This Runner's Trials
25Jul/1162

The body I fear I’ll never get back

Posted by runnerstrials

Like most women, I've battled body image issues. Luckily, mine seemed to end with my teenage years. Not so coincidentally, this was the same time I started to see myself as an athlete and when I started dating a special guy.

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This does not mean I haven't had my moments. I'm not naturally thin. Twice I've weighed a good 10 lbs. more than my "happy" weight. Once due to a long lasting injury and the other time resulted from a hectic work schedule (trust me, when people say they don't have time to exercise, they might mean it).

But the weight always came off quickly once I resumed my normal habits. My favorite hobbies just happen to give me a healthy body.

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Thus, this body was not hard to get.

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That doesn't mean I didn't work for it. But my motivation for tempo and long runs was PRs, not a thin physique.

On the other hand, this body was incredibly hard to come by.

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This body- the one that's 15 lbs. heavier than my normal weight, much rounder, and full of cellulite, skin folds, and visible veins- is the one I'm so proud to have.

This is the body type I envied on others. Seeing this body shape on women would bring me to tears. This body is what I thought I could never achieve.

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This body has turned me into a narcissist. I've never been the girl who spends a lot of time grooming or taking pictures of herself. Now, I check out my body in the mirror several times each day, hoping my belly looks bigger. And my husband is probably sick of how often I throw the camera in his hands; I just want this awesome body to be forever documented.

And stretch marks? You better believe I am not trying to prevent them. I haven't applied any special lotions or oils because there's no studies that show they work (source) and because I kind of want stretch marks. :)

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My stomach has never been "ideal". It's full of scars from two surgeries, a mark from my belly button ring that came out a decade ago, a little line from when I learned how to iron when I was 10 (don't ask ;) ), and a tattoo. I've always liked how unique my stomach is. It has character, and my stretch marks will only add to the flair.

I seriously cannot wait to watch my pregnant body keep changing over the next 20 weeks and 20+ lbs.

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I know I'm in the minority here. Many pregnant women see a picture of their pre-pregnant selves and wonder if they'll ever get that body back. That's honestly never been a worry of mine.

But I'm already bracing for the day when my son is in my arms and my thighs are thinner. I'll come across a picture of my pregnant self and it will leave me sobbing. Because that's the body I'll want back more than anything. And with my history, I fear I'll never get it again…