“The body achieves what the mind believes” - unknown
“Look at you, you’re so skinny”. “Gee, what have you been doing, you’ve lost so much weight”.
These are all too common greetings I get these days, mainly from people who haven’t seen me for awhile and who don’t know me all that well. I am pretty sure there is no negative judgement there but when I hear these things so often, it becomes tiresome and I start to feel uncomfortable about my appearance. So much so that I contacted my coach recently to ask about foods that will help me keep weight on.
For the most part I smile it off because I think “here we go again” as I have heard it before. In fact I have heard it my whole life. I am built the way I am and have been this size for most of my life. Yes, I have spent younger years eating and drinking anything I desired but I can tell you that being where I am today, more tuned into and appreciative of my body far outweighs any sweet binge of my past. I understand that being healthy isn’t about your physical appearance, it’s not about being skinny or strong it’s simply about being kind to yourself to have healthy habits which include physical exercise and a healthier lifestyle.
I can recall a time during my early 20s when I visited an all female gym with the intention of signing up. I was greeted with a very judgemental comment about my appearance and was told that once I reach my 30s I’ll blow out. I was shocked that this woman, who is meant to be an advocate for all round health was judging me for my appearance. That statement has stayed with me for years and safe to say I didn’t sign up at that gym. In fact I was turned off altogether from going to any gym, because I was conscious that people would judge me for working out.
This is where such judgements can be detrimental to anyone’s health and mindset no matter what size. I could’ve taken this comment and let it consume my existence where I had complete disregard for my body. But instead I invested my time into a hobby I have grown passionate about and one which has become a way of life.
For me weight loss is not my focus with my running. I am a realist and I understand that I can not afford to lose weight, it is a consequence of my marathon training. What I can tell you is that my focus is purely on the benefits that you can’t see. The strength of my mind, the excitement of my whole being as I chase my goal and the light of my emotional and mental state to name a few. Even if at times I look tired, I am smiling inside because I am ticking off goals as I near closer to my ultimate goal.
The fact that I am being a role model for my daughter, who knows every time I am going out running that I am running a marathon, pushes me further than anything. My weight does not enter my thoughts. I am thinking about what it is going to be like when I am running the NYC marathon, when I am running amongst all of those people, looking out for my husband and daughter, running into Central Park, nearing the finish line...that’s where my focus is.
I am trying to achieve something that was purely a dream and has now become my reality.
I am not writing this to offend or ridicule, rather I am simply wanting to make a point that I run for many reasons which are not attributed to my weight or my physical appearance. The concern for my appearance is unnecessary, I feel the fittest and healthiest I have ever been.
Fueling my need to be challenged and my desire to achieve personal goals is why I run. Rather than taking these judgements and stewing on them, I invest my mind and body into life enhancing goals. I have purposely made sure that I do not get tied up in body image comments, albeit harmless but have the power to be dangerous. I ensure that I am fueling my mind with only positive thoughts and challenging goals because as the quote says “the body achieves, what the mind believes”.