running, losing weight, and body image

I am not ashamed of my body. I realize that according to societal standards, I’m supposed to be all ashamed of being fat (yes, I’m fat – I’m okay with that word, truly) and am supposed wear horrid clothes to hide my fat from public eyes, but I’m not there. Whether anyone agrees or not, I still equate myself with this song:

Okay, so why am I writing about this today? Partially because of a comment someone said to me – something to the effect of “it’s so great you’re running so you can lose weight” or something similar. But, the fact of the matter is, that is not why I started running. I originally started running because first of all, someone told me I couldn’t run because I was obese and obese people don’t run races. Uh, whatever. The other reason is that I’ve never been a real athletic person and I thought this would be a good challenge for me. Then, it became pure mind over matter to see if someone who is obese could run herself healthy enough to run. Notice I didn’t say run herself skinny.

Of course, because I drastically changed the way I eat, and I am running a lot, I am losing weight. In the last handful of weeks, I’ve lost 15 pounds. That’s a lot actually. My clothes fit different – some are too big. And I am excited about this – because it means I am becoming healthier in some ways, but please know it’s not all about being some super skinny woman. In some ways, the fact that it is possible that I may lose a lot of weight and be a skinny woman scares me a little – I’ve been skinny in the past multiple times. And honestly, when I’m the tall, attractive, skinny woman, I’ve been a real bitch in the past. But, I’m much older and more mature now so I’m sure I wouldn’t be that way again (even though one of my largest tattoos was acquired because of said bitchness in past life – -and I do like tattoos…it’s a long story that doesn’t make me look like a real nice person).

So, here’s the conflict that stays with me all the time:  I’m a super proud in-your-face feminist who is happy with whom she is today and I’m also excited about becoming healthier BUT I really hope it’s not for some f’d up vain “you can’t be sexy unless you’re skinny” bullshit. I’m going to have to keep myself in check on this for sure. I don’t want to fall into societal standards about beauty ideals. But I do know that I want to be healthy enough to run a half-marathon within the year and finish a marathon AND Tough Mudder before I’m 40. Yes, a Tough Mudder. Yes, I am crazy. Yes, I will for sure get the Tough Mudder tattoo upon completion.

ANYWAY, I think it’s important for people to know that you CAN run while being obese, overweight, fat, curvy, or whatever adjective you would like to use here. And of course it’s perfectly acceptable to run because you want to or because you want to lose weight or because someone told you could not do it. Whatever the reason, it’s a good one. Part of the reason I write this blog is so others can learn from it – understand that there are difficulties involved, yes (no running shorts in your size for example), but overall, it’s worth it. Trust me.

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4 comments

  1. lavercam · July 17, 2013

    You are truly awesome and awe-inspiring…..I do so love you 🙂

    • Melia Erin · July 17, 2013

      Thanks, Wendy. I appreciate your support and love. 🙂

  2. shannonk717 · July 17, 2013

    This is excellent! He’ll yes to that song being a good identifier for you, I have always felt that way myself. I’ve never been thin, but I am at along in my life where I want to know what being fit feels like. For me it’s not about skinniness or sexiness–I have always felt rather sexy (problems followed that feeling you can bet!)–but now I want to feel toned, strong, and sexy for th right reasons.

    Kick ass, girl. I am totally rooting for y 🙂

    • Melia Erin · July 17, 2013

      Shannon, m’dear, you’re pretty f’n rockin’ yourself! I love reading about how many miles you’re killing on your runs!

      I’m happy to hear to hear I’m not the only one who causes problems with their sexiness 😉 Thank you for the cheers!

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