The Desired Thigh Gap

This guy has a nice thigh gap.
nuzree / Pixabay

Yesterday, I had to explain to someone what a thigh gap was.  This poor father of a young teenaged girl had overheard her saying that she was hitting the gym to work on her thigh gap.  And he was confused and concerned.

I will be honest, I do not understand the obsession with the thigh gap. Okay, so it’s more attractive if your thighs do not touch.  Fine, whatever.  I’m pretty sure my thighs have always touched.  I mean, there may have been a growth spurt somewhere in my life where they didn’t, but for the most part, my thighs have been very close friends.  I am so glad corduroy pants aren’t in right now.  Anyone else remember that sound?

I’m also pretty sure that no matter how much weight I lose, my thighs will always touch. It’s a function of how I’m shaped.  And the same is true for a lot of women.  It has to do with hips and bones and other anatomical things that I don’t know a lot about.  And there are women who will always have a thigh gap because of how they’re built.

I have seen photos online where people are clearly photoshopping their legs so that they give themselves a gap between their thighs or they stand so that it looks like their thighs naturally don’t touch.  Seriously?  Why is this a thing?

So this dad is now worried that his daughter is obsessing over something she can’t control.  My suggestion was just to keep an eye on her.  Nothing wrong with a teen going to the gym to workout.  Nothing wrong with working on your leg muscles.  In fact, I should do more to strengthen my inner and outer thighs to help with knee stability.  But if it starts to become an obsession, that’s maybe when it’s time to start asking questions.

Adults do it too.  Obsess over whether their thighs touch and how to make them not touch. No matter what I do, my thighs are always going to be the bestest of friends.  And I just have to accept that.   Accept what you can’t change and change what you can.  And don’t let what is popular determine your self worth.  Who knows, next year we might be obsessed with pointy elbows or perfectly straight fingers.  Trends are weird.

Photoshopped Selfies

Over the past couple of days, the “big” story in the fitness blog world (a world I don’t consider myself a part of necessarily, but one I follow) is that one of the bigger bloggers has been photoshopping all the images of herself for a while, possibly for a few years.

This woman has made herself look so different that words like “Catfish” are being thrown around.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of the blog in particular, but I find the whole thing really sad.  The real pictures of this girl?  She’s attractive.  She looks normal.  Some people have said she looks fat, but I’m not convinced she has that many extra pounds on her.  The unedited pictures just show her next to very tiny women.  She’s been photoshopping herself so dramatically to make herself appear not only thinner, but what she considers more attractive.  The big thing  I see is that she thins out her jawline and totally changes the shape of her face.

The whole thing is ridiculous, not so much that she’s doing it but that she feels like she has to do it.  She’s a blogger who makes a living through her blog, I believe, so I guess her appearance does matter a bit more, but I think that people want to read honest voices.  If I want to read crappy fitness tips that don’t necessarily work and see pictures of perfect people, I’ll go buy a magazine.  I read blogs to get a personal experience from a particular writer.  I want to know the good and the bad.  Because let’s be honest, everything’s not always good.

Now, I’m not saying that every instance of photo editing is bad.  I’m a fan of a good Instagram filter.  And if you want to Photoshop out the idiot behind you or blur your license plate or maybe hide that whopper zit that just appeared on your forehead, that’s fine.  But don’t change who you are.  Yes, it happens all the time in magazines, but we expect that.  I just don’t like that it’s becoming more and more commonplace in the blog world.

Sure, go ahead, post the most flattering pictures of yourself.  I’m very picky when I put up pictures of myself in triathlon gear because hello, it’s spandex.  I do not look good in spandex.  I still cannot believe I took up a sport that all but requires me to wear spandex in public.  But I’m not editing the photos to make myself look different.  Flattering angles, yes.  Fakery, no.

To me, the incessant need to edit your photos so that you look “better” takes away from the idea that you’re good enough as it is.  It creates a false ideal.  (I’m sorry, but no matter how much you work out, no matter how much weight you lose, you’re never going to change the basic shape of your jawline without surgery.)  So just be who you are.  Be yourself.  I’d like to think that blog readers can see the sincerity and appreciate it.

I’m not angry with this particular blogger for her photo editing.  I’m not even mocking it.  I just find it sad that she feels the need to represent herself as something she’s not and can’t be content in who she is.  That’s not the impression we should be giving to others and it certainly isn’t the right way to inspire someone else.

Slogging Through the Plan

Last night, I hit the treadmill for a seven mile run.  I’m at the point where it doesn’t even bother me to spend that much time on the treadmill.  It helps that I have a bunch of good tv saved up on the DVR, plus I have Netflix available, so I have something to keep my brain occupied.  It also helps that I feel like a slug lately and need to tone up quite a bit before triathlon season starts.

Maybe I should just hang that sexy spandex kit on the fridge to remind me to watch what I eat and to be sure that I hit my training.  Next week is definitely going to be the most difficult, what with the holiday itself and with being at my parents’ house.  Somehow, I have to find a 12 mile run.  I think that requires that I circle the town twice.  I will probably run to one of the local trails and just circle it a few times until I get in my miles.  Should be entertaining.  The other joy is that it’s a town where everyone knows everyone, so I’ll probably end up stopped more than once.  Plus people will know who I am.  I think I prefer anonymous running, especially when I’m out just pounding out the miles.

I really want to show some significant improvement in my racing this season.  I think my running is definitely improving, thanks to working with a coach and following a plan.  I just need to keep up with that through triathlon season.

And hey, maybe 2015 is the year that I finally lose this weight I’ve packed on.  Ugh.

Sloth-Like

I feel like I’m doing pretty well on at least two of the Seven Deadly Sins as of late.  Sloth and Gluttony are my jam.

Admittedly, anyone who looks at my recent schedule will say I’m being ridiculous to even mention sloth, but anytime I don’t workout for a few days, I start to feel a bit lazy.  Some of that is probably due to the missing endorphins.  Some of it is likely due to the fact that fitness has been a big part of my life for so long.  Missing a day here and there may not bother me, but significant time away?  That’s unheard of.

I’m still working on this really annoying dry cough, which has made running hard, but I’m going to get back to my training tonight.  Unfortunately, the plan has me jumping right in with 7 miles.  We’ll see how that goes.  Might flip flop today and tomorrow and start small today, then hit the full 7 tomorrow.  I’ve managed to save some good tv on the DVR in preparation for the treadmill running I have coming up.

I also need to figure out how I’m going to get next week’s training done.  I’ll be at my parents’ house.  I think that to get in my 12 miler, I may have to circle the town twice.  Should be interesting.

And then there’s gluttony.  The holiday season is filled with all sorts of goodies, and I’ve been pretty good about not overindulging, but with a week of choir rehearsals and not a lot of sleep means that I tend to eat more to keep my energy up.  I’m also trying to avoid hitting up the grocery store this week, which means a lot of eating whatever I can find in the freezer and fridge.  Not good.  I’m feeling a bit pudgy lately and something’s got to change.

So that’s my current state.  At least I’m not dealing with wrath.  It’s a pretty happy time, all in all.

Youthful Obsession

I was home sick from work yesterday, which meant a lot of laying on the couch and watching tv.  No, I don’t have Ebola, I have a cold.  I discovered that daytime tv, even with a million channels, is really boring.

I also discovered that the big news is no longer Ebola.  Apparently, even though it’s still ravaging countries in eastern Africa, we Americans have moved on to bigger and better things.

The big topic of conversation?  Renee Zellweger’s face.  She looks a little different.  Possibly plastic surgery, possibly Botox, but either way, the big discussion was how she has destroyed her face, how she no longer looks like herself, etc.

Now obviously, this woman has put herself out there for people to see, and on some level, that does invite criticism on her looks.  But why can’t we just leave well enough alone?  She doesn’t look bad.  Sure, she doesn’t look like her younger, more youthful self, but who among us does?

The Hollywood obsession with age is really disturbing, and we don’t discuss it much.  We talk about how thin celebrities and thin models show an unrealistic view of health and how that can be damaging.  But we don’t discuss aging.

Guess what?  People get older.  And we get wrinkles and things sag.  It happens.  The alternative is not living to old age, and I don’t like that alternative.  But with the Hollywood obsession with plastic surgery, we forget that people get wrinkles at a young age.  I’m 33 and have lines around my eyes.  Do I think I’m too young for them?  Absolutely.  Am I too young for them? Clearly not, since there they are.

In general, I’m not a huge fan of cosmetic surgery.  The idea of a face lift terrifies me.  I don’t know the details, but I’m pretty sure they peel your face off and put it back on tighter.  Eeek.

Of course, if you are terribly unhappy with a part of your face and want it changed, I’m not going to argue with you.  I will suggest you not make yourself look different.  A friend of mine had what everyone will agree was a large nose.  And she went in for surgery.  I supported her decision, but was worried.  And when she came out, I was so relieved to see that she looked like herself.  She just had a bit of a bump on the bridge of her nose shaved down.  She still has a large nose, but it’s just slightly less prominent.  She looks like herself and she’s much happier with what she sees in the mirror.

But everyone ages.  Everyone gets fine lines and wrinkles.  We should just accept it and age gracefully.

And maybe, just maybe, we should stop being so critical of celebrities.  Sure, they put themselves out there.  But maybe in judging them, we’re also hurting ourselves.