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Archive for the ‘Body Image’ Category

I was not going to put in my two cents about the Hunger Diaries article “written” by Katie Drummond in this month’s edition of Marie Claire. I was going to leave it all to the eloquent reponses of Kath, Tina, Caitlin, Meghann, and Heather. Really, I was.

But then I got to thinking. And the more I thought about the out of context words and images that Drummond painted the more I got angry. Mostly, I’m angry because I was lucky enough to attend the Healthy Living Summit in August. I was able to meet awesomely amazing bloggers and blog readers who shared my common passion in living a healthy…and HAPPY life, with the word “happy” being emphasized. And if Katie Drummond did not walk herself right into the Healthy Living Summit with an agenda, then I’d like a better explanation of her words, because the positivity in those rooms could not be ignored.

I’m not saying that the issues that Drummond speaks about in the article don’t exist. ED’s are alive and real within this blogging community and I’m sure they have been triggered by blogs. Maybe we should be thankful to Drummond for drudging all of this to the forefront—it should NEVER be ignored. But I believe the we are all so outraged about this because Drummond’s article takes advantage of those extremely serious, life-threatening issues and uses them in a sensationalist manner, to gain readers. The hypocrisy cannot be ignored…flip the pages in Marie Claire and see airbrushed models, emaciated and pushing these images into the minds of our youth…something that we as bloggers work tirelessly to break.

So please, look at some of my favorite pictures from this year. I hope that you will see a HAPPY, healthy woman who gains strength and power from fitness and healthy foods. Since I started seesinglive in April, I have made new friends. I have had new experiences. And I have pushed myself to achieve things I never thought were possible. If that is wrong, Katie Drummond, then I don’t want to be right.  

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If you aren’t familiar with Operation Beautiful, I recommend visiting Caitlin’s site and jumping on board! OB is the ultimate testament to how a single action (an inspirational post-it note) can lead to a full blown movement (putting an end to fat talk).

To celebrate the Operation Beautiful book release this week, Caitlin is recruiting bloggers to post about their stories and experiences with body image for “Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look” Week.

I’ve always been athletic. In high school I played soccer and throughout college and post grad I worked out at a gym almost every day. It wasn’t until this year, until I joined the healthy lifestyle blogging community, that I realized that being healthy and being athletic are two very different things. Sure, in college I could run 6 miles but I would return home from that run to binge drink and eat late night Chinese food. Yes, I had a great time, but was I healthy? Absolutely not. When I looked in the mirror did I take pride in my body? No way.

So, I stopped drinking as much and as often. I started cooking more often for myself then ordering in food. I ate more veggies, fruits, and whole grains instead of processed junk. I love to eat, I just changed what I was putting into my body.  I didn’t cut out anything completely, I just learned what moderation meant. The knowledge I gained from reading different blogs has been invaluable.

When I decided earlier this year that I wanted to train and compete in the Boilermaker 15K and the Piseco Lake Sprint Triathlon, I wasn’t sure that I could do it. I had never run farther than a 10K and I had never swam or cycled in anything other than a leisure situation. But I did it. I put in the time and trained my body and mind and crossed both finish lines. I had never felt more pride in my self–physically and mentally–than I did in those moments.

Having a positive image of my own body everyday is a culmination of different factors—exercise, eating a balanced, healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and having FUN all work together. And sure, I sometimes get caught up comparing myself to those rail-thin models that plague the cover of magazines or the those electronic numbers on my scale, but in the big picture those just don’t matter.

I’ll continue to love my body for my Irish skin, for my face that looks like my dad and my hands that are identical to my mom’s, and for the strength I have to keep crossing finish lines.

Congratulations, Caitlin, on the book release. Here is a “cheers” to each and every inspirational sticky note out there.

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