Welcome! This Blog is run by two amazing lady runners who don't fit into a box.

I am a runner who does NOT fit into the stereotypical body type of a runner. I have hips, a bum, thighs, and breasts. I jiggle all over the place no matter how much spandex I put on, and my gut usually hangs over my shorts. I work in the mental health field, and have a passion for inciting outrage regarding the media's portrayal of women, their bodies, and their abilities. I am a beautiful woman who sometimes struggles to remember it. I am a runner who sometimes feels more like a slogger.


I have the spirit of a runner inside me that just won't let me quit- no matter how much I sometimes would like to! Physically, I certainly have many of the things Chrys mentions up there- hips, thighs, bum, boobs, tummy, all of it- and Lord knows all of it likes to jiggle around while I do just about anything, especially running! I am passionate about body image, the Health at Every Size & Size Acceptance movements, and love finding inspiration in as many places as possible. Working as a therapist, one of my personal goals is to live as in-line with my values as I possibly can- this blog is one of the ways I figure all that out.

Join us on out adventures in running and ramblings on Body Image.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lessons Learned

Isn't it funny how, when you have total access to everything, you don't realize how great that is? Funny how you don't want to do something when you can, but the second you're told you can't you want it so badly?? That's my life right now.

I have a pretty nasty back injury, and have had it for about 5 weeks. For the first month or so, it came & went and I kind of self-prescribed no high impact exercise and kept telling myself it would get better. Heating pad, icy hot, hot tub, the stretching I could do, and some Ibuprofen would be all I needed! I determined I could walk & strength train and work on things that way. I walked only 2x a week for those 4 weeks, though, and strength trained a grand total of once- didn't exactly follow my own prescription (doctors ARE the worst patients... even non-medical docs)! So this week, after feeling pretty crappy about myself and having more and more negative body image thoughts, I said "Self! This is the week! You're going to follow your plan! Woo!" Monday night and the strength training class I had said I would do all month came up again, and this time I went. I was determined to focus on form and use light weights and thus all would be lovely.

To quote the infamous Ron White "I was WRONG- you ever been wrong? It happened to me."

I had light weights and perfect form all night, but guess what? Dead lifts when you have a back injury are just a bad idea. Monday night was rough, let's just say. Tuesday morning, though, was worse.

After a visit to Urgent Care, I was the proud "owner" of three new kinds of pills and a serious prescription from the doc: No weightlifting. No running. No treadmill. No elliptical. Walking outside only, with a "maybe" stamp on water aerobics- but no swimming.

I told y'all that story to tell y'all this- I plan to never again take movement for granted. The simplest things, such as rolling over in bed, are excruciating right now. Sitting down and standing up take a lot of work, and every time I do either I look like I must be pregnant. Leaning over the sink enough to spit toothpaste into the bowl is hurtful. Basically, every step of my day lets me know "don't take this for granted again." Because it could be gone any moment.

The other lesson I'm learning? Find a plethora of ways to feel good about yourself and have quality time with yourself. I feel sexiest after a good run. I can't do that right now. I haven't been doing it consistently for some time. Guess how I have not been feeling? The silver lining to this back injury (well, it's maybe a fuzzy gray lining) is that I'm being forced to find ways to feel better about my body without either 1) falling back on default or 2) blaming my lack of sexiness on lack of motivation and going for a one-time workout as a band-aid. Finding true ways to love and appreciate my body outside of exercise is a wonderful thing to do, and I'm glad I'm doing it.

I just wish it didn't take something quite this painful to get me to open my eyes to all that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Ego vs. My Self

Hello neglected blog & audience! Sorry about the neglect- life has been a bit crazed lately. I've had a post in my head for ages, and am finally taking the time to put it here, in actual words and with development and everything.

Some time ago, my good friend Jim (one of our two "members"- Hi Jim!!) linked me to some blogs about the Ego as it relates to a form of martial arts he practices. Knowing that I'm both a psychologist and a legit psychology nerd, he figured that I'd be into it. Unsurprisingly, he was correct.

Let me take a psychobabble second to explain what I mean by "Ego"- for me & in terms of this blog entry, I mean those beliefs and thoughts and values that make up what a person considers their identity. The Self, however, is that and more- it's what you feel moment to moment, it's your body, it's who you are when all the trimmings are stripped away. These words mean different things to different people, but that's what they mean for me.

Ideally, these two entities would be in line with each other. I don't know about you all, but I never can quite seem to live in my ideal world. And my Ego and my Self are REALLY fighting each other right now.

My Ego wants me to run. My Ego is pointing out how much I love running in this weather, how beautiful it is outside, and (frequently) how I was doing "so good" last year/earlier this year. My Ego also likes to, on occasion, take extra judgmental notice of my midsection. My Ego is just absolutely ripe with "shoulds" and "oughts" and thus, my Ego is shoulding all over my Self.

My Self hurts. My Self knows that my body is giving me a GREAT BIG MESSAGE of importance. My Self repeatedly remembers my doctrine of living a life by the Health at Every Size principles and knows that, when possible, I like to practice what I spend my life preaching. My Self also holds it pretty well when my inability to be perfect at anything (because I am, after all, quite human) spins up. My Self knows that it's time to take a break from running, but that this doesn't remove any kind of "fitness" identity from my Ego- it just augments it. And my Self knows that who I am is in no way defined by how I look. My Self also knows that the joys and benefits I get from physical fitness have <5% to do with what my body looks like.

But the battle going on in my head is tough right now. My Ego and my Self agree on one thing- I wish I could be running. But I've got to honor my Self and allow some flexibility in my Ego. Each time I've tried to start running over the past month and a half, something has gone quite awry in my body. It's time to change up what I do, and re-adjust my Ego once more. Particularly as my Ego's judgments of my current lack of running ability are prohibiting me, in many ways, from doing other things that WILL help my body and that I DO enjoy.

My Self has not given up on running- not by a long shot. But my Self does recognize that if I keep giving into my Ego's demands, I may not be able to happily do much of any physical activity, much less continue running. So it's time for a break and yet... I am STILL a runner. At least until absolutely proven otherwise!