This post isn’t directly about running but relates in the sense that running has resulted in a physical transformation that I am incredibly proud of. I have been incredibly fortunate in my newly focused journey to loss 45 pounds in about 7 months. It hasn’t been particularly fast, a statement that can be also be made about how the weight ended up attached to my body.
The vast majority of the weight was shed during the winter months when I was buried under layers of sweaters and other warm clothing. It has only been in recent weeks of warmer weather and newly purchased (properly fitting) clothes that people have begun to really take notice of the change in my appearance.
I am of course of appreciative of the acknowledgement of my hard work. But the repeated mentions and questions have caused my introverted self quite a bit of angst and discomfort. I think the discomfort comes from what has now turned into an almost daily conversation about my appearance. The vast majority of those holding the conversation are the woman in my office, they want to know what I eat, what I do, how I do it. My answers are the same every time: consume less than I burn, make sure what I do consume as is healthful as possible, run, exercise….the basic time-honored traditions that when followed with focus will yield results.
Today when I was “complimented”on my outfit I was asked if I was so dressed up in order to flaunt my skinny body. Thinking back and wishing that I was a bit quicker in my reply I would have said something along the lines of I’m dressed because it would be against the dress code to come to work naked. However, my witty repartee is best suited to blogs and other written media that allows me time to nicely hone my wording.
And the more that I thought about it, it’s not as if I have a choice. This is my body. It is the only one that I have. We have been through quite a lot together….broken bones, life threatening illness, car crashes, and most importantly a multitude of races. While I don’t flaunt my body, I am rather proud of the body that has begun to appear over the last six months…something that I can honestly say I have never felt about my body before: Pride.
It’s not so much my body that I am proud of but I am proud of the effort and the hard work and dedication I put in to earn the body that I now have. I’m not flaunting the results of that hard work but I’m not hiding it under several layers of clothing like I previously did.
Intellectually I know that my co-worker’s question/comment came from a place of jealousy and envy, but I think it speaks to a larger problem-as women we can’t be happy for other women when they succeed. As humans we can’t be happy for each other when others succeed in an area we wish to excel. For some reason, people feel the need to tear others down with backhanded compliments and snarky questions.
I think the behavior of my co-workers (not just the flaunting body questioning one) also speaks to the recent cultural desire to get something fast with little effort. The jealousy stems not just as a result of the historical gender in fighting but is also honed by infomercials hawking wears that enable the purchaser to get thin in two weeks with this gimmick or that contraption. It sets up unrealistic expectations. So when my co-workers who have bought into this thin in a minute concept don’t see results they find it hard to believe that my success has come from making fairly minor lifestyle changes; changes that they loath to make because they are inconvenient.
So while my introverted self is feeling anxious to step out of my cube because people find it necessary to be rude, I am going to continue to walk around with pride (some may say flaunt) my hard-earned runners body.