That Whole Body Image Thing

Ok, I’ve had this idea rolling through my head for a couple weeks on body image. All kinds of topics spring to my mind… can I say sometimes it’s a very busy place in there ??? 😉

Lots of times, those ideas come from all of you. You ask questions, you have concerns, you want to learn, and it gives me opportunities to share and hopefully encourage you.

Now onto the most recent thing taking up space in my head…. body image.

I’m gonna straight talk here, as I always do.

I was flipping through a fitness magazine at the store one day while waiting to check out ( I know, this comes as a total surprise to you;) and one of the titles on the cover really grabbed me… and not in a positive way…more like…it bugged me sorta way….

The title said “Banish Your Thunder Thighs Forever”.

First of all, what I thought was…. “OMG, that sounds like something a middle school boy would say”

I mean, really ? Thunder thighs ? On a major magazine cover ? Is that how you’re teaching women to talk to themselves ?

I did flip to the article which promised if you did all these moves you could have slimmer, leaner thighs. Now hear me out …. why is a girl who’s all about fitness bothered over this ?

Perhaps it’s that whole body image thing.

Having these ideas thrust at us that can affect how we feel overall about ourselves…. “you must look like this, be like that” to be happy with yourself.

First let me say, we all know when we are…well….fat.  Yes, I said that.  We know when our bodies have more on them than needed. We really do. As women, this is definitely an area where it can hang out (thighs).

I know, personally, for my entire life I’ve never had “skinny/thin” thighs. Never had the elusive “thigh gap” ( and unless you are built a specific way, you never will either, as if… that matters…. )

If you asked me a few years ago I would’ve had that on my list of what I hoped to achieve someday for myself…. glorious skinny thighs…. in todays terms… “fat-free” thighs 😉

But lets be honest…as women…. we are wired by God to carry a little extra fat through our lower body cause we have the privilege of carrying children. It tends to land anywhere from our waist/lower belly/hips/thighs…. we are all different in how it may be carried on us.

So what troubled me ? Maybe the title ? Maybe the implication that if you don’t have skinny thighs you have a perceived issue ? You’re flawed… lacking some value? You’ll somehow be better WITH less thighs ?

Let’s face it….you don’t have to look to long or hard at magazines to see “ideals” of what someone thinks you should be… ( and guys, I’m pretty sure you struggle with this stuff too… arms not big enough? want your chest/abs more ripped? less belly? it just seems to not be as shoved in your face. Please give me your male opinion if you feel so inclined;)

But if you are a woman….
breasts…. the bigger the better…. ( I’m just gonna be outspoken here and say…. they are over rated ….one benefit of losing body fat 😉  … I don’t mind not worrying about them exercising 😛

So you need large breasts, skinny thighs, curvy hips but not TOO curvy…. chiseled abs… ok you follow me….you’ve seen the covers… and if you don’t have that… you might be inadequate in some way. These “ideals” can subtlety make us unhappy.

When I started my fitness journey a few years ago I was like a lot of you……mad/annoyed/frustrated/irritated that I was in the place I was. I wanted to be thinner, overnight. I remember one day, looking in the mirror and talking some trash to myself (Please…don’t do this!) and God sorta brought me up short by reminding me that, yes, I might have some extra weight, but I did have a healthy body and should give thanks for it every day….love it… even if it needed to slim down.

It was convicting. I immediately did a head to toe “thank you” for how each part had/did faithfully serve me. I didn’t need to beat myself up. I needed to love and appreciate what I had been given, right where I was at and then, get on track to take care of it. That was a huge turning point for me. God loved me. I needed to love myself. And that meant honoring what he had given me by loving it and taking care of it.

Now, about those thunder thighs…….. Somewhere along this journey, my perspective changed… my perception of body image started to change….

Being strong and healthy began to take importance over being “skinny/thin”. Having muscle was more appealing than the ideal of just being “thin”.

You know what? My thighs have gotten thinner and leaner. Fat has been replaced with muscle. But get this…. I still don’t have “thin” thighs…

Leg pic My legs have gotten heavily muscled…..which makes some of my jeans fit really tight through that area now….I love my big strong muscles…. they have come from miles of pounding the road and running hills and hours of work with weights. Those legs continue to allow me to run long distances, and hopefully, they will for a long time. They let me tirelessly run after a 2 year old grandson 😉

Shhh…. you wanna know something ? I still have fat on my upper thighs…..and I might always….and it’s ok…..perhaps some might even think “thunder thighs”….. I don’t really care… ’cause I just want to be the best “me” that I can…. and at this point in my journey, I’m more concerned about how everything works and performs.

***pay attention here ***

the journey is about getting comfy, content, and confident in your skin…not living into societies “ideal”…. being happy with who you are… not trying to live up to someone else’s ideals. Know what YOU want, know your own personal goals and things you want to achieve…. and go for it.

Don’t worry about others …tend to you… love yourself….focus on being the best “you” that you can achieve.

Don’t be in denial over your reality….if you need to drop a few pounds… get real with it… take care of business. Seriously, foremost, for your health, do it and then anything else is a bonus.

But… while you are on your journey…love and appreciate the body God has given you… warts and all…… after all… there is no one else quite like you  🙂

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Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

7 thoughts on “That Whole Body Image Thing”

  1. Thunder thighs sound like a powerful movement! When did having thighs become a bad thing? Classic renaissance art work showcased women with thighs and hips.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post Sassy and you have done a great job with your legs and fitness. 😉 Good thing that body image is the standard for racing because I’d be banned. I so do not have the body build of the prototypical runner.

    Like

    1. Haha… what IS a typical runner body ? everyone has this idea of whip thin lean and 5’5. Did you ever see the Dec 2012 Runners Body feature in Runners World? The point was to show runners come in all shapes and sizes. And thank you for your sweet comments =)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! Body image is one of my favorite topics. I think we need a shift in our society because women and men work so hard to achieve someone else’s body instead of appreciating their own body.
    One of my favorite quotes is “Be happy with what you have while working for what you want” I apply that to my personal body image. I’m happy with the body I have right now but I’m working on making it healthier and stronger. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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