Monday, February 14, 2011

From drafts...

One of my favorite things to do every couple of years is re-read old diaries. They are often hilarious, sometimes pathetic, and I finish each one always very glad that I've grown up. I re-read my freshman year diary for the first time after college graduation and had forgotten about a very painful entry. It started out with
Last year Mr. Bink [my AP Biology teacher] asked us when we saw when we looked at ourselves naked in the mirror. The answer was protein. What do I see when I look at myself?
I tore apart my body and found something wrong with absolutely everything. I was too short, my breasts were too small, my arms were too flabby, I didn't have flat abs, I didn't understand what a nice ass looked like to begin with, my thighs were too big... It ended with "What is my body made of? I don't care. I hate my body."

This little struggle started when I was 11 years old and went from 78 to 92 pounds in one summer. I shot up to near my now 5'2" height. I used to be so skinny, people literally didn't want to be my friend. At this point, I'd been a gymnast, ate healthy for a normal kid, and it was one picture of me in a two piece bathing suit, and I remember so clearly looking at it and thinking I looked fat. Its never been  a struggle with a weight goal, but in every Life's to-do list, or New Year's resolution, I always included body-confidence. I didn't care if I gained or lost 5 lbs, I just wanted to live again without tearing myself apart every time I looked in the mirror.

This continued all through Junior High, High school, and College. I still wear size 00 jeans and have trouble finding clothes that fit me, yet there's always pressure from everything telling me that I should/could be thinner.

Since that diary entry, I've run three marathons. I remember finishing the Baltimore marathon in 2006 and thinking that Marathon training should be a part of every eating disorder rehab center. How do you not love your body when you give it a challenge like that, and it delivers?

After MCM I looked at myself again naked in the mirror before hopping in the shower. No, its still not perfect, but my body not only delivered my 3:30 goal, it killed it and finished 8 minutes faster. My body built up speed and endurance in over 500 miles of training. What is my body made of? Protein. Muscle. And now, I know what it can do. Now, I love my body.

This draft was written back in 2009. I was keeping it safe in drafts, waiting until the day I could post it, when I truly got over my body images issues. Funny, it still hasn't been published. Instead I published this post, recognizing that I may never get over them, and I should focus on that small breaks I get after running and how awesome it is. So, I wanted to share it anyway, and clear out my drafts folder, because I know that more than half the women in world deal with the same issues. I love reading posts like this on other blogs, and knowing that I'm not in it alone, and so hopefully someone else loves reading this.


  1. hey there, I'm leaving this comment as Anonymous since it's been awhile since we talked...but thank you for posting this, it is really inspirational. I've been struggling with an ED for almost 3 years now and I really hope that someday I'll be able to be proud of what I have accomplished, and not focus always on what I haven't..but also to be happy in the steps I take to overcome the ED, not just in meeting fitness/body image/food goals. It sounds like things are going really really well for you :) take care!

    -a friend :)

  2. Thank you for being so honest on your blog. I look at you, and you're so speedy and have accomplished so much, and it's really inspiring. Seeing the parts of you like this that are less superhero, more human, makes you even more awesome to me. I've never had an eating disorder, but like most women, I struggle with body image issues even now, and this is a refreshing reminder of what's important.

    I really liked the post you linked when you posted it, as well.