I raced my first tri of the season this past weekend, and it was fantastic. The weather was perfect (overcast), I enjoyed every minute, pushed myself to a level that still felt comfortable, and placed in my age group – a first for me! But today, I’m kind of pissed off.
I’d been doubting how prepared I was for this race because:
-I’ve only been working out about 4 times a week.
-I’m about 10 lbs over what I consider my “race weight.”
-I’ve been really down on myself about the way my body looks right now.
You see, I turned thirty a few weeks ago – which was a blast, and believe me I’m NOT worried about being thirty – but there were photos taken of me in a bathing suit and I was horrified.
Here’s a sample of the offending photos (full disclosure – this sh*t is not touched up):
On the left – my not so chiseled abs. These ones made me cringe a little.
On the right – my big bootie/thunder thigh connection in the full throes of the competing forces of gravity, momentum and muscle flex. I saw this pic, and felt absolutely mortified.
How f*cked up is that?
I have a body. It has fat on it. It also has muscle and skin and hair and is shaped differently from your body, or her body, or my friends’ bodies. Why do I feel badly about that?
Sometimes it’s a little heavier, sometimes it’s lighter. Sometimes it retains water because I’m having a good time celebrating. Sometimes it looks really svelte because I’m only putting great things in it. Sometimes it looks really svelte because I’m stressed and don’t feel like eating. One isn’t better than the other, it’s just the reality of living my life.
I’m a real person, living a really spectacular life. That means I’m not going to look like something in a magazine every time I take a picture.
So yeah, I’m pretty pissed that I KNOW all this – I know I’m strong and healthy and frankly, kind of a badass – and I still see a picture like this and feel bad.
This is my stand. I’m so happy to see so many body positive messages and more body diversity in the media. It’s awesome. I genuinely hope that all the young women growing up today feel like their bodies are beautiful.
But this is for all the ladies in my generation. I know we all grew up feeling like we should be as waif-ish as Kate Moss. I know we all know better. I know we all still feel the pressure in spite of everything. We hit a tough time. We were raised in a world with increasing quantities of processed foods, a huge jump in rates of obesity and type II diabetes, yet the media presented us with an ideal that was desperately thin. I know my body’s never going to look like that of a 90s supermodel, but there is a part of me – however tiny – that will always wish that it did. I’m not proud of that, but it’s ok.
My imperfect body – second thigh/butt and all – is f*cking awesome. Yours is too. Whether you’re built like Kate Moss or Rosie O’Donnell, your body is awesome. Take care of it and try to love it as it is. I will too! Let’s be real – we’re worth a lot more than what we look like anyhow.
And oh yeah, here’s my big butt bringing home a third place finish.