Posts tagged body image
According to MissRepresentation, 80% of 10-year-old girls say they have been on a diet, and “the number one magic wish for girls 11-17 is to be thinner.” Now, personally, I’m pretty sure I didn’t figure out that I was fat and unlovable until I was around 15. And then I didn’t figure out that all of that was complete bullshit until I was 25. That was ten years of disappointment, dieting, crushing loneliness, and the gloomy certainty that I’d be alone forever (to be fair, it was also fun times, travel, hilarious friends, a great education, gin & tonics, and unfettered focus on making my life awesome). But today’s girls get 15 years of that shit, to my ten—presuming they clamber out of the pit by 25, if they manage to do it at all. NO THANKS. This is clearly an emergency.
I know one of these girls. She lives in my house. My 10-year-old stepdaughter (her dad and I aren’t married, but you know what I mean, Archbishop of Pedantrybury) recently announced that the entire family would be required to “work out” together every morning. She made little workout checklists for herself and her 8-year-old sister, with a specificity that would be hilarious if it wasn’t so troubling (“do 36 push-ups,” “jog for 17 minutes”). I notice her grasping for little excuses not to eat. She casually mentions that certain relatives and classmates have called her fat. She claims she just “likes” turkey bacon better than regular bacon (BLATANT LIE). Even kids (especially kids, maybe) know that the best way to insult a woman is to call her fat. They know that thin > fat, even if they don’t really understand what that means. So her stupid 14-year-old cousin knows that the best way to needle my 10-year-old beanpole stepkid is to call her fat. And he does. Stupid cousin.
Now, this could all be coming from a totally healthy impulse—she’s also terrifically athletic and currently obsessed with martial arts and acquiring a machete (her “Weapons to Get” list is twice as long as the workout list)—but it sure doesn’t feel like that.
Are you a slave to the scale? I will admit that I still fight this part of me. I don’t own a scale, haven’t owned one my entire adult life. Why would I want to spend money to own something and give space to something that has so much control over me that it can make or break my day? No way Jose!
We are all so conditioned to believe that a number on the scale tells us that we are OK, and if we are healthy. A Number! Look around and read my post about Gretchen Kittelberger and how there are so many different body types out there. How can one small range of numbers apply to us all?
The past year I have shared a few of these pictures – pics that tell that story better than I can. Actual athletes who weigh more now than they did when they started. There is no way you can say that they don’t look more fit, healthier and BETTER!!
There you have it. These are just 3 pictures but there are many many more out there! As I find them, you will see there posted here. I do it to help others but it’s a good, needed reminder for me too. It’s about being healthy and fit — not what number you see on the scale.
Today’s workout sucked. Yeah, it really did. And it was humid, so my asthma was bad and today’s workout had running in it. A lot of running — oh the joys.
50 Double Unders
10 wall ball shots
10 push ups
10 walking lunges
10 sit ups
push up progressions
- 400m run
- 10 Thrusters
I decided to not go full on RX today. I have been feeling fatigued this week and Coach Conan’s WOD guidance was to pick a weight that you can go full steam and not have to stop. I chose 50#, however because I couldn’t breathe, I still stopped. I am working on being mentally OK with scaling when I feel it necessary. It’s not a sign of weakness or giving up – it’s assessing where your body is at at that particular moment and adjusting.
And I am so proud of some of the younger women that I work out with. There are a few, when they first started, I smoked them each and every workout. Well the time has come –the student has at times surpassed the teacher! It’s motivating for me to see because how dare they smoke me by not just one, but sometimes two or more rounds! I just love to see the change in people first hand. The fire, the gains, the progress they make. That’s what fills my tank up each and every day.
What can we do as parents and mentors to encourage and support young girls to embrace physical fitness? I don’t know about you all, but I know for a fact that women do sweat! Feminine, girly, frilly women – they do. I have seen women in the gym – leaving sweat angels all over the place. I like to say “clean up on aisle 2″ when I see a pool of sweat and have said it for many of women. These women clean up nicely too.
What is it about girls and puberty that they start to lose interest in so many things that will help them further along in life — math, science, fitness. They lose their self esteem, confidence, belief that they can do anything. They can do whatever they are willing to work for — just like the boys that sit next to them in class.
I let the fear of being sweaty go a long time ago — it happens, we are human and my kids, seeing mom and her friends rolled up in a ball of sweat at the end of a hard workout helps the cause. Maybe that’s the key – as parents we need to show our kids that we fit fitness in, no matter what is going on. We get sweaty, sore and spent — Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk…
Forty-eight percent of girls surveyed said that “getting sweaty is not feminine”– and almost a third of boys surveyed agreed, according to a report in the Telegraph. Fifty-seven percent of girls agreed that girls tend to drop out of physical activity because their friends do, and 76 percent of girls agreed that they feel self-conscious about their bodies; about a quarter of them feel like gym class forces them to put their bodies on display.
Apparently, the insecurity and self-consciousness continues into adulthood. A different study, released last month by the British mental health charity Mind, found that 90 percent of women older than age 30 are crippled by low self-esteem and body-confidence issues when they try to exercise in public.
Some try to get fit by exercising in the dark or wearing baggy clothing, but most tend to avoid outdoor activities entirely, their report found. Instead, 71 percent of the 1,450 women surveyed said that they were more likely to eat comfort food, 66 percent said they’d rather sleep, and 71 percent would rather find a way to be alone instead of exercise.
Here are the top 3 women in the CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals this past weekend. Christy Phillips, Jen Jones (top spot), Gretchen Kittelberger. All three shaped very differently, all three strong as hell, fit as hell, determined and focused! Notice how they aren’t bulky, man looking women but attractive, fit and strong. They all lift weights — a lot of weight lifted between them. It’s a good lesson for all of us women that strength training should be embraced, not run from because of the fear of getting bulky.
We can’t escape genetics – there are some things about our bodies that are simply not going to change but you can enhance and maintain them so they become an asset or something that lets you stand out from the crowd.
I love Gretchen K. I have met her a few times – she’s always so nice and friendly and now that she remembers me– happy to stop and chat. I also like her a lot because I have a similiar body shape. Broad shoulders, big arms, smaller hips. We can’t change that – sometimes I wish I was thin and willowy, but that wasn’t in the cards for me. I have spent way too many hours of my life wishing I looked a different way. She inspires me because in the end - she is who she is and she is strong, pretty and works her ass off. Oh and did I mention she just passed the bar and is now a LAWYER!?
She has taken her broad shoulders and upper body and used it as an asset. No one would ever say oh man, she’s not fit. She is beyond fit and inspires me everyday to just accept the shape I was given and own it.
She probably has no idea she has helped me with that — but Thank YOU Gretchen!!! Good Luck at the Games — I am rooting for you!!!
I woke up today sore. My hamstrings and calves are yelling at me but I really wanted to work out today. Odd I know, but I was excited to get up and head out. I am not saying I wasn’t tired and it would have been easier to stay in bed because that would be a lie –
50 Double Unders
Snatch – Ugh, Ugh, Ugh!!
18-15-12-9-6-3 rep rounds of:
Power snatch 95/65
Wallball shots (14lbs)
Knees to elbows
time: 19:24 RX
Last night, I was talking to one of the CFI Whole Life Challengers who is down about 10 or so pounds. She steps on the scale every day and is finding herself discouraged. I wanted to slap her — Seriously! If you look at her, she looks slimmer and no matter what the scale says — she has changed.
I was talking to her about what success means to her in this challenge. What is her metric? If it’s a number on the scale — then so be it but based on my experience – that is not what you strive for. You strive to LIVE better. FEEL better. BE better. It’s not a number on a scale, at least its not for me.
I asked her why she would step on something EVERY DAY that makes her feel less than she is. It may never show the number you want it to in your head, but does that mean you are worth less or have not worked hard enough? That’s a question for you to answer on your own. Maybe you haven’t really put in the work and it reflects in the number but maybe you have and the number still isn’t there. So What? It doesn’t negate the work you have done.
Why are we programmed like this? Why do we believe that a number defines us? We could feel great one minute, step on the scale and in an instant we are experiencing defeat. Don’t give that scale the power.
And while I am at it – why do we NOT believe people closest to us? Your friends, fellow challengers, family are telling you they see a difference — but we don’t believe them. Are they intentionally lying to us? Why would they lie to us? Is it because they don’t want to hurt our feelings or kill our spirit as we head down our fitness journey? For the most part, I highly doubt it. They are supportive and want to acknowledge the changes they see — Learn to accept their praise, their encouragement, their rah rah attitude and use it to propel you further. And use it to combat the voices in your head trying to make you believe you aren’t worth it, you aren’t good enough, you haven’t done your part — Those voices in your head need to be changed — so start today!
I have spoken about this before — we all will not fit the mold of that supermodel. Be aware & sensitive to emotions and feelings that may go along with your words…
One of my CrossFit classmates told me that at a recent family party, one relative inquired if she was “putting on weight,” and another told her her arms looked “too big.” This reminded me of another girl I used to work out with. Her aunt had the audacity to call her fat, and one of her tennis opponents sized up her arms and asked if she was on steroids.
What the hell is wrong with people?
Both of the women I mentioned above are passionate about fitness, extremely dedicated to their training and hella strong in their own ways. They’re exactly the kind of gals you want in your class because their strength and intensity makes you step up your game.
But they’re human, so when they hear comments like that from clueless jerks who have no idea that they can backsquat a freaking car or deadlift twice their body weight or run circles around anyone and everyone in the gym, they feel bad. They get discouraged. They start doubting themselves and all the work they’ve put in to get stronger.
I took a rest day today not only because I need to — but I am still nursing this chest/cold thingy. Now that the CrossFit Open is done, I can go back to my normally scheduled workout life and not have to work around Saturday Open WODs. I do have to say that they definitely made me stronger, mentally and physically.
My friend – CrossFit Athlete Jeremy Kinnick Killed it during the Open
75th in the world and 6th in Socal. Just getting warmed up! I hit the burpee workout twice but the rest only once with video. Week 1: 1,115 world, 103 region. Week 2: 239 world, 14 region. Week 3: 115 world, 12 region. Week 4: 68 world, 7 region. Week 5: 34 world, 6 region. Getting ready to spread that BUTTER all over the Regional!
But what’s even more important to share — is how nice and down to earth he is. He’s a great role model for anyone looking to push harder and go for the Win. I love the people I meet in CrossFit!!
I saw this posted on CNN yesterday and thought it spoke truth to so many of us battling body image issues and self hatred over the way we look – ‘Half’: One woman’s struggle with weight loss
What struck me was how she referred to pictures of her naked body as ‘ruins’. That is so sad and telling at the same time and something that many of us can relate too. We have to start changing the voices in our heads to like ourselves —Such a daily struggle isn’t it?
Even the pics from my running my race on Sunday brought out the voices about not looking good enough, fit enough, pretty enough. This time I didn’t let them linger though! I said to myself — I bet they don’t look bad to anyone else but me and left it at that. I mean what am I going to do about the pictures anyway? I am already doing what I can to live healthy and fit without taking all the joy out of it — I am doing better than good enough…
Recently, I came across a blog post by a personal trainer in which she explored one of my least favorite terms as applied to women’s bodies — the word “bulky.” Any weight-training woman is familiar with this term, as it is often the first thing other women will say as their reason for refusing to lift weights. The idea is that lifting weights will lead to the development of big muscles, and the development of big muscles means a woman will no longer be beautiful and will instead be manly, unattractive, scary and doomed to a sex-free, love-free life.
The comments on the blog post illustrated this line of thought clearly, as woman after woman expressed dismay that she had taken up heavy lifting and was horrified to see that her body had developed muscles. Some even clearly articulated their belief that in doing so, they had crossed a very bright line in which women were meant to be weaker and protected by the men they loved.
The women had set out in pursuit of the slender, compact body most often displayed by female celebrities, and instead they found themselves becoming muscular. It didn’t matter that they were also stronger and that they were most likely healthier, with tougher bones and a stronger heart. What mattered was that they were bigger.
As I read through those comments, I reflected on a TED talk given by writer Chimamanda Adichie(watch below) in which she spoke about the “danger of the single story.” She described growing up in Nigeria and yet writing stories in which her blonde-haired, blue-eyed characters ate apples and played in snow. Every book she had read was written by British authors about British life, and as a result she hadn’t realized it was possible to write books about her own life. She thought the only way to be worthy of literature was to be a foreigner.
I think these pictures are the way most women fear looking like if they lift weights. I am not saying that these women look good or bad — it’s just not the ideal picture of what most women out there think they want to look like and for so many, they attribute lifting heavy weights/strength training with looking like this or bulking up.
Toned, tanned and rippling with muscles, these body builders present a whole new face of female beauty.
The eye-catching gallery is a collection of some of the world’s top female body builders, captured by photographer Martin Schoeller.
He said: “‘I am trying to show the vulnerability that I see and feel in the subjects when I am with them, to get to the complex emotions behind a mask of extreme physical expression.
But let me share this picture with you From the CrossFit Games site of Camille LeBlanc. Does she look bulky to you?
Think 12.2 favored the bigger athlete? Camille Leblanc-Bazinet hit 99 reps
It’s a Monday Like day for most of us after the holiday — my kids were sluggish and slow to get up and out of the house on time this morning and it was chilly on my way to workout – which means I have to dig deeper to head out the door. Today’s workout was about strength – go heavy was the overall direction given.
10 Push Ups
5 Kick to Handstands
3 Dead Hang Pull ups
– Mobility work
I worked my way up to 110# and made 2 attempts with 115# but failed each time. I was so close though so I am sure it was technique more than strength! I will make it happen — with work and focus!
I want to talk about self defeating talk again because in the last 24 hours it has creeped into my own head space and that of my amazing athlete friend Lori. First, let’s talk about my friend –
This morning as we were doing Thrusters and we hit 110#, she failed the first time but I could totally see it wasn’t because she couldn’t do it — so I said try again. She walked up to the bar and said I know I am going to have trouble with it and won’t be able to… Guess what folks, she is right. I told her to walk away and reset her voice because most of your ability is in your mind. The Be Your Own Bodyguard seminar with Tony Blauer really drove that home for me. You have to BELIEVE IT, WANT IT, HAVE PASSION for it. She walked away, came back ready and guess what? She lifted it. Your mind really is your best friend and worst enemy - your choice as to which one appears.
Then there’s me with all of my negative internal talk. Scott took some pictures on Sunday of me doing some handstands –
All I could think about was how bulky my midsection looks –it was the first thing I thought of. I didn’t consider that there I am doing a handstand or a handstand on freakin’ kettlebells and how awesome that is, just that i looked fat. What the heck is wrong with me? Seriously. I am disappointed in myself for thinking that — but i’m being honest. Sigh…