I don’t know when the unhealthy relationship began. I’m sure it was somewhere in high school, when most girls are struggling with body image.
I found nothing desirable about my legs.
They were too stocky. They felt too short. My thighs jiggled. I swear most of my other friends had lean, gorgeous legs, and I was stuck with my squat pillars. It didn’t matter that people told me I was stupid for thinking that way, or that I looked fine in shorts. I developed this strange-like phobia of showing my legs, from the thigh up. If I were wearing a bikini, I’d wear a long peasant skirt, or jeans.
100 degrees outside? No problem. I’ll wear khaki pants, and a tank top.
I owned plenty of long dresses. And long skirts.
I always chalked up my ill feelings towards not liking a part of my body, and dressing myself to hide my “problem” areas. Isn’t that what we are all taught to do, to accentuate the positives and wipe out the negatives?
My issues got worse after having my first child. Never mind that looking back at pictures of myself, it’s obvious I had no problem whatsoever. It didn’t help that my mother was the type to collect her weight in her hips, butt and thighs, and I know genetically I follow in her footsteps. Which led me to believe that my own thighs were incredibly gargantuan.
It was a gorgeous day at the park; you couldn’t ask for anything better for your child’s first birthday party. And here I was, wearing JEANS. As always.
You’d think after working out and getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight, I would have felt more sexy, and appreciated what I had accomplished, but I didn’t. I looked at my legs in disdain. I didn’t understand how I could thin out everywhere else, and STILL carry baggage in my thighs.
I took up running, and developed a huge passion for the sport. In 2009, I ran my first half marathon. And just 5 short months later, I got pregnant for the second time. And gained 35 pounds.
It’s taken me close to a year to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight this time. I’ve been training since January for the Omaha marathon, running the full, and during the run, something amazing happened.
I stopped being ridiculous, and got real.
There is nothing wrong with my body. There never has been. We are all shaped differently. My legs are not long, tall slender stems. They are stocky, and muscular; built for endurance. My thighs… they might always jiggle a little bit, but that’s OK. It’s a part of Sara. I need to stop hating that small part of me.
Look at what my legs have done for me. They carry me through my world, through my life each and every day. They scoop down to pick up my baby. They help me to chase after my now 6 year old. I’m sure my husband could think of a few things my legs have done for him. But I won’t mention those things here on my blog.
And during the marathon, my legs carried me through, even when I was tired, and in pain. I pushed passed the aching and the burning, and not once did my legs give out on me.
So many years I’ve discounted my own body.
I think it’s time I go put on a pair of shorts.