So it has been a while since I posted last. Several weeks as a matter of fact.
I can chalk it up to being crazy busy. I am in a transition in my life which will leave me with a lot of decisions to make on where to go from here.
But that is another post for another day.
I have had something on my mind since I participated in the Ironman 70.3 Florida a few weeks ago and then an interesting thing happened in the bloggersphere that is related. Allow me to set the stage:
The Florida half-iron was a tough race. It all but broke me, both physically and mentally. But there was one thing that happened that I didn’t really talk about.
I was about a quarter mile from the finish line. I was trying to run, but all my body could really muster was a tortured shuffle. There were a handful of spectators on the sideline, one of which was a child looking for high fives. He was probably not much older than 4 or 5. I gave him a high five and as I did his eyes went really wide and he pointed at me with his other hand. He started to say something but his mother very quickly put her hand over his mouth and starting telling him “No!” I am not 100% sure what had just happened, but I had an idea.
I felt like it was confirmed for me when I saw my race photos.
The above montage does not actually capture what I saw. I picked those pictures because they don’t show the roly-poly-ness that I am still dealing with after losing weight. I hate it. And sometimes it makes me hate myself. Honesty first, right?
Maybe I am the only one that sees it this way, but I can’t help but see a stay-puff marshmellow man running.
I wrote a post a long time ago about wearing the Apron. Please go read that post. I just re-read it and realized that I have come far yet still have far to go…
I still deal with a lot of self-loathing over my body. After losing over 100 pounds I am still not at my ideal weight and I carry A LOT of loose skin and flab around my belly and lower mid-section. It makes my pants fit weird and is totally embarrassing to me. I have a good feeling that the child on the course in Florida was pointing out my flabby bits because, hey, children are unabashed in their honesty. I don’t hold it against him. I hold it against me. Maybe I am just imagining it or I am so self-conscience about it that I was seeing something that wasn’t there. But it is what I feel.
So there it is. I am not happy with myself. Sometimes I feel like my whole success in losing weight is overshadowed by my continued discomfort in my own skin.
But then something happened a couple of weeks after the race. You may have heard about Brooke Birmingham and the awesome fuss she raised when Shape Magazine wouldn’t accept a picture of her in a swimsuit after her incredible weight loss journey. Here is the pic that caused all of the fuss:
Brooke was brave enough to tell the world that her success in weight loss far “outweighed” what society may see as unsightly. She basically told Shape magazine that if they didn’t want to show her as she was as an encouragement to others in the same place then she didn’t want to be associated with their magazine. Bitchin bold move! I love the fact that she caused such a ruckus and a stir because she was able to overcome an issue that I was and still am struggling with. She is so much braver than I am and I am thrilled about it.
Brooke SHOULD be proud of what she has done. And I SHOULD be proud as well. But the truth is, I am still struggling with it. I just wanted to let you know about it.
Thank you Brooke for your boldness and honesty.
It is an inspiration.
I think that with time I will be healed from my own mental issues with myself. I hope so anyway. I just have to remember how far I have come. I have to keep in mind that I am a new person with new habits and a new lease on life. I can do things now that I have never been able to do and I have beaten this illness back.
If I can overcome the physical obstacle of obesity then I will be able to overcome the mental obstacle as well. Until then, I will keep pressing forward.