I love my legs. They look fantastic.
Thing is, these are the same legs I’ve always had. The thighs I used to think were too big. The legs with cellulite. The legs that didn’t make me look (in my own mind) like the lean runner I wanted to be.
Maybe my legs are a little more toned these days, but it’s not like I’ve lost several inches around my thighs. The cellulite is definitely still there. I still have stubby, inelegant toes and a knotty bunion on my left foot.
But I love my legs and feet because I appreciate them. These legs allow me to swim, bike and run. These legs are mine, and no one else has them.
I don’t know when the love pushed out the hate. The process was gradual, and it started when I started running marathons. Finally, I found my home in the running world. And I worked, and yes, my legs became more toned.
I was grateful for them, and they looked great, and it was an upward spiral from shame to love.
How we look does have an impact on us, but it’s not about what other people think. It’s how we see ourselves. I could look in the mirror and see the hips I think are too wide, or I could see a strong, muscled, beautiful female form.
And you know what else? I don’t have time to hate my thighs. Of all the wonderful, exciting, stimulating and challenging adventures I can go on in this world, why would I spent time hating an essential part of me?! Why would I want to do that to myself?!
So I stopped. I take a moment to look in the mirror and admire how strong my legs look in my short spandex shorts. I admire the curve of my waist into my hips. I admire how even my wide, stubby, little feet look like an athlete’s feet because they are an athlete’s feet.
It’s been a few years since I stopped body-shaming myself, but this behavior is still raging among too many of us. I wrote this because I realized how unusual and wonderful it is to look at myself in a new sport bikini and believe I look amazing. This starts with hard physical work toward a goal and continues with gratitude.