Thursday, November 10, 2011

Embracing Your Love Handles...

When we were 11 or 12, our mom decided to see how we would fare in the modeling world (well, the modeling world of Winston-Salem, NC which isn't saying much). I clearly remember thinking it was quite possibly the most bogus idea in the history of crazy mom ideas, but without a license or source of income, my hand was forced. We waltzed into the modeling agency thinking, "Well, now that we're stuck, we might as well sieze the challenge.  And who wouldn't want identical twin models?  Doublemint is always hiring, right?!"

That's when it happened.  The moment our body images changed for the worse. We were told, "I think they would be great candidates, but they are kind of hippy."  No, she was not referring to bell-bottoms and peace signs either.

Yup, at the very vulnerable age of 11 or 12, a stranger's comments resulted in 20 years of a semi-negative body image. Now you should know this: we both stand a little over 5' 9" tall and weigh between 140-145.  We are not what you would consider "big" girls. Yet still, we are constantly searching for shirts that cover the "muffin top."

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT ONE OF US!

It seems that no matter how much we run, how much ab work we do, or how healthy we eat, that spare tire (even a small one) seems to hang out just above our pants.  What the heck?! 

So today I say, screw the body image I've held for all these years.  I'm faster now than I was as an active duty Marine (well, mostly anway).  I enjoy running.  I have a 1-year old daughter.  These love handles are not going anywhere.  I have logged about 30-50 miles a week (and lost almost 20 pounds) since my husband deployed in May and I STILL have a muffin top. And you know what, I may not flaunt it like those teen girls trolling the mall these days, but today, I don't hate it quite as much.

Do you have a defining moment where your body image changed for either the positive or negative?


robinbb said...

Now you write a post I could have written. I had my swim coach tell me when I was 14 that I needed to lose weight. I was tiny and can to this day not maintain that weight (I got down that low and it was unrealistic) even though I am at a healthy weight now. I stare at my love handles in the mirror daily and hate them. I feel like when I have control of my diet, I can see my body in a way that the extra baggage doesn't bother me. So I guess control is what gives me more self esteem and allows me to accept my body that has made 2 beautiful babies.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

negative body image is something I definitely struggle with and was handed down by my mom who always talks horribly about herself. I decided this was just not a pleasant way to live, so I try to daily tell myself what I love about my body...might not yet have the abs I want, but damn these legs let me run as much as i want!

Dody said...

well let me just say that both you and your sister look awesome!!! You are beautiful healthy strong women!!! And muffin tops? maybe mini muffin tops... Love you both!

Anonymous said...

if you wore pants that fit, you wouldn't have a muffin top.

Ben Glasser said...

What is your caloric intake like? The reason I ask is that while you may be running your ass off, you may still be eating too many calories. You won't lose weight if you don't create a caloric deficit which is easiest to do with a combination of dieting and exercise. I run into people all the time who seem to think that "working out" means you can eat whatever you want. They're wrong. If you want your exercise to have any effect, you must pay close attention to what you put in your mouth. you are what you eat and if you eat trash you'll look like trash. Anyway, don't give up and just accept looking mediocre. Obviously there are somethings you can't change like bone structure and facial features. those you should learn to love, but fat isn't one of those things, unless you have a glandular problem. You don't. If you did love handles would be the least of your worries. Anyway, DON'T GIVE UP! you CAN have the body you want. It's only a question of how bad you want it. My advice to you would be to calculate how many calories you're taking in, how many you're expending, and then see if the difference is less than you caloric maintenance requirements for your weight. if it's not, either run more or eat less, but as it sounds like you already run a lot I would suggest eating less. And don't get discouraged diet is hard, I agree. After all you can finish a hard run in an hour and you're done for the day. But diet is 24/7 there are no breaks and no time off for good behavior. I would say 70 to 80 percent of physical fitness all comes down to diet. I don't care what the books, psychologists, and day time talk shows say, you only live once. Do you want to spend your life just trying to accept the circumstances in your life, never putting up any fight, and just accepting things that you're not really proud of? or do you wanna lace up the gloves and confront your fears and all the obstacles between what you are now and what you have the potential to be. You have the potential to be great. But nobody ever became great by just "accepting" greatness, great people fight great battles to get there. so go get your victory and make life your bitch.

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Love the feedback and the motivation. Thanks!