Saturday, September 13, 2014

Body Image

Just a thought -

I love Meghan Trainor's song All About That Bass. But it highlights something that something skinny women aren't allowed to talk about.

I have experienced more body shaming as a size 4 athlete than as a 200+ pound woman. Yes. During 2007 I weighed more than 200 pounds. I had taken pregnancy as an excuse to eat my kitchen. Then go out and eat more. There were other factors contributing, but after the baby came, I discovered that childbirth doesn't come with an immediate 90 pound weight loss.


So I started running again. At first was because I just loved to eat. Then, as the weight started coming off, I found my joints didn't hurt, I wasn't as exhausted all the time, and I didn't avoid the mirror as much.

As a fat woman, I'd gotten called a bowling ball at one point. There were people who didn't recognize me as a super size version of the person I had been and said so. But the insults didn't come that often. The only steady stream of "you might want to consider being a smaller size" came from the media.

By then I got really active and started racing and found my passion. And when I came to the dark side (triathlon) and added cycling and swimming to my regular workout routine, I dropped all the weight I had gained since I had left my teenage years. 

Not everyone was supportive. Even family was "concerned that I was losing too much weight."

I heard things like the comments listed below from everyone - friends and strangers alike.

"You really need to eat a cheeseburger."
"Real women have curves."
"I hate the way athletic women look because their boobs always suffer."
"Are you okay? You've look like you've had cancer."
"You can gain more weight if you put some more protein in your diet."
"You really need to stop worrying about your weight. If you get too skinny, it's unhealthy."

Then social media started in with memes. Some said things like "Bones are for dogs, meat is for men." 

How is this acceptable? If someone fired back with something against heavier woman, someone would have gotten offended, facebook would have removed the photo and possibly banned the person who posted it. 


First of all, my body is NONE OF ANYONE'S BUSINESS except mine and my husband's. And he has loved me at all my different weights and compositions.

Second, a good, positive, self body image is not dependent on putting anyone else down.

Third - the second a "skinny bitch" does say something about the body shaming she receives, someone tells her to eat more and gain a few pounds. That others are just jealous. So that makes all the snide comments about not being a "real woman" okay.  The message we're sending is that it's okay to target thin women for cruelty and body shaming while society and social media fights to protect women who aren't thin.

Here's the deal: we don't know each other's stories. We don't know their defeats or their victories.

So do what my mama said "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

 Besides - the things you say to others say more about you than it does them.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Triathlete Candy Hearts

I came across this in my daughter's leftover candy hearts from valentine's, and had a good laugh.  What would your favorite candy heart say?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Playlist Thursday

There are two songs on my playlist from Katy Perry that when they come on, I feel inspired all over again.  The first is "Part of Me"

Running is a part of me.  It is healing when I feel broken, inspiring when I need a lift, and time when I need a break.  This song coins those emotions perfectly.

The second is "Roar"

Another song of growth.  Most adult athletes start somewhere they don't want to be.  This song reminds me of how far I've come.

Want to add them to your playlist? Check here: Roar and Part Of Me

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ironman Texas 2014

Now I lay me down to rest
Tomorrow I will try my best
To beat the heat and enjoy the race
And to set down a smoking pace
And if I die before I wake
That's one less gel I'll have to take.

Good luck to all the amazing athletes tackling Ironman Texas tomorrow!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

One day at a time

Last year was a pretty rough year.  It was amazing, inspiring, filled with people who were supportive and fun and encouraging.

But it was rough.

I got sick three separate times within two weeks before races.  In April, I broke a finger, which got me stuck on the trainer for five weeks...  During the build for Ironman Texas.   After five hours on a trainer,  I wanted to chuck it out the window.  After Ironman Texas,  I wound up with an abcess in my armpit. I had hit my race weight in March, but was unable to stop losing weight.   In November I had a medical issue that keep me from the sport for six weeks.  

Which means I've been back at it now for just a few weeks.

Oh my.  The last few weeks have been more demoralizing than anything ever in my athletic career.  My running speed has fallen so much I can't even begin to approach what I was doing in October.   My weight has climbed,  and as a former fat girl,  the terror and depression that this invites is horrifying. It was only in the last few days that I found some groove in the water again. After that swim,  I was so exhausted that I pushed back a long run so I could get a rest day.

So why am I posting this?  I've spent the last year focusing on the positive in my life and refusing to dwell on how hard things get sometimes. So if the positive is the only thing that I try to give focus in my life,  why am I even putting this in writing?
Because I've learned that this kind of thing happens to everyone.  Statistics indicate that roughly 10% of athletes are injured in any one year.

I'm kind of hoping that someone will read this and know that he/she isn't alone.  I'm hoping that someone will read this and realize that even at rock bottom,  you can choose to only let the positive gain traction in your mind.

As for me,  I'm working hard.   I feel like I've lost a lot,  but I refuse to let it be for long.  I'm going back to dealing with the negative but emphasizing the positive changes and events.  One day at a time,  one workout at a time.  I will not dwell in despair,  but focus on each small accomplishment, one at a time,  until they pave the way to larger goals.