Weight can be a pretty tricky issue. Maybe it should be added to the list of things you “don’t talk about” – money, politics, religion, and let’s tack on weight.
Whether you’re overweight or painfully thin, I’d venture to guess that a majority of women are trying to change their weight most of the time. Most remain in a flux of always trying to work out a little more or eat a little less, probably having a least one guilt trip per week of “I shouldn’t have done that.”
Or maybe that’s just me.
Recently, Shawn Johnson (2008 Olympic balance beam champion, won 4 medals total) wrote an article for espnw.com speaking of her weight, stating that even in Beijing she was “always trying to be a few pounds lighter.”
At 4’9″, a few pounds can make a huge difference on Shawn’s muscular frame. After the Beijing Olympics, Shawn gained weight form her Olympic form, which seems only natural. Who wouldn’t? However, Shawn was pretty criticized in the media as the “Olympic champion who had let herself go,” particularly during her Dancing With The Stars run. Some gymnastics gossip boards even called her a “nugget,” when speaking of her frame.
Shawn’s blog resonated with me as, although I’m not an elite athlete by any means, I think I’m always trying to be a few pounds lighter. Or study a few hours more. Or run a few more miles. Or work a few hours more. While improvement does come with putting in the hard work and discipline, there is a point in diminishing returns when you over-work, over-train, or become too critical of your diet/exercise. I want to avoid being complacent, but also be proud of my achievements – a tough balance to attain, in my opinion.
Sometimes, I look at my race pictures and cringe a bit, wishing maybe I’d eat one less cupcake every now and then. Or one less piece of chocolate. Or one less piece of cheese. Or not getting full fat dressing with my Just Salad salad. Wishing I was just a few pounds lighter, like Shawn. I’ve been that way since high school.
In reality, what I should be doing is thanking my body for what it can do. In the picture above, I was about to finish a 5K with about a 1 min and change PR. I’ve run 3 marathons. I can test my mental fortitude on those tempo runs. I can run to the point of throwing up (all too easy for me, apparently). I can walk around New York City. I can play tennis. I could do a round-off, backhandspring, full up until a few years ago.
[This video was from August 2009…I was definitely a few lbs heavier then than I am now and I could still bust this out. I should be thankful that I could do that.]
I’m not exactly sure what you’re supposed to get out of this post. I really wrote it for me, to remind myself that regardless of what I look like, I can still do some pretty cool things. I like eating cupcakes and as long as I don’t approach the diabetic or obese line, I probably shouldn’t torture myself not eating one every now and then. [Don’t worry, I ate one yesterday at my brother’s graduation.]
TELL ME: READ SHAWN’S BLOG? WHAT DID YOU THINK? ARE YOU IN THE NATURALLY BODY APPRECIATIVE CAMP OR ARE YOU HAVING TO WORK TO GET THERE?
Until next time…