Posts tagged body image
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)
My boy is growing up. He tried out for flag football today and from the looks of it, he did pretty well. He was Fast! I really think it’s been the CrossFit Kids he has done that has helped me tremendously!
The gym is closed today for training and I am sort of glad. I pulled something in my upper shoulder/neck area and it is tight and uncomfortable. Every time I lift something over my head (yesterday’s push press for instance) it sets it out of whack. It’s like I have a twisted muscle or nerve that gets aggravated.
I’m going to get a massage very soon to see if that can get the kink of out of it. We shall see….
Hope all of you out there are enjoying the weekend. The weather in the DC area is incredible! And I got a babysitter for tonite, so I am going out with the Silver Fox! Here’s to a great time had by all.
Here’s a few articles I have read lately that may be of interest to you all –
No shit about this one. Exercise IMPROVES Life, Period. End of story.
Studies found that exercise may have beneﬁcial effects in health-related quality of life, including physical functioning, role function, social functioning, and fatigue.
I’m doing my detox starting two days ago,so I have been reading about others experiences to help inspire me! PaleoOMG is always a great place to start! I gotta tell you though, today my stomach was not kind to me. I am not sure if it’s my body saying get this shit out of me –but it sure has! Sorry if that is TMI — i guess I can look at it like a good thing!
And finally this is a GREAT Post that couldn’t have come at a better time:
When were we taught to compare ourselves to others? When were we taught that what someone else did was better than what we did? Did it start in grade school when we got picked last for the kickball team? Or maybe in high school when our classmate Jessica did something right while we were scolded for doing the opposite? Or was it when we got older and our best friend lifted more than we did at the gym?
Whatever the situation may be, we compare ourselves. We compare ourselves to friends, classmates, coworkers, and even our significant others. We worry about what others are accomplishing and dwell on what we have not. And while worrying, we forget our own accomplishments. We forget our goals. And we forget how far we have come.
I watch people compare themselves every day in the gym. I watch them stare at another person’s barbell while they load their own. I watch them worry about beating another person’s time so much they completely throw form out the door. And I watch others sink into frustration and sadness when they don’t beat their friend’s score. But what is that accomplishing? How are we improving ourselves if the only thing we are doing is steering off our own course and trying to follow the path of another?
I have a lot on my mind — so much so that I woke up with a headache. A lot of what’s on my mind is causing me a lot of grief. First off — I went to my doctor yesterday and accidentally saw the number on the scale. Whenever I get weighed, I make a request to not know the number. It causes me a lot of unnecessary drama and sure enough — it did its thing.
I am not going to share the number but I will say that its 10# higher than it has been in a few years. And I know I am the first one to tell everyone around me that the number on the scale doesn’t indicate whether you are fit. And I know I need to walk the walk – talk the talk. But I, like the countless other women out there, fall prey to it from time to time. If I am having a weak moment or a particularly stressful week — and then something else piles on it. Well my focus becomes unsteady.
Seeing that number brought me to tears. I will be honest –have I been completely focused on my overall nutrition? NO but I haven’t been completely out of whack. I swear and it is frustrating that the weight creeps back on. Could it be muscle? Yes it could but not to this extent – I have noticed a bit more around my mid section and that my once loose pants are no longer loose. I can get in them –but they aren’t fitting the way they used to. It’s time to be honest and figure out WTF is going on inside my head. Because if you think about it–that’s where the issues begin.
I have noticed an overall decrease in some of my progress at CrossFit too. Have I gotten stronger? Yes. Heck I am doing 6 dead hang pull ups! So I am strong and fit — but am I completely well? No. Here are some things I am going to focus on and improve in the next thirty days:
1. Stick to the Nutrition Plan
2. Practice at least 5 m of Mindful Meditation 2x a week
3. De-clutter 2 rooms in my house: the mud room and bedroom
4. Go do something that I find super fun
5. Go Get a Massage
6. Deliberate Focus on Positive Internal Messages
You can join me and create your own list! Don’t make it HUGE and unattainable. You will just be setting yourself up for failure! Use the KISS principle!
My doctor was not concerned with my weight. He showed me my blood work results from last year and the HUGE improvements I made when I first went gung ho Paleo. He showed me the HUGE decrease in risk factors that the results showed by doing what I am already doing. He also told me once again that there are some factors that I just can’t change. Genetics play a big part. I am not built to be small and skinny.
And all of this I know — but there are times when I am weak and susceptible to esteem issues and need the people around me to just give me a hug.
The question is – When will I be good enough? Only I have the answer.