Let’s face it, as women, we’ve all looked at photos of ourselves and thought something along the lines of ‘I don’t like that.’ With the luxury of digital cameras and Smartphones, we can simply delete said photos and take thirty more until we find that one shot where we think we look good. The problem is, while we may find one out of many that we like and accept, those around would easily say that all the photos look good. We need to get over that problem.
One awesome woman, American pro-runner Lauren Fleshman, wrote a post about how us women need to change the way we feel about our bodies, and start posting both flattering and unflattering photos of ourselves to social media, as a way to keep women’s bodies real, aka #keepingitreal. Erin, my equally awesome triathlete blog friend from Minneapolis, accepted Lauren’s challenge, and today, I am too.
For about five years now, I’ve felt that I looked fat in photos. Chubby face, huge thighs and general, overall thickness. While I’ve always had a more athletic, muscular build, and therefore known that I will never be a lanky, skinny girl, I have noticed a change. This is most apparent in my running race photos. While I know that it’s a general rule of thumb that race photos are never flattering for everyone, I’ve seen some pretty nice ones from others (ahem Erin!), and while I think other’s photos are nice, I personally abhor my own. Point in case below:
Aviemore Half Marathon: I thought that my race outfit looked good! It so didn’t, and the tights make my thighs look huge.
And the worst shot to date comes from the Dundee Roadrunners Templeton 10, wearing my then-new compression tights. Again, I thought my race outfit looked awesome! The only thing I can see in this photo is how huge my thighs look, and to this day, when I wear them to run in, I wonder: do they still look like that?
To figuratively add insult to injury,another source of running insecurity comes in the form of these horrible toe nails since the half marathon finished:
These are a result of running long in shoes that are my exact size. The discoloration isn’t going away, and over Christmas, while visiting family and friends in Germany, I painted my toenails to prevent others from having to see them. I never paint my toenails, even in the summer. And I’ve only just realised why my nails aren’t getting any better: I’m continuing to run long in the same runners. So obvious, but took me so long to realise. My new runners are a half-size bigger and have much more room in the toes. Hopefully, my nails are on their way back to normality.
Ironically, I quite like the way I look in my photos of myself climbing, weightlifting and playing softball, it’s just the running ones.
While I love running and everything it has done for me to date, the one thing I dislike about it is the way I look in my running photos. I shouldn’t think so negatively about the way I look in the one moment in time when the entire event was incredible. I need to put things in perspective, right? I need to remember what those photos represent: the culmination of weeks of training, hard work, sweat and effort. They represent personal bests and great moments made and had with my running friends. They represent constantly challenging myself in new ways.
Yes, I’m going to continue with #keepingitreal, and posting not-so-flattering race photos, like this one at the finish of the Glamis 10km, where I set a new 10km PR:
What’s your #keepingitreal issue?
Are you #keepingitreal on social media?
How awesome is Lauren Fleshman?
p.s. This is my 300th post on I Eat Therefore I Run 🙂