Body Image. We all have it. How we think we look, this may be accurate, as in, we see exactly what is there. Or it might be warped, we can either see what we want to see, or we twist it into a more negative outlook.
I would love to see an exact clone of my body in the street, in the type of clothes I wear to see myself for what I am. 5ft 4, 70 odd kilos (not weighed myself recently), with thunder thighs. I often look at someone and think I would love their body without thinking about what I actually look like.
To an extent, I have always had body dysmorphia, never appreciating what I have, always wanting a completely different body type. Apart from when I was 16 and had glandular fever, I have never been skinny framed. Always with muscles, years of sailing honed the start of my thunder thighs and well let’s just say running hasn’t changed that.
Buying my marathon photos was a big thing for me, as was wearing shorts. I am beyond conscious of the size of my thighs, and the fact that they are there. My lack of thigh gap is a constant bug bear, but realistically won’t change whilst I continue to run, and squat and eat cake whenever I want. On the lead up to the marathon, I knew it was going to be warm, I knew either way my legs in my eyes would be big. So I did it, I was brave. I wore shorts. Was I totally comfortable? No. But did anyone apart from me care about the cellulite on the back of my legs. Um no. When I got the photos, I was intensely scrutinising my legs, oh look at the fat rolls there, look at this. It’s admittedly ridiculous, those strong (not fat), legs got me through 26.2 miles. Those legs are powerful. Yes, if I was a bit taller the muscle wouldn’t seem so stumpy and my legs would just look more proportioned, but hey they aren’t.
(Yes, I always pose with my thumbs up for the camera. There is no point not smiling/looking at the camera, as the photos come out even worse. I can do a whole separate post on racing bitch face photos.)
I sent the photos to friends asking for their opinion, and they all but told me just stop. As individuals we will always be able to pick up flaws that nobody else can see.
I was looking at how my body has changed since I moved to Glasgow. For a year, I was about 8 kilos lighter, with lower body fat, but I was beingg careful with what I eat. So yes, I could go back to that, but it wasn’t necessarily enjoyable. In the next few months I would like to lower my body fat percentage, and feel more confident but equally I don’t want to be missing out on all the cake. So I am going to try and find a better balance, possibly stopping with he constant snacking at work, as often it’s because i am thirsty or just wanting something else to focus on.
April 2016 – Lower Body Fat and at the height of my depression.
June 2017 – Higher Body Fat, More Muscle.
It has taken me years, and I mean years to accept that the number on the scale is just that a number. I haven’t weighed myself and I am not going to. I know I will just freak. Muscle weighs more than fat, and well my leg muscles have grown. So no point going out of my way to make myself feel bad.
This post is me being honest about my perception of myself, my body image and how I feel when I look at photos. So here is to embracing my thighs, wearing my shorts more, worrying less and maybe having one or two less slices of cake.