Weekly Link Round Up – Body Image Edition

So every Friday I post a collection of links I found in the fitness/running/triathlon blog world. This week, I’m only posting one link, along with my thoughts on the subject matter.

Let me start with, this post was inspired by afternoon television… something I never watch. Yesterday, for my birthday, I went and got my nails done, and they had Dr. Phil playing in the background. I’m not going to get into all the garbage he was talking about, but one of the guests was a woman who had lost 150 pounds and had a lot of leftover loose skin, and wanted plastic surgery to get rid of it.

This ties nicely into the article Susan Lacke wrote over at No Meat Athlete this week – The Anti-Diet Success Story. Susan is an amateur triathlete who started training not to lose weight, but for the satisfaction of racing. I”m not going to summarize the whole article, but to me the key point was, she is now happy with her body, and what it can DO.

The reason this resonates with me is that, well, I too have looked seriously at plastic surgery to remove the leftover skin from my weight loss. I even had it scheduled, until I had to have other emergency surgery last year. Skin reduction surgery is expensive, not covered by most insurance plans, and carries the typical risks of any surgery. You have to really want it to justify it.

I ran 22.2 miles yesterday – this is something I would never have thought possible only 5 years ago. My body did that for me. I like how I look when dressed – I feel good about myself. Would I like to fix the skin issues? Yes. Will I? Perhaps one day. The fact is, I have a couple of skin related issues that actually impair my training/workouts – fixing them would make doing marathons and triathlons more comfortable for me. But right now, I’m just content with how I look, how I feel, and what I can get my body to do on a regular basis.

While I will never judge anyone who wants to use plastic surgery to help them feel better about themselves, embracing endurance sports has helped me come to love my body for what it is, and what it can do, as opposed to hating it for what it looks like.

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