work very hard at teaching my children how to treat others. I think that’s whats missing the most, real parenting.

  27. I was bullied in elementary and middle school. Middle school was the WORST! During high school I had rumors spread about me, and yet no one ever said anything to my face and I actually preferred that!

    I couldn’t be paid enough to relive any of school!

    I really don’t know what could be done to stop the bulling, although have you watched If You Really Knew Me on MTV? Because I think there should be a program like that in every school!

  28. I think bully has always been regarded as “normal” in school settings and for kids of a certain age. The image of a freshman being shoved in a locker comes to mind. As a society, we’ve been taught that it’s ok to laugh at this kind of thing and pretend it’s not a real problem. This is even true for people who have been bullied. What better way to make yourself look unaffected and above it all than to laugh or turn a blind eye when someone else is being picked on?
    I’ve often though of my social life in school as somewhat limited but mostly normal, bully-free. In retrospect, though, there were some really mean people around and I know I came into conflict with a few of them. Words were the common weapon. I guess what I realize now is that bullying is relative. If you feel picked on and bad about yourself because of someone else you’re being bullied. You don’t have to be peeking out from inside a locker for it to count!

  29. Tina, I can TOTALLY empathize .Out of the blue, my group of friends in middle school wrote & all signed a letter that said I could not longer sit with them at lunch. Things obviously went down hill from there. For a few months I was devastated… until I found a group of girls who became my close friends throughout high school.

    My experience with being bullied was definitely one of the motivating factors that led me to seek a degree in counseling.

  30. Unfortunately, I think kids learn a lot of that from their parents. It is horrible and I worry all the time about my kids and hope that people are kind to them. We have a very strong relationship with our boys and we have open conversations about everything. I think it is important that we all raise our children to be aware that they can affect others with words and actions. It is always important to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to see how you would feel if things were turned around. I am sorry you went through that as a kid. I was unfortunate to have been “blessed” to develop early so I got a lot of attention from boys and for some reason they always felt the need to just reach out and grab my chest. To this day, I can remember every bit of that and it still bothers me.

  31. Hey, thanks for the post – I appreciate it. It’s interesting because I didn’t get bullied until college, when I came out of the closet. Luckily, I had a great support system and we were able to turn a horrible string of events into a campus-wide discussion about diversity and homophobia. While I’m not a huge Sarah Silverman fan, I think her recent youtube video conjures up how I feel about the connection between homophobia and bullying. While many may not agree, I think her video is worth viewing (warning: R-rated language included, as it is Sarah Silverman…):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM6xbW1DZyM&feature=player_embedded

  32. Great post. I think we were all bullied to an extent growing up. I do remember a specific set of “friends” who made me feel horrible and talked about me opening in the middle of high school physics class. Not fun. I hope my boys don’t have to go through that, but if they do, I’ll be there to guide them through.

  33. I got dumped as well around 6th grade. I still dont forgive those bullying bitches.
    jokes. sort of.
    I think this issue has definately been on the forfront as of late, and im really impressed that you chose to address it here. What a delightful and super appropriate change of pace.
    I never commented on the Marie Claire article, but as im commenting now i would just like to say that, i think, yes the article was really onesided,but i agree that some of the blogs mentioned are demonstrating disordered eating. However, as an avid blog reader and especially of the healthy living blog reading community Im reasonable enough to know when what IM choosing to read is affecting me in a negative way…. and quit reading it.
    I personally favor your blog because Carrots N Cake (along with eat live run) just feel much more real, and closer to the way i live and want to improve upon my life. I appreciate that you dont measure everything you consume, that you like beer (because holy do i love me some beer, and unfortunatly, i often still over do it sometimes) and because it seems like you have good days and bad days. Also, i love that pug. Thank you for putting yourself out there and really setting an example of what it can be like to make your own happiness and to have a mostly balanced lifestyle.

  34. I would never want to go through school again – it was awful. I wasn’t necessarily “bullied” but I did go through some rough spots with so-called friends. 6-8th grade there was a group of 5 girls – 1 week we’d hate one girl than the next week she’d be in and another girl would be out. Than came high school. A “friend” started an awful rumor about me that everybody choose to believe. I was beyond miserable. Thus started my trust issues that I still have today. It takes a lot for me to let anybody in.

  35. Bullying sucks. It is amazing the lasting impact that it can have on someone’s life.

    I think a lot of people live under the misconception that bullying is just a ‘casual’ childhood thing, a rite of passage, and that it truly hurts no one unless the bullying is outright aggressive. Well, ‘casual’ bullying — name-calling, etc. — can be so detrimental to a child’s self-esteem. It breaks my heart when kids are ostracized by other kids — there is NEVER a good reason for bullying.

    I was bullied around the age of thirteen. In eighth grade, my friend’s then-boyfriend decided he found me cute (I had no idea this was the case until much later), and my friend and some of our mutual friends began calling me really horrible names and spreading rumors about me. It truly stung, and made me feel like I’d done something wrong when in fact I hadn’t. It really damaged my self-esteem for quite some time, although I did realize something important: a true friend will never make you feel like you’re “less-than.” I’ve carried this notion to heart for a long time now, and a result have truly wonderful friends who mean the world to me.

  36. Thankfully I did not have the bully experience in middle school or high school. I hear so many stories about people having horrible experiences in high school and it makes me so sad. I bet those girls who were so mean to you regret it now. 🙂

  37. I still struggle with my self-esteem and it takes a lot for me to “believe” that someone is truly my friend.
    I could have written this, I was not in the “in” crowd in school and still struggle what people think about me, do I talk to much, not listen enough, etc.

  38. Was bullied in highschool and went through many group of friends til I found a solid group my junior year but they were all seniors. I was named a slut, hippie, just to name a few. I also got in a physical fight with a girl. I hated highschool and still struggle with insecurities from it. Some of my friends now are questionable about if they are fake or not. I have 2 very close friends that I care talk to about anything, the others are just there when we all go out, but I wouldn’t trust them with anything personal. Would love to have more girlfriends but I guess I just have my guard up when it comes to letting other in because of my past experiences with friends……..

  39. Tina- this is a great post. I am glad we are both addressing this important issue on our blogs. It seems like we have had a very similiar experinces with this. It still effects me but not as much as it used to. Look how fabulious we turned out!!! 🙂

    PS I am a friend who always thinks you are cool!

  40. I feel ya on the bullying. I still haven’t bounced back compeltely from adolescence…

    Glad you found a solid group of friends!

    Ah! Another picture where Kath is wearing a shirt that I own. She and I have spent too much time at Old Navy in the past, apparently! 😉

  41. I saw that Ellen clip, and it’s pretty heartbreaking. I don’t remember being bullied ever, but that was mostly because I went to very good schools. All this talk of bullying and suicide makes me scared for the world my cousins are growing up in 🙁 I guess all I can do is let them know I’m here for them as they grow up(though really I hope they never grow up so I can play legos with them forever)

  42. I was bullied a lot as a child. I moved a lot with my family for my dad’s work and I was different than most kids. The rumours were horrible and painful. I still have a hard time believing people are really my friend even today.

  43. I was bullied horribly from the age of 8 to 14 when I changed schools and my life changed too.

    I don’t know what can be done as a lot of bullies are victims of bullying or abuse at home. It’s an awful cycle. I hope that campaigns such as this at least help kids come forward and be brave and let people know what’s going on. I was lucky to be able to confide in my mum but not everyone can.

    To this day I still have issues with trusting people.

  44. Tina – this post really spoke to me. I too was bullied and “dumped” in middle school and I can still see the effects now. I also have trouble trusting that people will stick around when I am “uncool” as you said. The funny part is, I later became quite good friends with the girls who had dumped me – once I was able to stop feeling victimized. I think it would be great if schools had a better support system for the students that felt alone, but often times it’s difficult to suss out.

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