So, like many women I guess, I have issues. Issues with my body, that is. Even though I am already strong and fit, I want to be stronger and fitter. Even though I am already mostly satisfied with my appearance, I look around at other women and I compare myself to them, wondering how I measure up. And, as I look at them, I know often they are looking back at me and doing the same thing. It’s like a secret code or handshake or something, and it’s frustrating and exhausting, and still almost irresistible.
The journey to happiness, a healthy state of being, and genuine self-love is a long, hard road for many women, and it’s something our culture doesn’t make easy for us. Standards for both beauty and fitness are tightly bounded–for both women and men.
So, in the spirit of body positivity and self-love, I offer these two articles that I read recently, both of which made me feel really good, and reminded me of the importance of loving the shape you have, and not being distracted by what other people say or think. Our bodies are amazing, and they can do amazing things. And they are amazing whether or not they conform to society’s standards of beauty and health.
This first story is about Mirna Valerio, who is a “fat” [her word] ultra-marathoner–you read that right–and a total bad-ass and also super cheery. She is a 5-foot-7, 250-pound African-American woman who defies every stereotype of what a runner “should” look like, and she has a great time doing it. She’s amazing; read about her here: Fit and Fat
The second story is about running shirtless [running bra only] as a metaphor for shedding others’ expectations and accepting oneself. It’s a great read for the hot days of summer. This one, you can read here: Running Shirtless
As the sign at the top of this post says, there is no wrong way to have a body–and definitely no wrong way to have a body that exercises and rejoices in movement. You’re gorgeous; just get out there!