For months now I have been struggling with self confidence when it comes to my body. Throughout my entire adult life there was an “easy to maintain weight” that my 5’8″ medium-framed body seemed to settle out at just by being relatively conscious of my food & exercise. Whenever I’d dial in my nutrition & workouts, I’d drop down another 10#, but invariably I’d start to slack a bit, and back to 160# I’d go. I’ve been a fit 160# and a chubby 160#, so I definitely understand that you can’t just go by the number on the scale, but still, 160# was always my settle point.
Unfortunately, the last couple of years that has all changed, and after sitting about 5# higher than that for awhile, I slowly crept up another 15# from last summer to last winter, and now I’m sitting 20# above my old easy to maintain weight and 30# above my super healthy, happy weight. Basically, I weigh what I did at 9 months pregnant with both of my kids.
Dude, 180# does NOT feel good on my body.
Like I said, I know weight is about more than just a number, but I feel it on my body every day at this point. My pace on my half marathon runs has been so much slower, my clothes are all tight and ill-fitting, I’m constantly lethargic and run down… basically, the number is indicative of how (not well) I’ve been treating my body and how much slower my metabolism seems to be now that I’m 35.
That being said, I’ve been trying. I’m currently on Week 6, Day 2 of my 12 week half-marathon training program. That means I’m currently running 4-6 miles, 3-4x/week, and though I’ve been totally slacking at the cross training on my off days, my goal is to start incorporating that more this week to see if that helps my overall strength and energy levels.
Last Saturday, I was standing in my kitchen in a tank top and yoga pants, and Harvey was standing at my feet. He looks up at me grinning, and said “Mama, your tummy is big! You look like you have a baby in there!”
UGH. Nothing like a no-filter 3 year old to make you grimace and hold back tears, right?
So yeah, that sucked, but I shook it off. Then we went to a local festival for the afternoon with the kids, drank a few beers, and on the walk home, my husband starts a conversation with, “Now don’t kill the messenger, but…”
NOTE TO ALL HUSBANDS – DON’T SHARE A STORY WITH YOUR WIFE IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO PREFACE IT WITH THAT PHRASE.
At any rate, he went on to tell me that he had been standing by some people at the festival who were talking about the size of my belly (I was wearing a sun dress) and speculating about how far along I was, because clearly I was either fat or quite pregnant.
OOOOOOOOOOH FUCK THEY DIDN’T.
Clearly, I immediately flipped the fuck out on my husband, because why the hell would he even feel the need to share that information with me and just make me feel worse about myself?
Side Note – my husband is slightly terrified of me being obese. He honestly kinda sucks at being supportive of me when my weight creeps up. Years ago I asked him to please be honest with me and not let me be complacent if I was ever letting myself “get fat” (which yes, was 180# at that point in my mind). Well fuck. He’s annoyingly good at reminding me of that conversation now, and I’m never sure whether to resent him (most common) or be thankful that he feels comfortable being honest with me.
After that conversation, I felt like total shit and literally went to bed at 6:45pm with Harvey. I just couldn’t handle talking to my husband or wallowing in self pity, so instead I went to sleep for nearly 10 hours. The next morning, Stella was at her grandparents’ house and Charlie was golfing with some friends, and I was mad at myself for sleeping in and missing my time to run before Charlie left the house. Then I realized that I *could* run – it just required me pushing Harvey in the stroller (which I haven’t done in a LONG time). Well, I did it, and the entire way I was alternating between feeling determined and strong… and feeling like a weak, fat piece of shit. I then started venting in my head about the rude comments from the day before that Charlie had told me about, and when I got back from my run, I posted the following on Facebook.
There are two things I’ve learned in the past 24 hours that I feel I should share with you all today.
*Pushing 37lbs of toddler for 6 hilly miles in a stroller with 2 semi-flat tires in 77* heat is NOT easy. In fact, you just might have to walk a solid portion of it and get very frustrated with yourself but you WILL finish it.
Note to self, wake up early enough next time to run alone in cooler temps before Charlie leaves the house.
*Hearing a comment about the size of your belly and that you look like you have a baby in there from your blunt, no-filter 3 year old stings…but to overhear similar speculation 6 hours later from random adult community members at what is supposed to be a fun town event just plain sucks.
Note to everyone else – pontificating about the state of someone else’s midsection is hurtful and just plain rude. No, I’m not pregnant, though we went through years of fertility treatments which make me even more sensitive to comments about the state of my uterus. Yes, I’m overweight right now, clearly I know this. No, it’s none of your damn business. Yes, I’m working on it because I want to be healthier. No, I shouldn’t have to deal with assholes who have the class and maturity of a 3 year old when it comes to minding their own business and using common sense before speaking.
#endrant #halfmarathontraining #strongnotskinny
So yeah, I hit the post button and held my breath, because I wasn’t sure quite what to expect in response. I didn’t want it to be a pity-party post asking for compliments, but I did want it to be clear to people that they should think before making comments about the size/shape of someone else’s body.
Good Lord you guys – my friends hit it out of the park. Comments on IG, comments on FB, text messages, people stopping me in the park at a wedding we went to yesterday…everywhere I went, people lifted me up and supported me with the kindest, most bad ass words I could have asked for. I didn’t realize how badly I needed that validation and encouragement until the words of support started pouring in, so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who reached out to me. I’m putting all of the comments below so I can come back and read them every time I’m feeling a lack of confidence about my body and its abilities, and I think you should all apply this list to yourselves as well!
- Keep up the awesome work!
- That’s just rude. What is wrong with people?
- I will never understand how the state of someone else’s body is anyone’s business. It’s so shallow.
- Wtf… 🤦
People are so inconsiderate on so many levels… Sorry, JJ. I hope you spoke your mind to those randos. Fwiw- I think you look awesome and am inspired by how you’re kicking ass at the grind lately with running. 💪
- I actually am super jealous of your awesome body- and those legs! Daaammmn Guurl! 😘
- Me, too. And you have only one chin
- I just read your post and went and changed back into the tank top I just took off because it highlights my gut and I will be doing yard work out front. I changed back into the tank top that highlights my beautiful bouncy belly and giant mama hernia. Haters gonna hate, but I’m going to love.
- That is just shitty. It isnt their business either way, but who thinks that is an appropriate conversation?
- Don’t see you everyday but when I do, you look fabulous and are an inspiration!3
- Girl, you kick ass!!
- I’m sorry this happened! I love all the positive comments though – focus on the good. You are motivated, you are strong, you are healthy, and you are happy. That is what matters!! <3
- Ridiculous..it is no one else’s business what is or ISN’T in your uterus but YOURS..it is also no one else’s business whether or not you have or have not gained a little weight..people can be so cruel. No wonder women are so hard on themselves..keep up the good work Josie. I would be proud if I worked out half as much as you do. Sorry people are assholes.
- People are idiots and chances are good that they were the ones “out of shape”. Awesome job with all of your running and kicking ass at being a fantastic mom!
- I am giving you MAJOR props for being seen in public with just your running bra on top! I just realized that in the running group post and had to say GOOD FOR YOU! I have never had the confidence to do that!!!!
- First–you are as gorgeous on the outside as on the inside. Have no idea who would say anything but obviously they are idiots. We have no time for idiots. You are so amazing!!! 😍😊😍
- Be who you are and the hell with them !!!
- Well the people who said that are probably ugly on the inside and outside. All I see is a gorgeous mama who sets a wonderful example for her kids!
- Go girl!
- I’m so sorry that happened. You are gorgeous and a role model for me fitness-wise and not overweight. 😡 I’ve had people ask me this too and I want to punch them in the face. I hate that in the US, society and media perpetuate the idea that we must all be twigs to be healthy and happy. We all need to embrace our beautiful strong bodies and embrace that for others.
- I know you don’t know me well but I just had to say that I’ve seen your pictures and you in person. You are beautiful and have nothing to worry about. Haters find anything and everything….even making stuff up entirely to keep hating. Misery loves company. Truly it does. Just saying. Hope your day is good.
- You pushed 37lbs up and down hills for 6 miles in 90 minutes. You’re a badass.
- There’s def some idiots out there gurl!!!
- Some people are just total arseholes 😡FWIW I always think you look amazing. That smile is the bomb.
- You are beautiful, strong, confident, and pretty amazing all around!!
- You are beautiful! You are kicking my ass with the running. You keep me motivated to keep running. FUCK whatever asshole said those rude things. I will beat them up if you want, just say the words.
…and many other words of support from people who talked to me in person yesterday.
I follow a runner on Instagram (RunSelfieRepeat) who doesn’t have a 6-pack by any stretch of the imagination, but she decided to be STRONG and EMPOWERED and run in a sports bra any time she damn well pleased. Here’s the blurb about the movement from her website:
The #SportsBraSquad started as a way for women to ditch their shirts along with their insecurities, and show the world what strength looks like. In 2015, the National Eating Disorders Association found that 70% of women don’t like their bodies. 70%! That’s a disappointing and frustrating statistic and the only way we can combat the self loathing and disappointment women feel towards their bodies is to change the way we see strength!
I love that sentiment (you can read more about her story here), so I’m trying to feel STRONG and EMPOWERED myself to do the same whenever I’m hot and want to run in a sports bra, jiggly belly and all!
So yeah… I just wrote 2000 words to say FUCK the haters, and LOVE to my friends and community members who know just how to pick me up when I’m feeling at my lowest. I am strong. I am beautiful. And I am working at getting healthier every single day of my life. Are you?
So glad your virtual and real community spoke up and supported you, you deserve it. You’re on a journey and there’s no room for negativity on it. Thanks for sharing and good luck getting back to feeling healthy and happy in your skin! x
AND – Your smile is beyond contagious (is theirs?), your laughter (I wanna throw my head back just thinking about it), and what? they are fucking perfect in their perfect world (the one they are trying to convince everyone is perfect)? You are a mom to two kiddos, an outstanding leader in the world of *keep that shit up* & “keep trying because it feels good to YOU”. The awareness of people especially now more than ever is laughable. You keep being you and yes the haters gonna hate and the love comes from the friends. Charlie – dude
Love you girl. Thanks for the support. <3 And yes, Charlie – dude. *sigh*
Jos, this is inspirational. Too often, we focus on body shape. But the body is a vessel; a means for our time on this planet. It’s the heart and soul that counts.
Keep fighting the good fight, working to be strong. The weight, that will change and I’m sure you’ll find a way towards your goal, but what’s most important is your spirit and heart. And you’ve got that down pat.
Awh, thanks Cristy!
You are strong and beautiful no matter what your size. That said, I can totally understand your wanting to get back to a weight and into a shape where you feel most comfortable.
BTW, you have an awesome, supportive group of friends!
Thanks, Sharon <3
Oh i know exactly how you felt.
I was going to work the other day, and a Security girl said to me as I entered the building “Congratulations”. I was thinking she is confusing me with someone else because I didn’t get a promotion or anything like that. When i sat at my desk it just hit me like a ton of bricks that she thought I was pregnant (at 45 years old?). It made me feel like crap about myself for a week.
DAMN. That’s ridiculous!
This is fantastic! We are so hard on ourselves. Chin up, mama!
Post that bad ass picture all over the place! I’m still so proud of you for running in just a sports bra (I still haven’t done it!!!)!
Girl, I wish I knew you in real life. I am 10 years older than you, 2 kids around your kids age, and have followed you for some time now (used to have an IF blog and that’s how I stumbled upon you and many others and have loyally (and quietly) been following ever since). I have struggled with my IF drugged body and post baby body for 6 years now and I have to say, this is the FIRST time I can honestly say that I’m over it! I’ve never had the balls to make a statement like you did but I should have. You’re so brave, and strong, and beautiful on the inside and out – all this coming from someone you’ve never met! Keep on being you and know that you’re inspiring people that you don’t even know exist!
I’m sorry I missed that post! I’ve had people ask me if I’m pregnant too and it is so humiliating. I think you look great and am always inspired by your fitness posts and willingness to talk about the struggles!
I meant to comment on this post. I read it in my email and never got back here. I got a little sidetracked. First, you are amazing. Even when you feel your worst you are working towards something. I am envious of your strength and perseverance. I wish I had one tenth of your will power to get up and move. Second, you are freaking hot. I don’t care what others say, you are hot. I saw that picture and was like, no freaking way. You look fantastic. I know you don’t feel it and good for you for taking steps to better yourself for you. Thirdly, those people commenting regardless of your current state have no business doing or saying so. There are a zillion reasons certain clothes make people look different. I have the oddest body shape ever. Nothing ever lays on me the same way. Hugs lady. and after all, without you I would not be the fitbit crazy lady I am today. Be kind to you, and pardon my french but eff everyone else.
I am so glad you posted this follow-up here! I was worried you would take the whole experience another way (at first I typed “the wrong way,” but that wasn’t right either). I am so happy to see the positivity here, not just from your friends and family, but from you!
Working toward a healthy lifestyle to feel good/better is fantastic! And you have always been an inspiration for me in that regard.
But society’s (and those commenters in the park) repulsion of women’s natural bodies is disgusting to me. We are not designed to grow children, then look like nothing ever happened and we’re teenage girls again. Being and feeling and living healthy does not mean looking like an underage, childless sex object.
Also, even though I get all pissy about people being assholes like that to you doesn’t mean I don’t feel fat and get down on myself all the time, too. I feel all the same self-loathing when I look in the mirror. I just hate that it’s there, and when it’s someone else, it’s so easy to see how ridiculous it is 🙂
I never read blogs anymore (man, do I miss it) but had to comment here and say I am in awe at your motivation and commitment to eat right and work out on a consistent basis. I have really slacked this year, yet hoped to be where I was last summer doing several rounds of the 21 day fix program. I’m so glad you are taking all the comments to heart and realize how awesome you are. People are assholes. I think most people look 6+ months pregnant in a sundress or maxi dress, myself included, but it is no one’s business to actually comment about it!
You are strong and beautiful! I saw the FB post but dang FB truncates it and I only saw the first bit, otherwise I would have commented there. I never understand why people feel the need to comment on the state of other people’s bodies. It just plain sucks. So glad you’re feeling uplifted after comments there, you seriously are killing it IMHO. just keep on keepin on, you’ll get there. xo
In my eyes, you win an award for being able to get INTO a sports bra without a team of helpers – is it just me who struggles with those suckers? I just think it’s so very rude to speculate on whether someone is pregnant because *you* think they have a little puff round the middle. Pregnancy and trying to conceive is a minefield and more fool you if you comment and bring someone else down without being damn sure there is a baby in there.
I was on the metro in Rome once and a women who spoke no English made the entire carriage aware that I was apparently with child. She went into an overblown Italian Mama mime routine to get me to take her seat, she who was 90 if she was a day.
It was pasta bloat and I was mortified.
You keep doing you which is being strong and beautiful!