Here’s the healthy path to good body image
It’s always fun when a friend goes viral. In the past few years, Allison Slater Tate’s The Mom Stays in the Picture, and Jessica Turner’s Moms, Put on that Swimsuit have both scored thousands upon thousands of shares with somewhat similar theses. The process of having and raising children does not always leave our bodies in cover model state. Yet one does not have to be a specimen of human perfection to live life. You can, and should, be in pictures. You can, and should, put on a swimsuit and have fun in the water. If anyone has a problem with it, that person has a problem.
I heartily agree, but I also think there’s a route beyond motivational essays to achieving body happiness — one that comes from seeing the body for function, not form.
I was thinking of this this past weekend as I donned a bikini and took my chunky baby in the pool, and then as I ran a half-marathon. I’m happy with how I look — a welcome development after giving birth to kid #4 five months ago. But I’m even more excited by what my body can do.
This morning, I woke at 5 a.m. and, after feeding the baby and enjoying his chubby little rolls, I got on my running clothes and drove to the starting line of the Oddyssey half-marathon. Conditions were not great for running. It was 80 degrees, sticky, and sunny and, even worse, they delayed the start of the race half an hour from the original 7 a.m. due to some traffic issue. When the temperatures are rising fast, that half hour winds up mattering.
My running partner and I didn’t get a fast time by any means. But we ran the whole race, and even got a negative split, despite the beastly hill at 12.3 miles. I finished with gas in the tank, which I know some people think isn’t the goal in a race, but I also knew I had several hours of dealing with all 4 kids solo waiting for me that afternoon.