Positive body image

Changes to our bodies happen constantly, the majority of them we don’t even realise or notice immediately (e.g. nails and hair). When you are aiming to lose weight/body fat or you are training, it can come as a surprise to you when you eventually notice how your body changes over time.

When I was in the shower yesterday, I looked down and had only just noticed how great my thighs are looking! Of course it is normal to expect a build up of muscle on your legs when you have been jogging for a certain amount of time, but I only noticed yesterday how prominent the muscles on my upper thighs are.

I’m awful at remembering the names of muscles in the human body, but I do know that the muscles on the upper thighs are called the quads. However, I looked at a diagram anyway and the muscles which are becoming more noticeable on my upper thighs are called the rectus femoris. 

Major-running-muscles

Through training for the 10km Race for Life, I am loving my body more than ever before. I am becoming more appreciative of my body, since it can do incredible things I never thought I would ever be able to do, such as jogging 10km non-stop.

I am thankful for all of the amazing posts on WordPress which encourage people to love their bodies and themselves for who they are. In a world where bodies beyond perfection are constantly shown through advertisements and media, it can be detrimental to a person’s confidence and well-being in which they feel ashamed of their own body.

However, many people are backlashing against body shaming and society’s ideals of what we should look like. A recent example was advertising on the London Underground by Protein World, promoting weight loss products with idealised images of both sexes with the statement, ‘Are you beach body ready?’ This caused an upheaval in London, with people putting graffiti and posing next to the adverts, in their own beach body ready forms; the advert was eventually banned thank goodness.

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The detrimental advert

Body weight is something I have always struggled with, rather that society has perceived it in this way. I used to receive a lot of body shaming in my childhood and adolescence, but I no longer feel ashamed of my own body. Even though I continue to try and lose body fat/weight, I love my body more than I ever have done.

Obviously having a partner can greatly help you in appreciating your body. While my relationship is a long-distance one (well, only 85 miles), when I spend time with my boyfriend he makes me feel confident about myself and he says he loves my body how it is. I’m grateful to him for supporting me in my training for the Race for Life and weight loss.

My main reason for losing weight now is for my health. My mother’s side of the family has a history of diabetes, a mixture of type 1 and type 2, but mostly type 2. Whether this will be avoidable or not, I want to decrease my chances of getting diabetes earlier in my life.

I went out for a 6km jog this morning on the Great Central Railway, which is a challenging route due to a variety of gradients, many of which are relatively steep. I completed the route in approximately 40 minutes and it was also raining for the entirety of the jog, so I was absolutely soaked when I got back home!

People were looking at me while I was jogging; whether that was because I was jogging outside in the pouring rain or because I had hairy legs on show from wearing lycra shorts, or even because a large woman was jogging in lycra and they thought, ‘She’s jogging a bit fast for someone of that size’, I don’t give a damn. These thoughts are just my own ideas of how people have perceived me, and even if these perceptions are true, like I said, I don’t care.

A bit of advice for today: If someone perceives you negatively for whatever reason, such as body image, likes/dislikes, personality etc, then it’s their problem, not yours.

Happy reading and blogging!

 

Many thanks,

Clare Bear

 

P.S. Does anyone have any suggestions of jogging/running music? I’m getting a bit bored of my playlist now. I like listening to dance and clubbing music, as well as upbeat pop when exercising.

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