Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Learn to love it

What am I talking about?  That part of your body that, no amount of running/cycling/swimming/weights/yoga etc, will change in regards to shape/size/fatty composition.  I'm going to go ahead here and assume that everyone has that part.  What I want to talk about is how to make peace with it.  I don't think it happens over night. Rather, it is a continual process of acceptance followed by reaffirmations of support when acceptance begins to slip.  For me?  My legs.  My weight has fluctuated in the past 5 years between 107 and 130 pounds and during that time my legs haven't changed a damn bit.  Even when I had my personal trainer. It was the one thing I was secretly hoping for after all that effort. I envy those long lean sexy runners legs that I see on every other female on the trail.  Instead, I will always be the person who looks like they have Christmas hams strapped to their thighs. For a long time I thought I'd settle for a least feeling proportional to my upper body which can really lean out as I increase mileage.  That isn't going to happen either, so acceptance is what is next.

I was out for a 4 mile run last night after work and the angle of the sun was completely distorting my shadow.  My gut response was less than positive, especially as I compared my shape and speed to the other runners out there with me, but then I decided that I was better off using that energy for something else.  Like coming up with new words to replace the usual suspects that I've used to describe my legs in the past.  Words like strong, and powerful.  I was at yoga last week and checked myself out in the mirror for the 100th time that day.  This time, however, I decided to tell myself that my legs are beautiful. Just to see if that made any difference in how I felt about myself in that moment. I watched how they worked to support the rest of my body as I flowed from one asana to the next.  My legs are no longer something to sigh and shake my head about. I really credit yoga for being able to get me to this realization.  It is the one thing in my life that makes me feel competent and beautiful.  If those legs of mine are doing yoga, well then they must be beautiful too.

This is definitely something that I need to keep working on.  I won't suddenly stop comparing my legs to those of others at my gym or out on the trails. But I have control over how I let those thoughts make me feel.  I know I'll never look right in skinny jeans.  My thighs are always going to rub together when I run.  But I can live with that. And I actually believe it now.

Do you have a part that you are learning to love or need to learn to love?  What are some ways you think you can accomplish this?  Got any other positive words or phrases to describe my legs or any other part that needs more love?


  1. Great post! Hmm...I have a couple of "parts" I'm less than thrilled with, but I'm doing pretty well with loving everything! I need a post like this as a reminder every once in a while though, thanks!

  2. Love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. Mine is my gut. No matter how thin I get I always seem to carry a pouch. You have inspired me to embrace. Thanks girl! :)

  3. Wow! It looks like our minds were on the same track yesterday. Our blog posts are so similar! Yoga has had the same effect on me. I used to hate my body and I was always one to compare myself with others. For me, it's my arms. They are the body part I compare to everyone. I will never have long and lean arms. Never. I have accepted that. They will always be the first place my weight goes when I put on a few lbs. I don't love it, but I've accepted it. Yoga has helped tremendously with this.

    Your legs are strong! Look how many miles they take you! They are wonderful and you should love them. I am glad you are getting there. I have to pass this post along to my girlfriend because she has the same thoughts about her own legs but she is so strong and such an amazing athlete. I think she needs to read this.