I know that running is so relative. Everyone has there own definition of “fast” and we all occasionally get a little bit of hare envy. I think my training buddy is beyond speedy because she can cut sub 9 minute miles, she looks at sub 4:00 hour marathoners and drools – everyone has their own “fast.”
However, today I was reminded that body image is so relative too. Don’t get me wrong, I have always had a pretty healthy body image. Heck, probably too healthy sometimes. There were days when I was well overweight, pushing a size 20, veins running thick with grease, sugar, and bad decisions and I’d look in the mirror and think – “Damn girl, you look good!” Probably a bit of the reason why I let myself go so much, I’ve never been too worried about the way I look. Even now as I participate in the Diet Bet my top reasons for losing weight don’t have to do so much with my appearance or a number on the scale as they do with feeling healthier, becoming a faster runner, hopefully reducing the injury impact on my body, etc.
Well today in the office the gorgeous secretary (I mean girl is fit! Like works out, eats right, drops and does guy pushups. Bam!) was trying to pull her skirt down when I walked in. She joked that she just couldn’t make it any longer. I being nice, and a smart alec, tried to give her a compliment by saying, “Heck girl, you got it, show it off. I would.”
The other secretary said, “What are you talking about? You got it too.” While I know I have made great gains, am much healthier, and generally pretty happy with the way I look I would never consider myself in the same category as her. I am a solid (like tight) size ten and totally happy with that, I have rolls (not happy), and back fat that reverse muffin tops out of my pants – I would never think of myself in the same group as our hot secretary who pretty much looks like the cover of a fitness magazine.
However, to the other secretary, who is a size 18 herself, I look just like that toned hottie I occasionally envy (Guy pushups at a school track practice, seriously? I’ll be modifying those). I guess it is all relative, just like with speed everyone has their own definition – their own “fast”, their own “damn she looks good.”
Sometimes I wonder if the reason I see others and give them so much credit for their hard work, but don’t give myself enough props for how much I have done to be healthier and fitter is because I spent so many years being overweight and maybe inside I still sometimes feel that way. I sometimes still think of myself as the big girl. Even though I know I am not, even though I am happy with me.
What if I saw this picture and it wasn’t my head on the body? What would I think of it then? Would my perception change? hmmm……
Do you think that body image is relative? How so?
If you have lost weight do you ever find yourself still thinking you are that bigger person?