Fitness, Mood, and Body Image

I have come to realize a few life facts…

is directly related to:

When I’m focused on fitness and loving what I’m doing, my mood is great. I feel strong and empowered. When I no longer have a fitness goal, my mood is no longer so stellar.

I’ve also learned that:

is directly related to:

When my mood is amazingly happy (like when I finished my marathon!) my body image is awesome. I can actually say that recently I’ve looked in the mirror and thought Wow, there is nothing here I’d want to change!

But when my mood is not so amazingly happy (like three weeks post-marathon) my body image is not quite as awesome. I find myself getting caught up in the comparison trap every now and then.

The funny thing about this, though, is that marathon training actually made me gain a few pounds. (I do not weigh myself regularly, but did so every few weeks throughout training.) And now, with my appetite being back to that of a normal person and not someone running thirty to forty miles per week, I’m actually back to a more “normal” weight for myself. (Again, I do not weight myself often <Mom>…marathon training was a long process.) Obviously a few pounds more or less on me is not going to make a physical difference…this is just an observation that proves the irrationality regarding body image.

But I can’t rely on the highs from marathon training to provide me with a positive body image. I’m not going to be going on twenty mile longs runs anytime soon, and ultimately that is not a healthy way to solely achieve some kind of happiness.

I need to learn:

I need a solid balance between fitness, happiness, mood, and positive body image. That is my mission!

What are your tips for achieving balance in life?

ang

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It’s a Thin Line

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be talking so much about running.

Obviously running is one of the top things on my mind lately with my first marathon only fifteen days away, but I also feel like I’m walking a thin line. Let me explain…

I write this blog a lot for myself. I know that in a way that sounds selfish, but over the past few months I’ve realized that blogging has made me a happier person! I have also found that by writing honestly about my feelings and reading other bloggers do the same that I have really overcome this body image issue.

However, I know that other people read what I write, and I don’t ever want to send the wrong idea. I want the people who read my blog to feel empowered, feel inspired, forget about negativity, whether it’s negative body image or guilt or disappointment…I just want them to feel happy!

Whenever I have given recovery speeches in the past, I haven’t mentioned the fact that I have new (positive) goals of running half marathons, full marathons, and maybe someday a triathlon (can someone teach me to swim and bike please?) I feel like that might send across the wrong message…the wrong message that in order to be recovered and feel okay about my body I need to dive into training plans and long runs. That is definitely not the case, but I could see how it might appear to someone who doesn’t know me.

I don’t want people to think that running five, ten, even twenty miles is normal. It isn’t! It’s part of a plan for something bigger. But I can tell you that the plan wouldn’t be possible if I weren’t in a good place, a healthy mentality.

It’s a thin line that I walk…or run. It’s a little bit of a balancing act. If the scale tips to one side and I find myself not running with healthy goals in mind, and instead running as an unattainable quest for self acceptance with my body and weight, then I would stop. I don’t run to burn calories or because I think I need to lose weight. I would definitely hate (like, really, really, really hate) running if those were my intentions. I run because it’s “me” time. I run to challenge myself. I run to have a healthy heart.

I run because I enjoy it.

ang