I told them their discussion depressed me; they're too smart to care about something so trivial, especially because their bodies will be changing drastically in the next few years, and because at least one of these girls is a runner. I assured them that thigh gaps have more to do with bone structure anyway.
But this all got me thinking about those days when I was too-too thin and my thighs didn't touch.
When I had a thigh gap, I had...
Really low self-esteem. No number was low enough. I hated myself everyday.
Hair loss due to malnutrition.
Brittle nails because...well, see above.
Mood swings and a short temper. I was constantly hungry, which meant I was constantly angry and upset.
Memory and focus problems. Days went by in a fog most of the time.
Terrible skin. Drastic dieting led to dry, thin skin.
Trouble socializing. I was too focused on how I looked and whether I would have to eat in front of people to even bother making an effort.
A relapse into clinical depression. I think this one doesn't need much explaining.
My thighs touch these days. They are strong, muscular, and powerful. They push me through long runs, up hills, across finish lines...They make me feel confident. They make me feel like a woman. They make me feel proud of my body.
|These thighs helped me PR my last half marathon, and I'm damn proud of them.|
I will never have a thigh gap again, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Can you relate?
Share: why is life better when you're not obsessing over your body?
What would you say to young girls struggling with their bodies?
You are a freaking hero for this post. I am so completely in love with your honesty... I've never been a "thin" person, and I always used to think that tiny = happy (I was just too lazy to do anything about it). But the truth is, only happy = happy. Life is better with NO obsessing, over anything, which might be impossible if you're human. Maybe. I don't know. I'll have to think about it :)ReplyDelete
Maybe no obsessing is impossible, but I try to keep it to just 1% of my time these days ;o)Delete
But seriously, thank you for your kind words.
I love this so very much! Working in the middle school now, it absolutely breaks my heart to see these young girls worrying about their bodies. We are so much more than what we look like! I went through a terrible phase as well, and I definitely was not happy. I was way underweight for my body shape and my thighs still touched. Now, my thighs are one of my favorite parts of my body. They are huge and they definitely touch. Your legs are rockin' too!ReplyDelete
I love your legs! They're so shapely. You know, working with middle schoolers, how hard they can be on themselves. I wish there were a way to really combat that.Delete
You always amaze me with your incredible posts! I really enjoy them and would never think to write these types of things. I can actually remember wanting a thigh gap when I was in high school and it never happened....ever. If anything they just got bigger and closer as I became 'sporty.' Now I embrace the name "Thunder Thighs" when someone says it...lol. I love your 1/2 picture by the way!!!!ReplyDelete
Wow, thank you!Delete
I remember hearing "thunder thighs" from my cousin, who was a dancer, and was using the term for herself. So for me, it was always empowering! But now I truly "get" it, and embrace it for myself!
Ali, I think you have a lot more struggles behind you than I knew. I am very psyched that you posted this. Strong legs trump a "thigh gap" any day of the week. [Sarah from sub-30]ReplyDelete
It's true that there's a lot in my past; it's amazing how much running has changed me mentally. It's been a lifesaver, truly.Delete
I am SO GLAD that you have come out of the experience a stronger person and are in a influence girls in a positive manner. I remember the same experiences all too well, and I'm so glad those days are behind me. I definitely don't miss my hair falling out in huge clumps or having to come up with excuses as to why I fainted so much. Not obsessing over my body gives me the freedom to have positive goals -- growing my candle business, running a marathon, buying a house, etc. It's really nice to not think "well I don't have to worry about that because I'll be dead in 5 years."ReplyDelete
Here's to being STRONG women! Your honesty about your ED has helped me be more honest about mine. Thank you.Delete
Great post. Life is so much better when you aren't worried about your body. I've noticed that in the past few years, as I've come to love my body as it is, I'm so much happier, I have more self-esteem and that makes my relationships better. Like you said, I'm not obsessing about food anymore or worried about "getting fat". I'm proud of my body because it gets me across the finish line and I enjoy food for food!ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting...I'm so glad you have found pride in your body!Delete
Great post! My thighs have always touched even at my smallest. And now, as a runner, they still touch but they are strong! So proud of the body I have now at 42 and would not change it for the world.ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting! I love that I am more proud of my body as I age than the body I had in the "prime" of my life. Here's to aging strong!Delete
I am proud to have strong, muscular thighs! My thighs GET SHIT DONE. If I didn't have these thighs, there are so many awesome experiences I would never have been able to take a part in... I would tell young girls to focus on being STRONG night "thigh gappy".ReplyDelete
YES! I love that your thighs get shit done...I love that entire mantra and I'm stealing it.Delete
I'm with you - I love my strong muscular legs! I couldn't care less about having or not having a thigh gap. I'm more concerned if I'm able to do my brick training or if my legs can make my splits happen on the track! So glad you talked to those girls about what is really important. Even if they don't get it now, they will remember your words.ReplyDelete
Absolutely...strong legs that can conquer workouts are something to be truly proud of. I do hope that my students, at least subconsciously, remember my reaction. Maybe it will save them some of the trouble so many young women face today.Delete
This is such an inspiring post Ali! You are a beautiful woman! Your thighs are absolutely amazing - the way they carry you and give you the ability to run! Keep loving those babies :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Heather! :o)Delete
What a great post - I really can hear the inner happiness behind the writing, too. This issue hits very hard for me - my mother suffered (suffers?) from body dysmorphia before we even knew what that was, and it affected me growing up. Living in a university town, I socialize with a lot of girls in their twenties who spend too much time worrying about "getting old" (turning 30, ha) and I have decided it is my personal mission to spread the gospel of "It Actually Gets Better" -- my 30s were so much better, happier, healthier than my 20s that it genuinely disturbs me to think about having to experience those years again. Loving ourselves is the best thing we can do for the girls who are watching us (boys, too) -- they're learning about women from how we treat ourselves. (((HUGS)))ReplyDelete
Thanks Jennifer. I know many of us learn our body-hate from our parents. I'm glad you've taken it upon yourself to spread the good word to the college students you see!Delete