I went through my day, after my alarm didn’t go off and I woke up just in time to get a shower, eat, make lunch and make the train. Only two classes a day, for four days this week, and then next week I only have one class on 2 days and then back to the US for the Summer. I’m a couple miles behind where I should be for June (already) so I took an extra mile tonight. What is the deal with bugs? When you’re in your home and a fly comes in and is bothering you, it’s impossible to swat them. When you’re out running, you’re like a bug vacuum. It’s like they all get depressed and decide to suicide run you. Flies really annoy me, but I feel lucky they weren’t mosquitoes.
So today I’ve been troubled by so many of my Facebook friends posting things about “beach bodies”. I realized, I think I always knew, but the idea hit me that this is a completely wrong way to think about it. People start about New Years talking about how this year will be different and they’ll be “ready” when beach weather comes. But people need to trash this idea. First off, just be happy with what you are happy with, you don’t need to conform to anyone else’s idea of what beauty is. But, if you really do want to be, whatever body style you want, then you can’t look at it as a “beach body”. You have to turn that into your everyday lifestyle. You can’t ebb and flow, you have to stay consistent, it’s the only way to get there. If six-pack abs, or a size whatever are going to make you comfortable and happy with yourself, then you have to figure out how to change your lifestyle, your diet, your workout regime to fit that. It’s a shift of consciousness.
This is why I keep my vanity out of my running, and I generally keep it out of my life. Sometimes I get bothered by the fact I don’t have chiseled abs, etc. But the fact is that I am much healthier than I was, I’ve come an amazingly long way, and I am generally happy with myself. I understand that most of the way I see myself in the mirror is shaped by years upon years of absolutely hating myself. I did, I hated myself. All the comments, all the bullshit I put up as an adolescent from my “peers” about how I looked or what I thought or all of that shit (trust me, I remember shit, there were some people who were really mean) got to me. I thought there was something really wrong with me. I still have times where people get to me a little bit. There’s actually something that bothers me that I have no one to talk to about, I completely understand even for me who way overshares, it’s TMI. Overall, I’m happy and the rest of it, if someone has a problem with it, that’s their problem, not mine. I work very hard and have been for years, and come from the literal brink of death, to having a couple very respectable marathon times, and several respectable times in other distances, including a 2nd place age group finish in a 5k.
So if you want to look like a magazine insert at the beach or whatever, then go for it. But you can’t think of it as something just for a certain time of year, it has to become a lifestyle for you. If you think of it as a “beach body” you will fail. Maybe one Summer you’ll get there, but the rest of the time you will disappoint yourself. You have to go without, you can’t cheat, there’s no magic bullet here. The world is filled with things which claim to be a magic fix, but they’re just snake-oil. Even the stuff that may really work requires sacrifice, it requires dedication. Exercise and diet, they have worked for ages.
So you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to do that or not. If you’re not there’s no shame in it. There’s nothing wrong with you the way you are. If you are healthy, you are healthy, be happy with that. If you are not healthy, then aspire for health, not for vanity. Notice I don’t say beauty, I say vanity. They are different things. Don’t be vain. If you are, you can’t be beautiful. So be healthy, be happy, be yourself, and people will be drawn to that positive outlook.
That’s what we need to do, work to be healthy and happy, and keep the #PMA . You don’t have anything if you don’t have your health!
Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!
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