Believe me, I don’t run for the body! These ladies from the Boston Marathon look tough as nails ripped! But I’m going to be honest, as a mortal runner I definitely donut (do not, get it? Sorry! I had to!) look like that! Instead, running has blessed me with some more unfortunate physical gifts…
Tiny arms, thick legs and tomato calves, black toenails, what are those, bulging veins???
Between rotting teeth (check this out!) and raw chafed skin, running hasn’t exactly given me the body of my dreams. Oh, and don’t forget the inevitable tan lines! Sneaker tans that made me look like I was wearing socks when I wasn’t were the bane of my existence before every high school dance! My sports bra tans looked excellent when I was on the beach…(and not running).
But I’m not really complaining. Here’s the weird thing, I am proud of all these physical abnormalities, like battle scars all these body quirks tell a story about me and that story is quite simple: I like to run. And I run a lot! 🙂
It’s funny how fitspiration (which I wrote about, and don’t promote!) uses pictures of model-esque, airbrushed and toned women and men with catchy slogans like “Sweat is fat crying” to motivate people to lift weights and cram some cardio, when in reality quick changes and rapid-fire, (un)motivational pictures do not work!
Here’s a pretty tame and less shaming example of “fitspo”, “Summer bodies are made in the winter”. So what? It does make me think about how I want to look in the summer, it’s subtleties are this: summer= swimsuit/crop tops/short shorts=lose weight! Wait…whaaattt? How did that thought process happen? Apparently, I am going to become a cow over the winter so I better start figuring out what to do about it now…
Here’s my problem with that, weight loss is not my primary concern. Since when did fitness become all about the number on the scale? Health can’t be measured by one number. I love running and right now I am logging ~85 miles a week…so I definitely have a regular fitness routine, but it’s not working any magic for my looks! I bet most runners can relate!
I won’t be a fitspo model anytime soon…and that’s okay with me! But it’s not okay for all the girls and boys, men and women out there who look at these (un)inspiring pictures of lean models posing under a catchy slogan designed to shame someone into exercise or dieting. Most likely, the models in the photo are the antithesis of fit and healthy. A lot of fitness models and body builders go to extreme measures to achieve that lean, cut look…and even after that they are still airbrushed and photo-shopped to perfection. Perfection does not exist! And diuretics, extreme diets, sauna sweat sessions and deprivation does not translate into a fit, healthy body. If I attempted any of those things, the miles I run everyday would never be possible.
I’ll never have a body that will motivate people to get off the couch. My donut pun used in the title is funny because I eat! The hunger that follows a long run is voracious and undermines any attempt at dieting (not that I diet). I don’t care that I have twig arms, as long as they still swing in sync with my stride I’m happy! Any purple or missing toenails are more of a badge of honor than a reason to switch sports. One great thing about training in the colder months is that it resets any embarrassing tan lines from the summer! At the end of the day, I don’t run to look good and weight doesn’t equal health. I run to run and I run because I love it. If I exercised as a means to a ‘fit’ body, I’d be terribly unhappy 😦
The #1 reason people don’t stick with their fitness goals is because their goal is to get a certain look. They want to lose weight or get shredded and in the process they are miserable because they don’t enjoy their exercise routine. Do what you love, and it won’t matter what you look like. Form follows function…do something enough, and your body will develop to let you perform that function more easily and efficiently. I do not run to get thin, I run and am thin. Do what you love and your body will follow, but by then you won’t care because you’ll be having fun.
I’m glad I’m not the only one with tan lines! This is more inspiring than any “fitspo” or “thinspo” meme could ever be!