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.

The Scale

A while ago (probably my first week of blogging), I wrote a post about the scale and my relationship with it.  Three years ago, I decided that weighing myself was not really jive.  I decided I didn’t need justification from a big piece of plastic (or metal if you are fancy) to define my mood or decide how I would feel for the day.  So I threw my scale away…that isn’t too say I haven’t weighed myself a few times in the last few years (doctors’ visits, just plain curiosity…but I don’t weigh myself very often…probably about 5 times since then).

 Though I’ve never had an eating disorder, I can relate with both males and females everywhere that constantly see adds for being “healthy”, that you can never lose enough weight and that being skinny is the key. 

It’s no secret that America (not to exclude other countries) is facing problems with weight.  We are an overweight country…but this post doesn’t go out to people for health reasons that need to lose weight.  This post goes out to people who want to lose weight because it will cure their life and they believe they will be 100% happy.

Let’s take this step by step in a typical day of weighing yourself with no particular goal or need to lose.  Perhaps you weigh yourself every day to make sure that one pound steak you had or delicious ice cream didn’t do any “harm”.

You wake up for the morning…go to the restroom…brush your teeth and weigh yourself.  You stand on a piece of plastic and allow it to tell you a magic three digit number. Now a days, most scales go to the decimal place so you have a few extra digits.  Before you weigh yourself, ask what are you are you hoping by this process?  Are you hoping that you’ll weigh the exact same to the fraction of the decimal?  Are you hoping that you’ll be down .01?  Whatever it is…if you are up anything, the scale has betrayed you.

So then you weigh yourself and let’s think of the two options.

You weigh in less than yesterday.  Instantly your day is good.  You weighed .01 less than yesterday.  It’s a great day, people will be complementing you because they can notice the .01 difference.  I mean, I personally can’t tell even tell whether someone has gained or lost 10 pounds let alone .01…think about that.  .01…incase you wondered, that is 1/100 of a paper clip.  Cut a paper clip into 100 pieces and that is how much weight you have lost since yesterday.

Or you weigh in .01 more.  Everyone will notice and your day is automatically ruined.  It’s currently 6:30 in the morning and you just weighed .01 more, so nevermind the rest of the day…your day is officially ruined and you have been up all of 5 minutes…maybe.

My point is this.  You are letting a giant piece of plastic control your everyday life.  No one can tell if today you weighed in 5 pounds more than yesterday.  No one can tell if today you weighed in 5 pounds less.  Your attitude is how they perceive you…I can tell someone having a rough day.  Someone who weighed themselves at 6:30 am, decided it was a bad weight and is now going to let it ruin their day and mood.

Don’t let that person be you.  Don’t let a piece of plastic and the first 2 minutes of your morning control your life.  

Question for you: What is your relationship with the scale? 

Athletics and Weight

This is a very heavy post.  So I’m not sure if you suffer from any sort of eating disorder or any sort of problem of that nature if you want to read it.  I promised I would be realistic with my blogging besties and here I am.  Being realistic. Sometimes I have to write a couple of serious posts to counteract my other shenanigans but really I have a lot more to say about my 5k race than what met the eye.  No pictures today but I’ll make up for it on my long car ride tomorrow.  🙂

As many of you know I raced a 5k on July 4th.  I ended up finishing in 20:32 which is an okay time for me.  Not the greatest at all but not the worst I could do by far.

During the 20 minutes that I as actually racing though a lot of factors laced into my mind.  I think I did more thinking during those 20 minutes than the entire week combined and I’m taking an online class.

Anywho, I’ll preface this because I don’t know how many people read from my DM, regular subscribers or have read my blog for the last year. (I love you all by the way) Basically I’ll catch you all up to speed so it will make more sense.

Being a two sport college athlete, it is extremely mentally tough.  It’s tough because I’m not doing indoor and outdoor track, I’m not doing two sports that generally work the same muscles or are the same thing.  No offense-but if you do indoor, outdoor, and cross country while yes you are a 3 sport athlete but you are generally doing about the same thing all year round.  Swimming is about a 10 month single sport just as running kind of is.  Swimming and running, however, are 100% complete different.  I mean sure they are both cardio based but that is about it.

With that-there are two completely different body types that excel in both sports.  With running, the smaller you are the general faster you go.  Not all the time and there are plenty of exceptions.  But it is a general case.  With swimming, it is more important to have meat on your bones so that you will be more boyant and generally do better.  When I swam my best times in high school, I was never a rail.  In fact, I was about the highest healthy weight for a 5’7 female.  As I grew older, my body changed (like antipuberty or something).

But long story short-My swim coach and cross country coach have both brought up the topic of weight and how it affects sports with me.  My swim coach, point blank told me I would not do well in swim season if I didn’t gain 10 pounds after cross country last November.  I was not underweight during cross country (and never have been).  We just had a long talk that gaining about ten pounds (healthily) would be best for my swimming.

So I did.

Now-my cross country coach has mentioned a few times that maybe it would help my running to go back to where I was preswimming and preNovember.  No-he is not forcing me to lose weight.  No-he is not telling me to be under weight.  No-he is not pressuring me or telling me I should losing weight is the only option and blah blah blah.  He is merely telling me facts.

 People that are not athletes often forget that your body is what gets you through your sport.  Not everyone loses weight for a body image.  I have been obnoxious and confident in every stage and body proportion of my life and that isn’t a problem. 

The reason I was hesitant to put this on the blog was because I don’t want people to think that anyone is forcing me to do anything, making me feel uncomfortable or triggering any sort of eating disorder. 

Because quite frankly-I’m at a point in my life that I can talk about weight rationally to my coach, to my friends, to my parents, to my blogging besties, DMers whatever without feeling like it is triggering something in me.

Anyways, that race just made me think long and a hard about swimming, running and weight.  All in 20 minutes.  I really don’t need anyone to tell me I need to lose or gain weight because that isn’t what I was getting at.

What do you think about athletics and weight? 

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