A topic I’ve been up front and open about on my blog and in my personal life is weight. The problem in my opinion is that less people are upfront and open making the topic more taboo. Distance runners and athletes in general walk a fine line between healthy and unhealthy weight. It’s not new evidence that those weighing less have an easier time running. To an extent as the line becomes cloudy and unhealthy when you are underweight. It’s also not new evidence that those who run a lot burn a lot and therefore need to eat a lot. That isn’t the topic of this post though.
In the past few years weight has always been something that I don’t have a problem discussing. Not in a way of I think I look fat today or does this make my butt look big but in a way that is objective. Weight is after all just a number. So with that I weigh 130 pounds and am 5’7. When people ask they are normally shocked and would guess I would 100 pounds. I’m tall and have a decent amount of muscle. Plus people always underestimate other’s weights anyways. Most people would rather others think they weigh less.
Weight and the Blogging World
Weight is a taboo touchy subject in the blogging world. It can trigger people or it can create a hellsend of backlash. With more than average people suffering or recovering from eating disorders, I’ve found it’s a very hush hush subject. We must also realize that in the United States that is not the norm. As someone who has worked in the public health field, I saw more people that needed to lose weight then gain weight.
The problem with weight is that we are strained to talk about it publically. For some, it feels like an embarrassment. They do not want others to know their true weight or lie about it. Some lie to hide they are truly overweight and some lie for a disorder. In both cases you are only lying to yourself.
Weight and Me
I can recall the very moment I stopped caring about my weight. While I do care in the sense that I want to be at a healthy weight past that do I care if my weight is 131 or 127…it changes all the time. I stopped caring about my weight when I realized it didn’t define me. My personality, my humor, my running talents all shine through despite weight. Being open and honest with your weight can help others realize that weight is truly just a number.
So are there days that I feel more bloated than a puffer fish? Sure, today happens to be one of them. Are there days that I feel like muscles decided to grow overnight and I am more toned then usual? Sure.
Weight and Athletics
When thinking about running and race weight I think it’s important to realize that while most runners are thinner weight is not the sole base of your running. When you get too wrapped up in weight and how it controls training, you will get injured or start to slow down. Worrying about weight and what you eat isn’t going to do any justice to your training.
You should be worrying about miles, pace and enjoying your running. Adding the worry of weight, whether losing or gaining won’t do you any favors. As someone who ran collegiately I saw many amazing distance runners fall into this trap. They would start off a season strong. They would begin to lose weight and become faster in the middle of the season. By the end of the season they had lost too much weight and were either burnt out, slowed down significantly because of fatigue or became injured. All three cases led to no longer competing and also no longer enjoying running.
Don’t let weight define you as a person. Being open and honest about it, whether you need to lose, gain or maintain will get you much further and you’ll be much happier. I can only wish that others come to this conclusion and weight stays that…just a number. Not something that defines you.