Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Up Close & Personal: Body Image

I feel like body image is a touchy subject for most people.  I don't care if you're male, female, heavyset, thin, athletic, short or tall... very few people are 100% comfortable with what they look like.  Personally, I've battled with my weight for the majority of my life.  I was not graced with a genetically fast metabolism and literally, every calorie that passes by my lips has an impact.  There have been periods of my life where for one reason or another, I've let this get completely out of hand and literally paid the price.  Living in a yoyo state of weight flux has led my closet to include clothes ranging from a size 4 to a size 14 - not something I'm proud of, but a reality I've decided to address.

A year ago, James and I ran our first 5k in memory of our friend Lizzy [who's 28th birthday would have been today].  It was a last minute decision done with absolutely no training.  I finished it, but struggled though the entire race, walking a good portion of it.  It was honestly a wake up call that I needed to do something about my physical state.  In retrospect, the fact that my personal trainer uses a photo of James and I from that race as our "fat picture" at least validates that I wasn't wrong.  I mean, there's no comparison of last year to this year...


I can't say that even with the progress I've made in the past year, I'm not completely happy with by body.  My outlook is significantly more positive with how I look and feel than I was before all of this began, but I'm human.  I think it's in our nature to be critical of ourselves.  Heck, as a society, we judge people who are completely content with themselves as being conceited and narcissistic.  Go figure.  

The point I'm trying to make, in a very roundabout way, is that I've learned to accept my imperfections. Will I ever be 100% completely happy with how I look?  Maybe... but probably not.  I've learned to love running, yoga, swimming and CrossFit in ways I never thought possible and the transformation I've seen in myself is incredible - both in a physical and mental capacity.  

This isn't me putting myself down; it's me openly realizing and admitting that I'm human, imperfect and nonetheless, capable of some really great things.  

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