Kim, one of my fellow Team Can Am Members wrote up a post that was inspired by a tweet by Stephanie about what runners bodies look like…which all stems from this raw and rather relatable (to me) post made by Sarah at RunFarGirl.
Ugh…First off….I just want to hug all of you and let you know that you are awesome….and maybe share a few glasses of vino…and probably go for a run together because well, we all run and it seems like the thing to do!
Second, I am so tired of women wasting time on feeling this negativity, competition, judgement and shame that a lot of us feel about our bodies…and the fact that it comes not only from in our own heads, but external sources too. It effing sucks. I’ve had amazing days and memories ruined by a few body shame comments…(like the pic at right…a glorious PR finishing photo if I have ever seen one but someone body snarked me in it and I have struggled to look it with the same joy as I did pre-snark) and try as I might, I can’t seem to quite shake them. This sort of thing always reminds me of the hip “song” around the year I graduated from high school that Baz Luhrmann released…
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how – Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen) Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Third, the truly sad thing is that I don’t think that there will be any end to this. Thanks to the interwebs and airbrushing and increasingly narrow beauty ideal that continues in spite of all the activities done to prevent it…..well, it’s not looking good.
I’ve been there and I struggle with it. I don’t think it will ever go away…but I am happy to say that the massive hate is fading and a whole lot and it’s being replaced with compassion and appreciation…and if I can offer up any advice to help anyone out..this is it….it’s called my FUCK EM Plan:
- FORGIVE yourself. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and the negative things you’ve said to yourself. Forgive yourself for the future mistakes…because we know they are going to happen. Make the decision that you are going to do your best to be better than you were yesterday.
- UNDERSTAND that feeling crappy about your body won’t disappear in a day…but over time, with practice, if you feel those feels and then treat them with compassion and kindness, your body love muscle will get stronger and you will become more resilient.
- CELEBRATE what you can do. Can you run a 10K without stopping? Can you make an amazing cake? Do you help care for loved ones and make them feel special? Take stock all of these things especially since these things are what makes you awesome. Oh and try to celebrate with your friends family…because really they are your cheerleaders and the ones who can pick ya up if you happen to fall.
- KICK some ass. Set yourself some achievable goals. These don’t have to be big ones like running a triathlon. You goal could be can be walking during your lunch break or learning to bake some lemon cupcakes. There is nothing better, in my opinion, to achieve a goal.
- EMBRACE the fact that there will always be someone better, faster, fitter or whatever-er than you…instead of competing with that never ending noise, work to make yourself better…in whatever way you see fit.
- MAKE yourself feel good in ways that don’t make you feel bad. Essentially I mean you gotta take care of yourself a bit…Use the special occasion plates and glasses when you eat dinner tonight. Watch your favourite guilty pleasure TV show. Read cookbooks to find a fun dinner to cook for yourself. Go for a leisurely walk among the flowers in a park. Do your nails…whatever it is…do it…and do it as often as you can.
Actively engaging in these activities and it really helped me flip my views of my body around and it’s made me a far happier person because I’m simply not at war with myself anymore…and that is a flipping great feeling.