The Trail Sisters write about the difficult relationship we runners have with body weight. http://i-rn.fr/WeightHeadGames – This shows up on my Facebook feed and I read while eating my 8 banana pancake castle and as I have already done my morning training, and I´m not tempted to start with my “to do” list I start reflecting on the subject.
For sure the weight and the body image is something more or less every one is aware of. You get feed ALL the time with pictures of the perfect body, how to train to loos weight and how to get those abs and so on.
I would lie if I said I never thought about my own weight. Sadly I do, even though my rational side always tells me to stop. So I do. Because I love my body as it is. It´s pretty awesome to run a 100 miler and feeling good afterwards. Or a 20 km, or climb or ski a whole day, or just enjoying a Swedish semla. I thank my body and mind for this.
Being surrounded by runners in different shapes, different diets or as many say I don´t really like desserts or chocolate (is it possible?..!) makes you think. To enjoy a good dinner and dessert and let the soul get happy is something I would never change.
I don´t know why but I feel awkward if someone after a dinner say no thanks to try a tiny bit dessert. But only if it´s athletes, never non athletes. Then I think oh yea it´s good to think about not eating too much. I guess I have a picture of athletes with a complicated relationship with food.
I have so much experience taking a big plate of dessert and no one else are taking any..! Just sitting drinking hot lemon water and maybe a half apple. I feel sad for them, but maybe without right? Maybe they feel sad for me looking to my plate and thinking- why? Maybe they get as uncomfortable as me? I get like the opposite when I experience that. I want to show, somehow ,that it is possible to be a good runner eating exactly what you want. And of course I believe some athletes eat exactly what they want, and others with an intention to keep the calories down to keep the weight. And I´m not saying it´s wrong. Or wait, maybe that´s exactly what I´m doing?
I want to have a healthy body that will serve me for long, give me babies, keep my bones strong forever and have a uncomplicated relationship to food.
I think you can have a healthy relationship to food even if you count calories and eat “healthy” but it´s such a fine line from there to have a complicated relationship with food.
Looking to the younger athletes I feel like I want to be someone to relate to, someone to look to and say, oh god she is strong, she look healthy! I don´t want to be one that you say “if I only had a few kilos less like her”, then maybe I could be as strong. Even though it can be tempting sometimes. For sure thoughts like ” imagine if I had 5 kilos less, this vertical would be so much easier” can flicker my mind. And maybe it would be easier, but it´s not a good way to think, here the fine line is coming in. I believe we can be as strong as we want having a healthy body, we just need to find the way there. Maybe the way gets longer but I think it will keep us healthy, and for me that is the most important. I love running and skiing to much to risk a unhealthy body.
I wished the world of athletes could be more focused on health. Not weight. Not the little at around the waist.
Every now and then I get to here from people that meet me for the first time; oh you don´t look like a runner. I always ask- what do you mean? I never get an answer, the just mumble and walk away.
Can you imagine to hear that when you are 18 and maybe a little less self confident? Devastating.
Or when I ran my first long race KIMA in 2012, that was in the beginning of my athlete carrier. I had finished the race, super happy to have accomplished a long race and going to get some massage. And the first thing he say is wow you are a little fat. Can you imagine? I started to cry, being all happy and exhausted and letting that man destroying all my feelings.
I´m not big, I´m fit and strong. Looking to the body procent measurement table I´m in the lower part of “normal” but of course upper part of athlete. So what? Love what you have! For sure it´s hard to find what is right for you, but it´s even harder to have the – “no I should´t eat that because I get fat” (roughly said) mindset than “wow I try a piece because it looks so tasty”. With a pretty normal ratio of training/intake you shouldn´t need to worry about that.
For me I see my own recipe to become the best athlete I can become like this:
Eat what you want. But learn a little about nutrition that will make you eat sustainable and healthy!
Be aware of how much you train, for me if I don´t train as many hours for some weeks, I probably shouldn´t eat 3 cinnamon buns after the dinner, maybe 1 is enough.
Train good! Push yourself hard every now and then.
Feed your soul
Don´t read “weight loss, get these abs, how you get this skinny” articles.
Love your hips, breasts, butt and belly. The fat keeps you warm. And healthy.