Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Ok, I’ve put this post off long enough! I have to get this off my (small) chest! There is clearly an attitude in our culture that keeps bubbling up to the surface, and I for one am fed up!
It bubbled to the surface as a comment that bounced up on RunnersWorld.com.
A comment about Lauren Fleshman’s runway photo. “She looks like a man” one dude wrote. The beautiful and talented Ms. Fleshman responded with a confident, sincere post…
This dudes’ comment to Lauren dredged up memories of similar experiences that I personally have had… since before I was a runner! I distinctly remember someone saying to me when I was 13 “Are you a boy?!”
It crushed me. I’ve never had a soft face or big boobs. I always hated that.
I hated what I saw in the mirror! Did meeting Jeremiah and falling in love change that? It didn’t.
Do you hear that girls?!!!
Not even your soul mate can make you
like that reflection staring back at you!
Jeremiah may compliment me on my hair, or notice how strong I’m getting, or mention that a certain top looks cute on me. But when he tells me I’m beautiful, he is not referring to any of these physical aspects. So why was I so hung up on them?! I still scoffed at the girl in the mirror, wondering
“Why can’t I look like this girl or that girl?!”
Until I became a runner! I remember training for my first 15k in 2003, pushing my body a little further than I’d ever dreamed I could go, in preparation for racing 9.3 miles. Discovering that I could run that last mile home faster than I’d thought possible!
When I looked in the mirror, I saw a runner. And eventually I looked in the mirror and saw an Ironman finisher!
“Aha, THIS is why my body is the way it is! So it can run!”
It’s not that I looked much different. But my perspective had changed. Instead of a skinny, awkward figure, I saw lean muscles and strong legs in the mirror. But more importantly, I saw a woman who loved the body God gave me for what it can DO and who I can BE!
“Are you a boy?!” I don’t remember how I answered this question 23 years ago. But I have an answer now.
“No, but I can keep up with the boys, so I understand your confusion!”
I no longer asked “Why can’t I look like this girl or that girl?!”
Looks weren’t going to help me cross the Boston Marathon Finish line, or get a PR in the Cape Cod Half Marathon,
or chase any dream for that matter!
Post Cape Cop Half Marathon on October 25th. Ran down that PR… in a sparkly skirt! Because I am a GIRL!
But possessing the faith, perseverance, and courage to build a healthy, stronger version of me would prove to be vital!
Unfortunately I still find those bubbles floating around our culture, engulfing me. I swat them away when I hear them.
Meghan Trainor’s song “All About that Bass” preaches
My mama she told me don’t worry about your size. She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
I don’t care what boys DO or DO NOT like!
No BOY will make you hate your body any less, or love it more girlfriend! Because you will still be tempted to step on that scale and proclaim
“I hate how fat I feel, I’m going on a diet!”
Or maybe you will scrutinize the woman in the mirror, thinking
“I’m so FLAT, I hate my body!”
I’ve been there. On both ends of the spectrum! Wishing I could have a smaller butt and bigger boobs, hating what I’m stuck with.
But that’s the absolute WRONG attitude, I assure you. You have to pop these bubbles before they multiply! So stop this nonsense! Right now!
Please, PLEASE don’t ever go on a diet or workout because you want to LOOK beautiful for someone else!
Instead make lifestyle changes that include healthy eating and working out for the right reasons! Being healthy is more important than looking like a model in a magazine, I promise!
Look in the mirror and declare “I love my body! I am grateful for it! I am God’s creation, and I am unique and beautiful!”
When you act out of gratitude, not judgement, the changes in your diet and your fitness and heart and mind will happen naturally… and they’ll last!
There will never be another you. Embrace that! God made YOU just the way you are for a reason. Now go find out what that reason is!