So this past weekend, I attended the Iowa High School State Track Meet. While I was there, we sat on the south end of the stadium by the high jump area. I saw a lot of high school girls high jump and caught the girls 4 x 200 relay as well. And here’s something I noticed during my 2 hours there- all of these girls had different body types. Sure, some were long legged and looked like a typical runner. But some girls were shorter, some were muscular and some weren’t. And you know what’s cool? They all put in the work to qualify for the state track meet. They were all out there in the hot sun, wearing form fitting clothes, laughing and smiling and competing. I saw them console a girl who disqualified her team after a false start or jump up and down and hug someone who won the state championship. I bet none of them were worried about how they looked at that moment. At least, I hope not.
Then, when I was leaving, I saw something that broke my heart. This super cute blonde athlete was standing next to a boy who I can only assume was her boyfriend. She had her hair in a ponytail and he reached over, took her pony tail out and said, ” You should wear your hair down. You know I like it down better.” She looked down and looked ashamed. I wanted to turn around and say, ” Hey girl, it’s nearly 90 damn degrees out and you’re obviously running. Put your hair back in the pony tail. Then get rid of your loser boyfriend. He’s an asshole.” I’m still kicking myself for not saying something.
My point of this blog is that people have enough issues with their body image without someone else bringing you down. I know I have. I had an old boyfriend tell me the area around my Achilles tendon was too big. I was self conscious about it years. When I was younger, I was embarrassed because my thighs were bigger than the other girls. Guess what? They still are. I was recently in a workout accountability group and we all had to do our measurements. My thighs are 25 inches around at their biggest point. Ladies, that’s NOT a small thigh. And guess what else? I’m finally comfortable with it. I have bigger legs. Let’s call them powerful. That sounds better than big. I’ve been a variety of sizes in my adult life. Do I wish I could still slide into my size 3 jeans? Yeah, somedays I do. Do I wish I was 25 pounds thinner like when I got married? Yeah, that would be nice. But back then, I wasn’t eating the healthiest. I thought I was. Now I realize eating 1100 calories a day and snacking on reduced fat Wheat Thins isn’t enough fuel for my body. I was 122 pounds and I was hungry and I was constantly stressed about how much I’d eaten that day.
(From left to right: Me in 2009 at my thinnest. In 2004 when I was 23 and eating junk. At my heaviest (probably). In 2014, age 33, and eating healthy and working out. Probably about 10 lbs thinner than I am now.)
These days I weigh about 146 pounds and I’m still hungry all the time because I love food. And yes, I said my weight out loud. Women aren’t supposed to admit what they weigh. Shameful. However, today I look at food as fuel and not a transaction. For example, if I ate too much, I’d workout extra to burn it off. Now I eat what I want, mostly real foods, and have treats when I feel like it. I still workout 5-6 times per week because it makes me feel good. I do strength training now because I love it. About a year ago, I realized now matter what I did, I would never be skinny like I used to be. So I started lifting weights to firm myself up. Then my back got broader and my shirts started to not fit. And my legs got even bigger and my pants didn’t fit. So I bought clothes that fit. Our bodies change. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that sucks.
(The pic below is of my husband and I in Florida a few months ago. 2 years ago, I’d have NEVER posted this photo because I’d have been worried about how my thighs looked or because I had no makeup on)
Through a lot of trial and error, I know I feel best when I eat healthy foods and not junk. I eat a big breakfast every morning. Usually something like 2 eggs, half an avocado, some potatoes and some veggie. At lunch I usually eat some sort of meat, potatoes, and veggies. Or a big salad. And I don’t consider it a salad unless it has some sort of meat and/or bacon on it. Supper is usually meat and veggies and maybe some potatoes. Do I eat treats? Yes, but I’m fairly selective. For example, if I want a chocolate chip cookie, I don’t want a packaged cardboard tasting cookie. I want a homemade chocolate chip cookie. Cheap tortilla chips and canned salsa? No way. Great tortilla chips with fresh salsa at a Mexican restaurant. Yes please!! I’m also kind of weird as I don’t have a huge sweet tooth. Donuts do nothing for me. I know…it’s all very strange!
Ok, so my whole point is this blog is supposed to be about body image and doing what works for you. And that’s what you should do. Figure out what works for you and do it. If you can stay fit and healthy and eat cookies every day, do it. If you feel best eating no carbs at all, do that. If you want to be a vegetarian, do that. And while you’re at it, stop comparing yourself to others. That’s easier said than done. I know because I’m a human so I do it all the time. I’m not perfect and I’ll never pretend to be. Some days I wish I was naturally tiny. Or had long legs. Or a smaller butt so I could find jeans that fit. Although I guess it’s cool to have a big butt thanks to the Kardashians. Unfortunately, I don’t have a stylist to find me clothes that fit so I’m on my own. I found myself rolling my eyes at some model who posted about not being able to find shorts that fit. She was thin with a thigh gap. I’m wondering how she couldn’t find shorts to fit, but whatever. Everyone has their issues.
And while we’re on this topic, I think anything you do to feel better about yourself is acceptable. For me, that’s working out and putting on my makeup in the morning. For some people, it’s a bubble bath or a massage. For some others, it’s Botox or plastic surgery. No judgement here, I’d do it if I had the money. If you feel more confident after a boob job, you go girl! If you have an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks, wear it. Do what makes YOU happy and what makes YOU feel good about yourself. If you don’t like something and you want to change it, do that. There is nothing wrong with doing something to boost your self confidence. Unlike skinny jeans, self confidence will never go out of style.
And that’s how I feel about that.
** There are not links in the profile so it’s pretty obvious I’m not getting compensated. The featured image is not copyrighted.**