17 January 2012

Da Booty

So, this is a little post about body image. I count myself as one of the lucky ones who hasn't experienced any major issues (unless you count that time in college that I had too many jello-shots and told my then-boyfriend, who was madly in love with Britney Spears, that I was going to go to the gym EVERY DAY so I could one day be hotter than she was. Then she went on to have a meltdown and shave her head - problem solved). I'd even venture to say that right now, at age 30, I'm probably the most comfortable with my body type as I've ever been, including middle school, high school, and college. I say this EVEN THOUGH just last week I managed to totally split the lining on one of my work skirts (can I just say I've never been more thankful to have my own office than I was that day, using terribly dull scissors to hack off the remnants of my woeful-looking skirt lining). I say this EVEN THOUGH I've noticed that my pants are fitting me a bit tighter on the thighs and da booty. I say this EVEN THOUGH my button down shirts from Banana Republic are a bit snugger than they used to be. Am I getting fat? I don't own a scale, but I don't think I'm getting fat. Rather, I think I'm changing shape. See, I started running when I was 12. X-Country from 7th grade through 12th grade, a few years off in college, and then my senior year of college I started training for my first marathon. In terms of exercise, all I ever did was run - no biking and no swimming. I realize now that running makes you skinny, maybe even scrawny. Many of the clothes I own today I bought before I started triathlon. I had a scrawny upper body and I hadn't been biking enough to make my legs bigger. I recently bought the book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. He devotes an entire section of his book to different athlete body types. Even though I knew that runners, swimmers, bikers, triathletes are all built a little differently, reading this section was really eye-opening. And it explains alot as to why my old button down shirts suddenly feel a bit small (thank you swimming! you've given me lats!) and why I need to buy my pants according to thigh-size, not waist size (if it means my legs will be more powerful on the bike, I will take it!). My runners body has turned into a triathlete's body - a hybrid swimbikerunner. Do you know who is one of my favorite triathletes? Bree Wee. Not just because she has a great blog, is a phenomenal athlete, and always seems to see the bright side in things. But also because I feel like she has a similar build to me. And she looks great. She uses the body that God gave her to swimbikerun her way onto the top of the podium. And while I don't have her athletic abilities and I'm not going to be standing on top of the podium, and while I sit here and say I'm totally comfortable with how I look, it's still nice to have a role model and it makes me want to embrace what God gave me and see how I can go. Embrace the thighs, the glutes, the bigger arms, the lats - you've earned these muscles through hours on the bike, in the pool, and on the trails!


onthebusrunning said...

It's a strange thing to grapple with because we think endurance and fit=skinny but as you (and me too) are discovering it can also mean powerful, which doesn't always translate to skinny. Remember those are bulging muscles splitting your pants and pulling on your shirts...not fat. Rock it.

Katie said...

I've always had to buy my pants by thigh-size, just an FYI. and matt's book made me crazy because I look like the cyclist but I've been a runner my whole life! sigh. but, I'm impressed with your hulk-like ability to rip through all your clothes. maybe keep some duct tape in that desk drawer.

Em said...

Gotta love "cycling-girl legs" My take - the bigger your thighs - the more muscle and power you have to knock things out on the back. I've also discovered that push-ups (and probably in your case swimming) and rock-climbing broaden your back....and lead to the tightening of shirts.

Bright side - when things don't fit - it's a good excuse to clean out your closet!! (and subsequently get cute new clothes!!)

Caroline said...

@Brad - ha, I will keep that in mind when another skirt falls victim to my massive thighs.
@Katie - but soon you will be an Ironman and it isn't going to matter what type of body type you have, you're going to rock that race no matter what! And good idea with the duct tape, I'm going to steal some from the supply closet tomorrow.
@Em - I'm going to use that line with my husband that it is time to buy new clothes due to increased size of thighs and lats. Hopefully it works :)