Friday, July 11, 2014

The Body Issue

I can't begin to say how much I love this picture. How many times people have said to me, "You're a beast". It makes me cringe every time. I've written about it here at least a gazillion times.

I'm not a beast.

I'm just me. I do what I do because I want to do it.

The timing was perfect because ESPN's body issue is coming out. If you want to get a glimpse and don't get the magazine, go here.

I love the body issue.

This year ESPN is being celebrated because Prince Fielder is grazing the cover.

Hey ESPN, let me know when you have a female shot putters grazing the cover of the body issue.
Olympian women who have reached the highest level in their chosen sport; and defy the stereotype of how athletic women are supposed to look. Sigh, maybe one day.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams made the issue. I watched her video on the ESPN website. She said one thing that really struck me, "I'm never going to be ripped. Power on the court is all that matters."

For someone her age, she has a fantastic outlook. I wish more women would adapt her view. (Speaking from my own experience, I've noticed that women in their 30's lack confidence and put more emphasis on how they look rather than how they perform at a certain weight. They are the group that are the hardest on themselves. Instead of enjoying what their 30's offer them.)  The body you have in your 30's, you will never have again. So, why don't you enjoy it? Enjoy being able to do the things you can do at that age.

Unfortunately, most women I know do have issues. Triathletes want to be lean, no leaner, no leaner than that. And women who are already at a "perfect weight" and look's not good enough, they go to a race, they see other women, they analyze their race pictures.

At 46, I love what I can do. (I turn 47 in a few months). I love what I am capable of. I have goals. I love wearing a 2 piece swimsuit and not care what anyone else thinks about it. There is a freedom that comes from being in the +45 group.

But what really bothers me is that women in general restrict calories and cut more and more and more...and they're afraid of eating too much before a big race because of weight gain. (NEWSFLASH: Carbohydrates fuel your body. Carbohydrates help you retain the water necessary to race--especially in the heat. If you are not comfortable with carboloading and/or sodium loading before a race, then you probably want to re-visit the idea of going long).

I see this all the time. I hear it at masters swim. I read it on social media. I hear it at races.

Here's the deal, you'll never be comfortable with your outside until you're comfortable with your inside. Accepting yourself means accepting all of your good and bad personality traits. Once you accept who you are, your good and bad....the outside doesn't matter anymore.

And no one can take that away from you. 

If you're weight obsessed here's a challenge for you. Have someone hide your scale for a month. If you aren't already, start taking steps to eat organic, non-processed, non-gmo foods. (Take it slow). Then, when you walk into a room, stand up straight and smile. Watch how people treat you when you do it.

At the end of the month, see if you even want your scale back.