Saturday, January 10, 2009

Really Looking in the Mirror

If you're following along you'll remember I set out to challenge myself to blog for a month. Well, today is day 31, so I guess technically, I've made it a month. But, I'm planning on continuing to blog and see how far I get.

Back to your regularly scheduled program....

I've always struggled with body image issues. When I was a kid I was tall (surprising, isn't it) and super-skinny. The girls at school used to call me "little Ethopian girl" and my mom called me "Olive Oyl". Needless to say, it wasn't funny then and it's not funny now. As my friends grew taller, I stayed the same height and started sprouting a little more outward. Don't get me wrong, I've never been overweight or fat, but I've certainly had to deal with how much weight is appropriate for a 5'1" frame.

Recently I was having a conversation with Coach regarding what is ideal racing weight. I told her I was around the 116-118 mark but I wanted to be between 105 and 110 for racing weight. She disagreed saying I was fine where I was.

Today I was at the gym doing my workout. I weighed in, per usual, before my workout--116.2. That's been my usual weight for a good year plus. After my elliptical routine I did a stretching routine right in front of a mirror. And you know what I noticed? I don't look like any of the women at the gym. Compared to them I look super-skinny, almost a little too skinny, but what I saw was that I look like a distance runner. My muscles are cut in the right areas and the areas that are supposed to be lean are very lean.

I think all women have body issues--even skinny ones. Today was the first day in a long time I looked in the mirror and liked me for me.


Michelle said...

Good for you.
Here are my thoughs, for what they're worth. As you know, I never was tall for my age and am on the short side of average now, but have never had a weight problem, either. Pregnancy has caused me to re-evaluate my body image. I didn't expect to stay skinny, of course, but I didn't expect to spread out "everywhere"--somewhat my fault for bad eating habits, but partly genetics. Even if I lose all the weight, I'll never be quite the same shape, so I'm learning to embrace and accept that. Still, that's not an excuse for me to just let myself go. I guess I'll have to start a "New Year's Resolution" this summer--a little while after the baby's born--to make sure I get back to better eating and exercising habits. You can keep on me about that if I don't. :-)

Andrea Hill said...

I'm so glad to read this, Meredith!

I think as distance athletes, we really have to be careful our bodies are getting the fuel they need. The other year when you were focusing on weight loss, I secretly thought I wanted to as well, but my body seems to naturally stay pretty consistent, whether I'm at the peak of training, or not doing much of anything. So I figure that's what I'm meant to weigh, and I just need to focus on toning and strengthening for what I want to be.

I'm glad you finally realized you're skinny :)

Meredith said...

And I lost a lot of weight that year--13 pounds. After seeing a picture of myself in a race that summer, I decided it was too skinny. I looked like a freakin' skeleton.


Glad to hear you say that!! We are the same height and I fluctuate between 116-120. I'd love to hit 110 and maintain, but I don't know that I would feel as strong. I take it as a good sign that I continue to get stronger and faster (even as I get older). For that, I'm thankful, although I do wish I had the "six pack."