Body rant, part 1

Today I want to talk briefly about comparisons.

We all do it. Inspect other people’s bodies, their habits, their health.

I’ve noticed in the last few years of living where I am, and having the friends that I do, that most of the women in my life are smaller than myself. As wonderful as they are, it’s impossible not to notice this fact… and harbor just a bit of jealousy and annoyance. Body image plays a huge role in how good we feel about ourselves.

I work out. A lot.

I do it because I know how my body works, and I know I need to work very hard just to stay in decent shape.

I do it because of how it makes me feel mentally: more calm, more focused, more energized.

But no matter how much I run, I still struggle with good distances. The longest I’ve run is 13.1 miles, after working through a 1/2 marathon training program. My standard every–day runs are about 5 – 7 miles. On a good day.

And no matter how many push ups I do every. single. day. I still don’t have the definition I want.

Regarding that nice slim waist, the saying goes: abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. Fair enough. For the most part, I am very careful about what I eat, when I eat, the right balance of what I’m eating. I’m a vegetarian, so having pretty strict diet rules is a part of daily life. I rarely eat dessert, have cut back drastically on breads/rice/pasta/cereal and other standard carbs, I never drink soda, and my lattes are kept to a comfortable minimum. I eat six to eight servings of veggies and fruit every day. I easily drink my eight glasses of water.

Yet here we are. Nope, that’s not a six-pack. In case you were wondering.

I watch several people close to me (including Jon!) able to eat whatever they want, and not gain a pound. Or if they do, it comes off easily, or they needed that pound anyway. And I just think, I will NEVER have it that easy. I will always struggle; always have to say no to things they’re eating; always have to show up late to evening events because I have to get my workout in; never be able to sleep in on Saturdays because it’s the only day I can do a long run.

It’s hard not to feel like I will always work twice as hard, and never be as strong or slim.

Which brings me back to comparisons. I saw this today and it hit home:

I’m not looking to be “skinny”; I’m not looking for that six-pack. I’m just looking to be at what I know is my healthy and comfortable weight. It’s not so much about comparing body sizes as it is comparing ability to stay at an individual healthy size. It seems much easier for others to be at that point.

Like most people (or at least most women!) I feel better after a good rant. So take this post for what it is: a good, long, necessary rant. A chance to remind myself that some days are better than others. Some workouts are better than others.

But they all count. They are all good. They all make me a better person. That’s my goal: making myself better, not making myself better than someone else.

To let myself think otherwise is not only counter–productive, it’s flat–out untrue.

Boom. Vent over. I feel better now. 🙂

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