Posts tagged body image
With summer practically here, I’ve been seeing a lot of stories about body image, exercise, and obesity. Nothing like reading about how fat we all are to get us feeling comfortable to get in a bathing suit, right? Yesterday I came across the story of Taylor Townsend -who was told she was too overweight to be a tennis champ. Ignoring those people, she has now broke a record and is the youngest player to advance to the third round of the French Open since 1993.
“The U.S. Tennis Association attempted to keep her out of competition at the U.S. Open. It was suggested they would not restore their support until the teen, then the top-ranked junior player in the world, lost weight.”
Obesity is a very serious problem and recent reports show that no nation has lowered its obesity rates in 33 years- which is terribly alarming, but fat shaming and making people feel less than valued because of their weight isn’t going to solve any problems. As the picture to the right shows – body types are different for women and we carry weight differently. I wonder what Taylor Townsend’s actual blood work and vital stats look like — I bet she is healthier than the average person and has certainly shown what she can do.
- Health & Fitness: Fitness Crazed
- Health & Fitness: Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie
- Life Lessons: This Photo Shoot Proves All Bodies Are Bikini Bodies
- Food: The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make The Best Egg Salad
- Food: Kid Snacks (and Snacks for Grown-Ups Too)
- CrossFit: CrossFit Bashers, Can You Be More Constructive?
- CrossFit: CrossFit’s Sour Sense of Humor
- Monday: Power Boxing
- Tuesday: Flow Yoga
I read this Facebook status this morning and thought it was perfect to share – the past few days, I have been struggling with being engaged in my workouts – I’m really sore and worn out. I am more than thankful that today is a rest day from Highbar CrossFit. I may even take tomorrow off if I am still sore. Gotta listen to your body and mind first and foremost when gauging my workout schedule.
“Actions speak louder than words. How you approach your workouts says a lot about the person you are. Do you give it your best daily or so you just go in just to say you did it? Or are you the one who is the socialized and not doing work? Think about it.. How you approach work, your workouts, relationships carries over to daily life…”
I am continually appreciative of living in truth and appreciated this post: Keeping It Real. We all need to do more of this honesty thing. No one looks airbrushed and perfect. NO ONE. Good lighting, computer enhancements are all part of the norm in the images we are barraged with day in and out. It’s refreshing when someone goes ahead and shares what their reality really looks like because it looks like everyone elses! Hallelujah!
- Fitness: 6 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CrossFit
- Life Lessons: How to Land Your Kid in Therapy
- Health/Nutrition: This Raw Food Blogger will blow your Junk Food-Loving Mind
- Health/Nutrition: A Big Bet on Gluten Free
- Fitness: The Scapula: How It Can Make or Break You
- Body Image: ‘Photoshopping Real Women Into Cover Models’ Produces Some Unsettling Results
- Body Image: Flub Flub Flub, and other noises I make when I run
Yesterday, I shared On Being a Real CrossFitter on my facebook page and I was surprised to see how many people related. One of my friends even said that she hasn’t yet even bought a CrossFit shirt because she doesn’t feel like a real CrossFitter. It got me thinking about the amount of pressure we put on ourselves to be a certain way before we acknowledge the effort and the progress we are putting in day after day.
Does putting a label on something make it more valid and real? And what exactly does it mean to be a CrossFitter?
Much of the problem in my opinion is because most of the media about CrossFit showcases the Elite athletes – the ones that were athletic during their childhood, into their teens and now do this for a living. They are definitely a part of CrossFit.
But you know who else can be called a CrossFitter?
80+ year old Jean is a CrossFitter, the ladies pictured below are — you get the point. It’s not about whether you can compete at the Elite level — It’s about you, putting in the work and living healthy and fit. No one needs to label it something to make it so. If you love it, and it is helping you progress and move closer towards your goals -whether you lift 33 pounds or 333 pounds- you are a CrossFitter.
Now, go buy that T-shirt, brag to your friends about the WOD for today – don’t let a label define you. Just own it, because if you don’t believe it, how can you expect others to?
Double Under Practice
3×5 Back Squat 170#
I forgot to set my alarm last night, woke up this AM and was thinking – it’s awfully light outside, looked over and saw it was 7A. Well there went my one opportunity to get a workout in today. My friend Britt is moving to North Carolina and tonight is her going away get together. I can’t miss it, so my workout goes out the window. It’s one of the big reasons why I get it done before the busy-ness of the day takes over. It’s rare that the hour of 6A has me so busy, I can’t workout. When you decide to commit to a life of fitness, factors like that need to be considered!
All about how those amazing transformation photos are done –and how someone that is in shape can go in pictures from lumpy to WOW in an hour – with the right lighting, posture, and technique.It’s important to read stuff like this to help bust the image many of us have in our head of what we have to look like based on some ideal. Guess what? That Ideal doesn’t exist past fancy photoshop, lighting and our own imaginations. It’s all about Tricks of the Trade!
My friend Will from CFI came to do a workout with me this morning. It meant so much to me that he took the time to come to hang out with me. I have met the most amazing people through CrossFit. It’s one of the best things about it all — I feel great and get to know amazing, inspiring, fun people. How can that be wrong?
Yesterday, I read a post about body image and the scale. It’s a reoccurring theme in my head and the head of so many others out there. A number on the scale can make or break how we feel about ourselves. It’s sad how much power we give it but yet we can’t help it. I have mentioned before, I have never owned a scale in my adult life. I view them as the enemy and would rather not have something around me that has the ability to make me feel bad about myself. When I go to the doctors, I request they do not tell me my weight. If I happen to see it on the chart, I usually freak out internally. How can I weigh that much?? I must look horrible. And add in any other negative self talk you can imagine.
I think it helps to read about athletes who are similar in their workout approach thinking the same things as ‘normal’ women do –
…one of the biggest things about this transformation, for me and the people around me – both clients and friends – is not so much that working out makes you confident or that training changes your body - it’s that people don’t even know what 135lbs looks like anyway. Since I first got heavily involved in martial arts and CrossFit, any time my weight has come up in conversation, which of course it does in competitive sports, no one has ever believed me. People consistently think I weigh about 10lbs less than I actually do.
Reading this stuff doesn’t make the internal dialogue go away but the more I read it, the more I hang out with people who appreciate strong women and the way they look, the more I will start to be comfortable in my own skin and realize that it really is just a number, not a definition of my worth.
10 push ups
4 Sampson Stretch
4 Instep Lunges
Front Squat 80% of my Back Squat
worked up to 120#
10 DB Power Cleans (20#)
15 DB Push Press (20#)
Sunday morning, as I was doing my regular grocery shopping I saw Camille Leblanc-Bazinet on the cover of Oxygen Magazine in the check out line. I was so proud to see her mainstream. As I was paying for my stuff, I noticed a woman picking it up and showing her husband –I overheard her say Oh, that’s that CrossFit we have heard about. I was smiling -and then I saw her point to Camille’s picture and stick out her tongue and say Yuck. My smile disappeared –
What is it with people — muscles and strength don’t look good on a woman? Come on now — Open your mind and understand that women come in all shapes and sizes and what’s important at the end of the day is that they are being the best they can be –an authentic self.
Funny timing – I came across this post again yesterday:
I love this part:
The chase of some worldly physical ideal will slowly slide down the list of why you will show up to CrossFit everyday and basically torture yourself. You will get totally addicted to the feeling you get when you do things that were simply impossible for you a few months ago. The body you get is nothing more than a by-product. It takes discipline in the kitchen to perform (physically, mentally, and spiritually) your best so keep in mind that you should…
I am on day two of my refocus on nutrition and performance and I am feeling great. Not eating like crap allowed me to sleep great last night, wake up feeling great — have more energy and am in a better mood. Can’t not love that!!
I PR’d again this morning on my bench press — by 20#. Nothing to complain about there. I am really feeling at home at HighBar now, which is a great feeling.
4 sampson stretch
4 instep lunge
Test on Bench Press
1×5 115# (although I tried 125# for 1 and 120# for 3) PR
- Run, 400 m –
- then — 5 rounds:
- 5 Box Jumps
- 10 Kettlebell Sumo
- Deadlift High-pulls,
- 1 pood 15 Push-ups –
- then — Run, 200 m
I come across quite a few posts dealing with body image the past week or so – all trying to combat the myth around the number of the scale dictating how fit you are and how this idea of the perfect body is a myth.
Stop worrying that everyone will think you’re not fit. It’s time to show everyone what real, fit, athletic women look like. We are not the airbrushed “perfection” of fitness magazine myth. We are all different, unique, and we come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. And most of us are probably rocking a few dimples.
More focus on the work, less focus on the noise. More expectations of yourself for greatness.
This weight issue has plagued me my entire life. I have never been ‘small’ and when I do reveal my weight, I constantly hear “you don’t look like you weigh that much”. I will never fit in the BMI scale of numbers –but I can dead lift 250#, back squat 215# and can handle many workouts that others would shy away from. I know I could eat cleaner at times, but I enjoy the occasional treats. I don’t fool myself into thinking that they are healthy and am aware of how I feel after I eat them. Overall – I’m pretty damn fit and healthy.
Every day I work on combating the voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough. I don’t look good enough. Just the other day at the pool, I saw some ladies from the ‘hood I don’t see that often. My mind started worrying about how I looked and whether all the working out matched my outward appearance and would they gossip about me. I actually stopped myself and said –screw it, I workout and am fit and who cares what others think and freed myself from those thoughts. It’s an every day thing though — to be conscious of the voices in your head and learn to focus them on positive things. Things that will bring you closer to the person you want to be.
4 sampson stretch
4 instep lunges
bench press 95#
(we are doing some de-loading in preparation for our final week of this strength program)
2 man makers
4 inverted barbell rows
Last night I was reading It’s Hard Out There For a Fit Chick – about the struggle so many women (fit or not) go through with regards to weight and body image. A few weeks ago, I mentioned how when I look back at pictures from a few years ago, I distinctly remembering how fat I thought I looked and felt at that time but those pictures don’t tell that same story. How we see ourselves usually doesn’t match the reality –which is such a shame. I can’t tell you how many times my internal voice tries to tell me I am not good enough, not lean enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough on a daily basis. It’s an ongoing project to quiet those voices – to not compare my progress and abilities to others and to not wish I looked like someone else.
Last weekend – during the regionals my friend Tiff and were watching the Women’s competitions and we both remarked at how different all the body styles of the women athletes were –all super strong and in shape but all different. Look at the top three: Gretchen Kittleberger, Christy Phillips, and Michelle Crawford. I have written about this before – we all have strengths and weaknesses and just looking at the top three fittest are shaped so differently and yet, all in shape and fit. There is no perfect shape, but there is being the fittest and healthiest you.
And as I said – it’s a constant internal battle for me to learn to accept ME – warts and all. I hope that seeing women that don’t fit the model or media stereotype helps other women out there start to realize that being fit and healthy is what matters at the end of the day. Having your family love you, being around and able to enjoy all the wonderful moments of your life is what it is all about. My hope is that young girls start to see the definition of beauty very differently than I did when I was growing up – being strong, having muscles and being able to deadlift well over your body weight is beyond beautiful. It’s what we all should strive for.
4 Sampson Stretch
4 Instep Lunges
20 min AMRAP
20 Slam Balls
10 Ring Dips
15 Pull Ups
total: 5 rounds
These WODs are tough. I used a skinny band to help me with the Ring Dips, did Kipping Pull ups and a 15# Slam Ball. I should have have used a bit heavier slam ball but overall this one killed me. Cardio/Metcon heavy and for the first three rounds of Pull ups, I thought I was supposed to do 20 reps so there’s that to add some spice. I was spent at the end – it’s hot and muggy and I left a sweat angel in my wake —
I updated a post that I had previously written for the 30 day reset and shared it out today about ditching the scales and focusing on the task at hand –which is health and wellness. We are not defined by a number on the scale and we should not be controlled by it. The real questions to ask are:
- Do you feel better?
- Are you Stronger?
- Do you look better and more fit?
- Are you working towards being the best You?
The only issue with these questions is for so many of us — how do we know if we feel better? We have always felt this way — which is where the nutrition reset comes in. Detox by eating natural, whole foods and then indulge. See how you feel afterwards — I am going to guess that if you ate crap food, you feel like crap.
A number on the scale doesn’t begin to tell the story. My friend Kathy B. pointed out to me this morning:
That during CrossFit Open WOD 13.5 Camille Leblanc-Bazinet is 5’2″ & weights 130#. Her competitor Sam Briggs is 5’7″ & weights 132#.
If we went by weight alone — we would be like
“Oh that Camille weighs so much, she should be worried. She needs to drop some poundage.” Um have you seen her?
I think you get the point. There are so many factors at play when it comes to your weight. Yes, a lot of folks out there need to trim down and lose weight. No argument there. But for the ladies who are struggling with the numbers on the scale to the point that it’s causing mental harm — remember, your weight doesn’t tell even half the story. Focus on what’s important. We are re-defining beauty standards. We are re-defining health and wellness in our lives. It doesn’t happen overnight but it takes practice just like CrossFit. Neurological connections need to be restrung so that we can see ourselves the way we are meant to be!
turkish get ups
- 7 Deadlifts (body weight)
- 7 Burpees
- 7 Pull Ups
Not performing at my usual — not sure if it’s allergies, antibiotics or CrossFit Endurance classes in the evenings but I have decided to take this time to focus on form. Not rush through, trying to beat the clock. Gotta make lemonade out of lemons!
One of my favorite quotes is by C.S.Lewis: “We read to know we are not alone.”
I think that’s one of the reasons I blog and read other blogs. There is something soothing about reading and learning about other people and what they go through and relate it to your own life. It helps you realize you aren’t odd, those thoughts do not make you psychotic, and you aren’t crazy.
Yesterday, I read a friend’s words:
3 Words “Three words. That was all it took to catapult me from a confident girl to a self-conscious teen. The timing couldn’t have been worse, nor could the messenger.”
And what struck me was I have the same sort of experience –I remember two moments in particular growing up that have stuck with me until this day. Moments that made me painfully aware that I was not ideal height, weight or look. Moments that filtered how I saw myself throughout my adulthood — as not attractive, clunky, and fat.
The first one was in middle school. Remember it was the 80′s. I was wearing these vertical striped skinny jean/jeggings and this boy yelled down the hall about how I shouldn’t wear them –because I was fat and no one wanted to be subjected to that. I never thought of myself as chunky or fat until that moment — I remember what a shock it was to hear.
Then, my dad – he has always had this vision of how he thought women should look. Thin and well dressed. I was definitely in my awkward stage – probably 12 or 13 years old. My parents were divorced so I didn’t see my dad that often, so I am sure any sort of change in my appearance was noted as is what happens normally when you don’t see someone often.
We were in his backyard in Ohio –and he said ” If you would lose weight, you would be so pretty.” Ouch. I still battle with that sentiment personally all the time. Equating me being overweight with me being unattractive.
There is no anger towards him for his words. He didn’t mean them to bite and had no idea how hard the sting would be. Sometimes we as parents forget how much power we have over how our children will see the world as adults. I always joke that I am sure I will be messing up my kiddos’ lives in one way or another. No one has a road map or directions– it goes with the territory of being a parent but I am trying my hardest to not fill their minds with irrational body image issues that they will have to fight throughout their adulthood.
Do you remember when you ‘changed’ from confident girl to becoming painfully aware of your body image and became self-conscious?
I want to thank Koren so much for writing that. I have thought a lot about those two particular moments throughout the years, never realizing that other women out there have the same sort of moments that follow them as well. It helps just knowing you aren’t alone!