Before I started running, I weighed 194 pounds. That’s right, I’ll admit it…now. It may not sound like much, but on my 5’2 frame, that’s a lot of weight. I felt terrible all of the time, and I hated the way I looked. This is the reason I started running. It’s the reason why I tell people “if I can do it, anyone can.”
So on Saturday, at work, when someone said to me, “but you’re not that skinny,” I instantly took offence. My reply was something lame. “Well, I like food,” or something of that sort. We had been talking about running (or jogging, as he kept saying), and how when he used to jog, he was stick-thin. I brushed his comment off and kept chattering, but all the while it was eating away at the back of my mind. “Not that skinny! I worked hard to get where I am! Not skinny! Pah!” These thoughts wiggled and wormed their way through my head, and the more I thought about it, the more upset I got. I wanted to yell at him, I wanted to smack him. I know he didn’t mean it as an insult, and I know he wasn’t really calling me fat.
Eventually I was sent away from him, to work in a different area. Throughout the day I continued to think about his comment (I have a lot of time to myself at my job). And I began to realize, perhaps, what he meant. He didn’t believe me to look like a “typical runner.” You know the type: long, muscular legs, rail-thin, no chest, butt, or hips to speak of, graceful and agile on her feet. I am short, and curvy. I do have a chest and a butt. I am far from stick-thin. I have nothing against those who look like this. I know a few of them, and they are lovely, wonderful people. I will never be one of them. I will never look like someone who would be typified as a runner. And I am okay with this. His comment made me realize, a little more than I already did, that every body is different. If I could go back, I would tell him that, no, I do not look like a “typical runner,” but I am a runner, and I am comfortable with my body. Running has given me that. I may never be classified as “skinny,” but I am, first and foremost healthy. Running has given me that. I am proud of how far I have come. I am proud of my health, and my continued steps toward a healthy life.
Left: May 2011
Middle: September 2012
Right: September 2013