I have to be honest, I’ve never been super proud of my body. I mean, it does what it’s supposed to, but since childhood, I (like every other woman) have been bombarded by images of stereotypical beauty, and I don’t fall into that stereotype.
(Though I do have fabulous hair.)
As I got older, I grew to accept my body for what it is. I’ll never be thin – I’m not designed that way. And that’s okay. But I still felt the need to hide my body most of the time.
A few weeks ago, I was standing in my bathing suit chatting with a couple of people and it wasn’t until later that I realized what I had done. I was wearing a bathing suit. One designed for lap swimming, not for maximum attractiveness. And I was nonchalantly standing around talking, as if nothing was wrong.
Because nothing was wrong. I wasn’t worried about how I looked. Because swimming isn’t about how my body looks, it’s about what it does. And I’m learning that with all the sports I’ve picked up.
With running, I’ve been able to somewhat hide my body (though pictures tell me I’m not actually doing a very good job of that – water belts do nothing for the belly roll). But biking and swimming make that a bit harder. Triathlon kits are not made to be flattering. They are made to be functional. They fit tightly because they have to. Otherwise, I would have clothing flapping around as I tried to swim and bike. Not good for anyone.
And you know what? I don’t care. I mean, sure, I would like to get rid of this belly fat. It’s unhealthy and I would like to get back into my cute clothes. Also, weight-loss will likely lead to faster speeds when running/biking/swimming. But my body doesn’t bother me like it used to.
My thighs are big. They’re also super muscular. Awesomely so. Do clothes then fit weird? Yes. But I don’t care. My body has gotten me across numerous finish lines, races I wasn’t so sure I would be able to finish.
All this training has taught me that it’s not about how my body looks, it’s how it works. And while I need to eat better to keep it working properly, it’s about being healthy and being strong. Not worrying about what other people think.