Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Honor of "The post I hate to write"

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!


  1. I just re-read your profile, friend. BADWATER? GREAT WALL OF CHINA? Shut the front door! YOU ARE AMAZING FOR EVEN ASPIRING TO DO THAT! Okay, now that I got that out of the way...

    This post is beautiful. Thank you for sharing and for writing it in honor of ME. I don't deserve that, I don't think!

    You are a beautiful woman, truly. I was looking at your picture and you look just like I think a runner should look like! Your blog is inspirational and unique and it is a privilege to not only know you here, but to know I can find you in "real life."

    The Last Chance incident sounds completely like something that would have happened to me!!!! And here, all this time, I was thinking I was the only one who felt like that. I am sorry you did not run the race, but I know exactly why you didn't too! It pains me to know that you (or me or anyone for that matter) would feel so horrible about themselves that that is the result. You are a beautiful woman and RUNNER - never doubt that again. If you ever feel like that again, call me, I'm coming to get you! ;)

    You hit the nail on the head when you said, "In a society where conformity is valued and diveristy is demonized it's easy to fall prey to self-loathing." I totally believe as young women we are taught by tv, magazines, movies, dolls, etc. how we SHOULD look! Some of us can handle that and know it is unhealthy while others, like myself, take it to heart and beat ourselves up for years.

    Never ever doubt yourself my friend (I know, easier said than done!!), but just know, when you do feel bad - there is a "real-life" someone who cares about you, admires you and loves you just the way YOU are. :) And I mean that, with all of my heart.

  2. (oops, I didn't mean to write another blog post on your blog post - sorry!!!!)


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