I am going to be really vulnerable here and share something that I know so many women (and yes, men), struggle with… image. I so often feel fat, ugly, out of shape, and the list goes on. I even compare myself to my 4 sisters (who are, by the way, gorgeous!).
As I was running this afternoon, I looked down to see pasty white legs (finally in short) that needed a shave, my misshapen knees from falling so many times, and arm hair plastered in every direction from a long sleeve shirt on an earlier run. I found myself thinking, “Woah, girl needs some work!”
Right at that moment, I ran past a construction site, looked at a guy I thought was staring just a little too long. I realized in that moment, he was looking at me, with my pasty thunder thighs (as I define them) and I was hoping he saw me as a strong runner.
Society does such a nice job trying to paint an image of what we should look like, and unfortunately, because we are fed these images for so long, it is easy to buy into them. I feel pressure as a woman, to be skinny, well proportioned, and always well manicured. This, my friends, is unrealistic. We all come in various shapes and sizes and our beauty is unique to each individual. But, don’t get me wrong, as a health care provider I am can’t condone obesity. On the flip side, a perfectly proportioned size 1? Not gonna happen. I was challenged today too by a post that I had seen recently by a well known marathoner (http://www.runnersworld.com/womens-running/lets-keep-it-real-about-our-bodies?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Content-Blog-_-KeepingItReal) , who challenges women to realize how much goes into the media perspective of beauty.
I kept running past the construction site and thought, these misshapen knees and pasty thunder thighs will get me up the next hill I need to. These legs will carry me through my work day, with enough strength in them to work all day at a hospital and then go run a speed work out. I may never have six pack abs, but there is nothing like enjoying a beer after a long, hard run… and I love cheese. ..and I need to get used to it.
I know I will need to keep coming back to this line of thought, as this is something I really do struggle with, but I think it is vital for us all (men and women) to remember that we were uniquely created and we are each beautiful. Next time I look at my thunder thighs I will try to think, “Damn, those thighs are awesome… and so vitally important to me.”