Posts tagged body image
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!
Yesterday’s workout wiped me out –so today’s workout and the fact that I got a PR (personal record) was a welcome surprise! Even if it was just by 5#, I will gladly take it. And in the end, it’s about personal progress. I am fine at this stage with small gains – it means I am still getting better, stronger, and challenged.
Now if I could just get my snacking under control. For some reason, the more ladies I talk to recently, the more we all are in the same boat. We have been eating like shit. Maybe it’s the storm before the calm –winter is ending, spring is starting to spring. Although we are due for a supposed large snow storm tomorrow. Winter wants to just make sure we don’t forget it.
Yesterday, a CrossFit athlete posted on her Facebook wall about not knowing how Paleo people do it –and then how Girl Scout cookies “got her” – for some reason this irked me more than usual. So I mentioned it to her this morning in a You are not ready for Paleo way. I didn’t mean it to come across snotty but I was really annoyed –and I realized what it was. It was her not taking responsibility for her decisions and actions and blaming the food or the eating approach. It’s not Paleo, Weight Watchers, cookies, ice cream, lack of exercise that’s to blame. It’s you. Period. Own it, Accept it. Change it or not –but accept that you are the one in charge of whatever decision you make. Girl Scout cookies don’t call out to you – you have a moment when you make a choice to eat them or not. Many of us don’t even stop and acknowledge that moment though. We are so used to just eating crap without thinking about it at all.
So, now that I got that off my chest – I will let it go. After all, she’s in charge of her own life and decisions.
I want to talk about this picture for a hot second. When I saw this pic — the first thought that came into my head holy shit, look how fat I look. No lie — and then holy shit, look at my Lats. Could I look more mannish? I didn’t consider that maybe I look strong as hell and muscular until I caught myself in the middle of having those negative thoughts. I deliberately stopped myself and said — Yeah hell look at those LATS — and I can do pull ups and I am strong as shit.
Do I look like a waify, model thin? No –and there is no way I will ever look like that. Plain and simple. My body is not built to be small and willowy. I have two choices with how I am built –fat and out of shape, or toned and strong. My arms are not going to shrink — with muscle or with fat.
I joked with Coach Conan to lay off the Lat work and he said –can’t help how you are built. I hope that by seeing pics like this, it doesn’t deter women away from strength training. How your body responds to it is a direct result of your body type and shape. I seem to have a body shape that is more geared toward strength work –broad shoulders and back and it’s something I have to learn to embrace and accept. I can’t change it — and have to decide to be my own biggest fan –and a champion for having some serious Butterfly Wings.
And of course in light of all the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy – how big my Lats are is a really small non-issue and we need to grasp perspective. People are recovering from the storm –and seeing the damage done to their lives. For most, it is just physical stuff and all of that is not really important when it could have been their lives –but it still is tough to grasp that when you are seeing your life unraveled within a matter of hours from Mother Nature. My thoughts are with them as they seek to re-assemble their lives.
box back squats 125#
tabata shoot throughs
Love this article I came across – it says all the things I talk about all the time and try to believe all the time.
This is a lesson that applies outside of the dance world. To a look at a woman like Rebel Wilson, you’d never know she’s a rising Hollywood star. We have a very fixed idea of what “rising Hollywood star” looks like, and it’s not a fat bleached blonde Aussie. Or what about Sarah Robles, the American Olympic weightlifter who made headlines when she revealed that, due to lack of support and sponsorships, she sometimes couldn’t afford the petrol she needed to drive to training? She doesn’t look like an Olympian, and if you passed her on the street, you’d probably think that she hasn’t exercised in years. You wouldn’t suspect that she’s an elite athlete capable of hoisting 145 kilos above her head and holding it there. We think of these jobs – starlet, athletic powerhouse – as requiring certain body types, but we’re wrong.
Of course, Robles would have a hard time doing gymnastics, and Gabby Douglas would struggle to clean and jerk a hundred kilos. Certain body types are better suited to certain pursuits. But the fact remains, you can’t know just by looking at a woman what she’s capable of doing.
We live in a culture where body size and shape are considered indications not just of what a person can do, but what he or she is worth. We see a slender woman and see discipline and fitness. We see a fat woman and see greed and illness. It’s a snap judgment we make, one we rarely stop to evaluate. It’s also often wrong.
It’s true that a person’s body is a canvas on which their life story can be written: scars, freckles, stretch marks, tattoos. You can look at a man with a buzz cut and an amputated leg and presume that he is a returned serviceman. You can look at a woman, see that one shoulder is bulkier than the other, and conclude that she is a rower. And you might be right. You can look at a person and assume that they have no disability, and be wrong.
Encouraging Young Girls to Be Themselves and that It’s OK
If you don’t already know this by reading my blog regularly, I love my kids. They bring me such joy and clear perspective on all things in life and for the most part, they just think I’m the cat’s meow. I am preparing myself for this not to be the case as they get older, but for now – I am enjoying being one of their favorite people in life.
My girl HB is running for Treasurer of her Elementary school and the recording of her speech is today. She never ceases to amaze me – she created her poster and her speech is really good. It’s well organized, has her quirky sense of humor in it and she has practiced it with the vigor of a young tiger. While I was listening to practice her speech last night I wondered if in a few short years (maybe sooner than that) will she fall victim to the insecurities and doubts that seem to creep into young girls’ minds as they start to hit puberty and go from girl to young woman? And what can I do to minimize the effects of media and public stereotypes as her mom — and as a woman who did and still does live under the influence of ideal standards of beauty to some extent.
I read a lot about how women are portrayed and socialized in our society to believe in the myth of beauty and to put so much value in how they look. One non-profit that is doing good work trying to help shed light on how it all happens is Miss Representation.org.
Miss Representation.org is a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting labels in order to realize their potential and transform our culture for the betterment of all.
Given the advent of the 24-7 news cycle and the proliferation of infotainment and reality TV, media has become the predominant communicator of cultural values and gender norms, telling us all who we can and cannot be.
We believe that one ordinary individual, united with others around a common, meaningful goal, can spark millions of small actions that ultimately lead to a cross generational revolution to eradicate gender stereotypes and create lasting cultural and sociological change that will benefit not only women, but the world at large.
I want my daughter to believe in her intelligence, her personality, and that treating others kindly and with good intentions will ultimately be her worth and that by caring about her overall health – she is beautiful.
I believe it’s my job as her Mom and primary role model to walk the walk – talk the talk! It’s hard to change filters but it’s something that I am working hard to do because it is so vitally important and influential on both of my kiddos.
On her way out the door this morning, she asked “Mom, should I wear my glasses during the speech?“. I said – Does Hannah wear glasses? She said “Yep“. I said — then wear them! I love that girl —
Workout today was a two parter –the weather here in Northern VA is so odd. It was 60′ at 6A and it’s supposed to get up to 80′ today. Crazy warm weather for Fall. But made for a nice outside warmup and sprint workout!
- shuttle runs
- KB Swing
tabata sprints (sprint 20s/10s rest x 8 rounds)
- 10 KB Swings
- 10 Push Ups
- 10 Sit Ups
The more and more you read about celebs, the more you realize the big facade what we see, read and believe. Here’s another style celeb coming clean on the reality of her own self image issues. See – we really are all the same.
“My whole life I’ve had a love-hate relationship with style, and my body, and myself and self-consciousness,” says London. “And I have not met very many women who haven’t. I see incredibly successful women beating themselves up. There’s something in our culture that allows us to believe we’re never enough. I’m sick of it.” [Washington Post]
My back is smoked from the last two days of workouts. I am seriously walking around like someone who needs a walker. I didn’t hurt it per se –i just used it and worked on the muscles so it’s tight and sore! Livin’ Fit and Hobblin’ is my new mantra today! Everyday I’m hobbling!
Needless to say – I took a rest day and am stretching as much as I can.
I don’t know if you can see this but if you enlarge it — notice how excited this person was at the great deals she was able to get using coupons! Then notice the crap food she bought — mostly processed food which almost every ‘expert’ – no matter what doctor or diet you are on – tells you to stay away from. Its a great example of what’s wrong with people and why people are so overweight and unhealthy!
There is nothing wrong with this person – she is doing what she knows and most of the country knows this same information of what to eat. It’s BAD information!
And one of my friends posted this the other morning as she waited for her flight — her caption is dead on.
There is a real problem with our society and their habits. We all know habits are tough to change but this one affects us all! Healthcare costs, family member health, cancer, creating memories with the people we love! All of these are affected by people’s health habits. Think about it —
So –when you workout and live this healthy life, are you doing it for overall health and wellness or are you doing it to look good? Be honest with yourself. I came across this postthis morning entitled: Forget how you look. What can you DO?
Remember how I wrote about the themes we worked on with Tony Blauer? One of those themes was You Are Who You Are. You arent going to wake up with a super fit, elite athlete’s body. It takes work, focus and some genetics, if we are being honest. I love this part of the article where the author really looks at WHY she is doing all of this crazy CrossFit stuff —
“I think people are really interested in how we get to the way we look. They want to look like we do. Like, ‘How do you get that way? That’s amazing!’ Well, we CrossFit.”
Exercise isn’t about vanity for me anymore. It’s quite simply about what I can push myself to do.
I no longer worry about the fact that I don’t have six-pack abs. I worry about building enough core strength and stability that I can hold a heavy barbell steady overhead while squatting to full depth over and over (still a work in progress!)
I no longer worry about sculpting my weirdly shaped butt or whittling down my hips and thighs. I worry about adding pounds to my max deadlift and backsquat, which will require not only building strength but also improving form and chipping away at self-doubt and other negative thinking patterns.
I no longer worry about maintaining a 100 percent perfect Paleo diet so I can stay at a certain weight or fit into a certain size of clothing. I worry about ingesting things that will upset my sensitive stomach and thus hinder my half-marathon training or my morning WOD.
My main concern is being able to do things that I love to do, because that makes me happy. I might never be asked to model for a fitness magazine, but if the world sees a happy version of me (and trust me, I’m incapable of faking or hiding my true emotions) then I’ve achieved my goal.
When was the last time you thought about one of your goals and the WHY you are doing it? What do you want out of it? Same things should be looked at with your career, your family. What are your reasons to get up day in and day out — is it a grind, is it the joy of your life?
I have been at this fitness thing for over 4+ years now and regularly as you all know struggle with body image issues and what defines success — is it the fact that my doctor said my bloodwork results showed Excellent Status compared to the old me? Is it that I am lean looking? Is it that I can do 6 Dead Hang Pull ups? Is it that it brings me pure joy? My list can go on and on and on but the important thing is that I define what success looks like to me!
Box Back Squats
12×3 Box Back Squats 125#
Tabata Situps (lowest reps 12)