Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover.. I am an IRONMAN!

Writing this post is quite frankly the scariest thing I have ever done!  But I feel it needs to be said!

I am a real woman, with a real body, real body issues, and a real accomplishment to share.  Body image is plaguing us, both young and old alike.  We are afraid to share our bodies, we are afraid to do things because of 'how we look.'  I have numerous friends who say they love to swim but 'No one wants to see me in a bathing suit."  It breaks my heart, so I am finally  putting this out there.

I started writing this blog 6 years ago. I named it "FatGirl's Ironman Journey" because I identified with being fat and there's a little tongue in cheek humor on it based on how Triathlon classifies larger athletes.   I've had so many conversations about "FAT", it is a bad word to some, it is an excuse to some, it is a demon of some, and it is a word that I am not afraid of, I am embracing "FATGIRL"

I have wanted to write a post like this for years but honestly, it's scary. I know there will be haters, and I know this will encourage others so I'm doing it.    I've been yelled at: "did you call this fatgirl to just get attention.".. uh no? no one told you to read my blog :).  

Today I weighed 170 lbs.  I am 5' tall!  Yes that puts me in the obese category.  I am not the biggest women ever, I'm also not so small.   I haven't lost hundreds of pounds, I am in awe of those folks! You guys are awesome.  I get looks of "shuttup" from some larger women, they say "you're not fat, cut it out"- but I am, and it's ok.

  I find my self defending 'you're not fat.' I'm like 'hello? you should see me without the spanx or just in a bikini top."  I don't strive to look like one of the Olsen twins, I just don't want to FEEL fat anymore.   I also just recently found myself saying the SAME thing to a friend who I think is beautiful and well, SKINNY.  She isn't happy either, she's had a couple children and said "I'd like to keep that other stupid 5lbs off." I immediately went to the "you are not fat, really are you on the 'overweight or obese line in the health scale?" - wow I'm a jerk.  I thought about it after and  she has a right to feel uncomfortable just like I do.  I think until society makes a little plumpness more the 'norm' we will all have these issues, and we need to stick together.

I am a story of persistence, and of acceptance.  I bounce between 150-170.  I don't really lose weight.  I have tried just about every fad diet, diet meds, nutritionists. Things like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or just tracking calories.  I've tried prescription diet pills and even the OTC scary ones that had ephedra in them. I quietly sat by and did these things to my body without letting anyone know my struggles.  I am so sad about what lengths women and girls are going through 'lose weight' like the cotton ball diet? ugh!    There is a point where so many folks just throw in the towel and just binge eat.

I never lose weight, I was always 'fat'. People say I don't "look" fat, that's good!  I can dress! My crazy outfits are on purpose. A well placed design on a bike shirt hides rolls I don't want to see.  This is the same day as the top picture!

I am almost to a point  of acceptance. I mean I did an Ironman and I'm still fat, that means..guess what, my body wants to be here!  I'd like my pants to fit, I'd like to not be horrified at the 'wrong angle' picture.  I'd like to wear a form fitting shirt.  I doubt any of those things will happen!

What I have to do now is realize, yea so what, I'm fat... but I AM AN IRONMAN!

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  1. You are so right. Great post and thanks for sharing. You are very inspiring to me. You should be proud! Not ever one is an IRONMAN!!! Way to go!

  2. You are kick ass in my book, so don't change, I like you just the way you are! :)

  3. I soooo needed this! Like you, my scale never budges...no matter how much I train, no matter how I eat. And yes, I race Athena (shamelessly), and yes, I'm in the back of the pack. And I'm OK with that. But it's nice to know someone else shares the same body-worries. Thank you for taking the time to write this blog. I'm sure I'm not the only one gathering strength from it. Keep on rocking!

  4. Congrats on accepting your body! There is no scale in our house, I use my spare tire to make a 'belly-bum' to make the kids laugh and all I aspire for is to feel flexible, strong and clean (as in eating-clean). Not every one can even conceive of doing an Ironman - your mind and body are amazing!

  5. <3 !!! Its a shame how we've made the size we are more important than the strength of our character, the breadth of our compassion and understanding for others, or the giant personalities we house within the shells that are our bodies. Fantastic post! And congratulations on being an Ironman! (woman?) :)

  6. Very inspiring! Congratulations! I wish I had your strength to overcome the stupid social stigma that we have put on ourselves!
    This is great help to all of us!

  7. Buoyancy helps in the swim leg !!! Well done ! I enjoyed reading this.

  8. Thank you for your bravery in sharing ;)

  9. As a friend of other Ironman Athletes - I know what an accomplishment that is. I'm in awe!! And I, too, will never be skinny. But I've climbed mountains ridden century rides, and have down half marathons. I had to search for an orthopedic surgeon for a knee injury who took me seriously. But I did find one. He's a gem. Good luck to you. There are so many more rewards to going out and daring greatly then to be skinny... Believe me... My favorite quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
    ― Theodore Roosevelt

    Best to you in your adventures!

  10. Awesome!!! I loved that post! I was just searching for honest average people who blog about their ironman experiences. And here you are! :)
    I too feel it's not a matter of getting to an 'ideal' weight, I just want to feel strong and comfortable in my own body! I want to push it to accomplish the 'inconceivable'! You have a new follower! Lol!

  11. I've kind of found you in a roundabout way. Congrats on you Ironman, what a finish! I have stalked you a little and know your finish time. I've a 3 x ironman finisher and have 15:59, 16:48 and 16:44 finishes. I'm 5ft tall and weigh 165 so I'm a cuddly triathlete!

  12. Hi Laura,

    I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Not sure if you are familiar with it or not. It’s for bloggers to nominate other blogs they enjoy reading that have a small following. Your blog is fantastic.

    Anyway, for the questions I was required to ask you and the list of rules, you can see my blog post where I have nominated you here at http://darilynweiss.blogspot.ca.

    Thanks and keep up the great job!

  13. Thanks for sharing - I'm an Athena athlete as well, and lots of this is very, very familiar. But for me to say "Athena ATHLETE" and have it roll off my tongue is definitely progress :)

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