On my run today, I was accompanied by Kelly Roberts of Run, Selfie, Repeat. Not in person but via her inspirational podcast which I adore and often listen to on my run. The episode I listened to today was titled ‘FAT‘ and, as the name suggests, was about body image and how women feel about themselves.
To say it resonated is a huge understatement. I could say I have spent my entire life struggling with my weight but that would be inaccurate. I have spent all my life struggling with liking my body. I look back at photos of myself from high school, when I hated my body the most, yet I wouldn’t have been that far out of the clinical healthy weight range.
I spent a lot of time comparing myself to others and deciding I didn’t meet some mysterious benchmark of ‘enough’. I’m not sure what this benchmark was nor what I thought would happen once I got there but a lot of things were put on hold until that day. I’ll be happier…..if I look like that. I’ll have more friends…..if I look like that. I’ll get that guy……if I look like that. If only I had realised at the time that I was already enough, I might have spent much more time enjoying the life I had rather than wishing for a different one. Hindsight – it’s a beautiful thing.
I’m pleased to say it may have taken me 4 decades of existence but I’m finally happy with my body. The wobbly bits, the firm bits, the wrinkly bits – all of it. My body is amazing. It has carried me over long distances with very little complaint. It has regenerated itself after injury. It has changed over this running journey and I wear those changes with pride. I do weigh myself, mostly to be aware of my weight and definitely not to beat myself up with it. I eat pretty healthy and sometimes need to tighten this focus – not to look different but because thinking about what I eat makes me feel better and run stronger. Sometimes I fall back into the trap of comparing myself to others but I’m more likely to look around at my local parkrun or running event and marvel at the diversity of body shapes and sizes and how none of that appears to give any hint as to how fast, how far or how strong a runner you are. Nor how much tenacity, persistence and resilience is contained within.
And that reminds me. I am enough.