Five half-marathons, four 5k races, three sprint triathlons, two 10k races, and one full marathon. All in one year, and all in memory of someone who never knew she was strong.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crazy Feminist Rant. Or Is It?

My best friend and I have been talking a lot lately about weight loss, and our love-hate relationship with it. Both of us have lost a lot of weight over the past few years, and she is even all the way down to her original goal weight and looks amazing.  While I still have a ways to go, I have had times over the past year where I have felt really good about the way I look.  We both feel so much better, and we like the outward attention that comes from looking and feeling better.  However, there is another side to the coin.  So many people attach weight to self-worth and a person's value to society.  Like the whole value.  We are both funny, successful, smart women.  We can both bring down the house with a quick-witted joke; we have both done a million selfless things for others in our lives, we both make great money at great jobs where we climb ladders and impress people with our minds and our performance at work and our abilities to juggle a million things at once. But there is still this inkling that the real respect from others has come only after we have slimmed down. What is that?  And why is it so important?  And why does it bother us so much?  Why am I allowed to hold my weight as such an important part of who I am, struggling with it, obsessing over it, dedicating time and money and effort and lost sleep to it, but as soon as someone else even mentions it, I am on the defensive?

Are women with perfect bodies and teeth and makeup who work at tanning salons or as NFL cheerleaders more valuable than those who work their tails off and compete with the big boys while raising kids and taking out the trash and always managing to know where their husbands' wallets and shoes are? I already know the answer to this.  I swear I do. I think.

I try really hard to not attach my goals to numbers and sizes and looks, and I try to make my goals about feeling healthy and being able to run further and faster. However, tonight I met with a personal trainer for a freebie introductory session from my gym, and, when asked, I threw out my goal numbers and dates without even thinking about it.  I ALWAYS know my goal weight and size, and I always worry about being over 200, and I always freak when it goes up by 2 or 3 in a week, and I always throw a little party in my head when it goes down by that much.  I mean, that's why I'm here, right?  I need the support and accountability that comes with being a fitness blogger.  And I love the compliments and support I get from everyone out in cyberspace.  But why do I get so pissed when someone I care about attaches a little too much value to what I've lost, especially when that person has maybe never acknowledged the fact that I am a success in every other area of my life?  Am I a big baby?  Am I looking a gift horse in the mouth?  Am I freaking certifiable?!

I'm kind of just venting and babbling, but I'm curious how people feel about this.  That is all.


  1. If you ever find a solution to this, let me know because I have not found it yet. As for how we react to other people's comments, I think it is our own value rather than theirs to which we are reacting. Maybe the people we love, comment and make a big deal about how we look because they know how much we have worked and slaved and agonized over every tenth of a pound gained or lost. Honestly, wouldn't we be really pissed if they did not comment? Do we spend as much time agonizing over how smart or caring or whatever else we might be? I know I don't and, yes, I appreciate it when someone compliments me on these things but I don't get the same thrill I get when someone says "Wow, you lost 20 pounds!" Is it right? Probably not but that is the way it is and, especially for women, I think that is probably the way it will always be.

  2. There is a huge stigma about weight and the numbers put on all of us by society and ourselves. Its not just a feminine thing though - being slim, well dressed, etc has huge implications for a guy as well. Overweight and you are considered sloppy and lazy, etc...

    Being truly happy with yourself and having real self confidence no matter what your size is matters more though.

  3. I love paragraph #2. So true, and you DO know the answer, I'm sure of it. I've only known you a short time, but I already see that you're a strong, beautiful, hilarious, fun, woman. As long as you know that as well, that's what matters.

    Your blog is great, btw. :)

  4. I know that we have not met in person but here is the deal. I like you because you are a strong and determined young woman. You rawk and should be proud of everything you do. I know it is easy to let one negative comment ruin our thought processes. I do it all the time! But we have to remember we are great people.