There is a lovely young woman in my running group (Marathoner in Training) who has a blog I follow called Words to Run By. In a recent blog post she shared about her struggle with self-confidence and her battle with weight loss.
Her words gave me the courage to share my own struggles. Looking at me you see regular girl-but I know EXACTLY how Sara feels. I remember 5th and 6th grade like it was yesterday. All my little friends were tiny sticks and I was starting to hit puberty. Gosh, I think I ate everything in sight and would try and eat two lunches if I could! Of course, as luck would have it-my height has stayed pretty much the same, but I remember going to the doctor and being in 'the triple digits.' It seems so silly now but I think what was more upsetting was the impact it's had on my mind set! Suddenly I was aware of differences (physically) between myself and others. Those differences made me second guess myself and question my own worth.
Most recently I have gained a little weight (THERE I SAID IT) A life of full-time job, plus ABD (doctoral candidate) plus any other work, plus the assumption that somehow I can eat all the same things as my husband. All the running in the world is not going to keep the weight off if I keep eating fast food, junk food and sitting like a desk jockey all day!.
I know this and I am working on it, but it all came to a head last weekend. I was signed up for Last Chance for Boston Half marathon and was really dreading it. The added weight has slowed me down some and I feel awkward. So...I haven't really been running as much lately. Plus I am self-concious in my running gear. When I woke up that morning I had a HUGE panic attack!!!
I felt sick, I was nervous....all I could think of was- NO WAY! I am NOT going out there, in public. So- I laid down and fell back asleep. Later that morning when I woke up, my husband and I were going to go to breakfast, he voices his concerns. The look on his face made me burst into tears. Poor DH was horrified.
Was it a little irrational? Probably, but gosh I just felt so-low. And I didn't want to run, I didn't want to go out- NOTHING!
DH and I started lifting weights again and slowly it's helping me get my confidence back. It's something else for me to track- how much can I bench press this week? Plus, I get looks of admiration because other than a couple of fitness diva's I'm usually one of the only chics who regularly hits the free weights. The gents have been giving me space in the weight room :)
It's also helping me a bunch when it comes to building my confidence. Do I have a little extra padding to lose? Yes, I do-but the body is an amazing thing and it will do what you ask of it if you treat it right.
So, slowly I am trying to re-train my brain. I am trying to look at the big picture of life. Change is slow, but slow change is permanent change.
So, yes Sara- I know how you feel. It's a battle everyday. Some days just plain suck. Other times I feel on top of the world. I try to remind myself that this is it. This is the body I was born with, no I really didn't choose it, but I admire it for all the things it's done for me. Other days I hate it!!! In a society where conformity is valued and diveristy is demonized it's easy to fall prey to self-loathing. Don't forget that you are a powerhouse, and the fact that you WANT it and you WORK everyday to do better...well, my friend, the battle is half won :)
See you on the trails!