Let’s Talk About Body Image

I’ve been struggling with body image a lot recently. When I was training for my triathlons, I felt like I was in really good shape. I’d quit lifting weights because there wasn’t enough time in the day/week/etc., and I needed some recovery days. However, I felt fit and healthy and happy with my body.

Triathlon Finish Iron Girl Atlanta

After the Iron Girl Atlanta

Fast forward to now, I’ve started a new job with longer hours (which I still don’t care too much for), and I have a lot less time to work out. And when I do have time, I’d often rather spend it sleeping or eating. My food schedule is totally off, and when I do get home to eat I’m usually starving–meaning I overeat. I’ve gained about 6 pounds since I started my job in May. My body fat percentage has gone up by about 4%, meaning a lot of that weight gain is also muscle loss.

These are just numbers, I realize, but not fitting into my old clothes well is another story. I read once that one reason bigger women may feel more conscious of their weight is because there’s just more of you exposed. Back in May, my clothes fit well, and there was no part of me that I consciously thought to myself, “People can see that bulging,” or “I have to suck that in to keep people from seeing my body.”

Kitty just doesn't fit

Nothing fits!

I don’t know if that makes sense, but I feel really down on myself right now. And it’s a cycle that I’ve gotten myself into–feeling bad about eating and then eating more because I think to myself, “One workout right now won’t change anything.” I also get in the “I’ll just have one more” trap. And once I’ve had, say, 5 cookies, I get in the “Well, I’ve already ruined today’s calorie count. Who cares if I eat more?”

Excuses!

Stop making excuses, Carolyn!

See all these psychological traps we let ourselves fall into?! Where was the Carolyn that would choose a fun workout over an unhealthy snack? Have I been totally defeated by myself? My own brain?

It’s hard to see the big picture, when you just feel gross and think that one 20-minute weight-lifting session or one 3-mile run won’t mean much in the long run! But every effort counts! People don’t climb Mount Everest by thinking, “Well, we’ve already stopped here for too long. Might as well turn back.” Well, I guess if snow storms were coming… but you know what I mean.

So today I’m going to re-dedicate myself to health.

No more excuses

I’m going to stop making excuses for not exercising or eating right, and I challenge you to do the same. Stop beating yourself up about numbers or clothes or mirrors, and just get out there and make it better.

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Do not starve yourself.
  • Exercise at least 5-6 times a week for at least 1 hour each day. Give yourself a recovery day.
  • Stop thinking negative thoughts about your body. Focus on what your body can do, and what you’re great at.

Happy Wednesday! You’re beautiful. You’re handsome. You’re lovely.

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