Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keeping it real

I noticed something about myself today that concerned me a little bit.  Not a lot, but I know if I post it here, it will keep me accountable and ensure that these feelings don't go further.  I know that there are several of my friends out in blogland that have struggled with eating disorders, so I know that you will make sure I don't head down that road.

Today I went to a podiatrist to make sure that my foot is ok.*  The nurse was getting all my vitals and weighed me.  A small wave of disappointment went over me after seeing 123 pounds.  I thought after all the marathon training that I would weigh a little less than that.  Then she asked me my height.  I am between 5'5" and 5'6".  She put 5'5" and my BMI came up on the computer as a somewhere around 20.5.  I was hoping to see it in the 19's.  I actually thought about asking her to change my height to 5'6".


I am on the lower end of normal for BMI.  WHY would I want to be even lower?  It is not right for me to think that way.   My logical self knows that.  I know what is healthy.

The other day, I was reluctant posting this picture on Facebook because it shows a little post-baby pooch in my belly hanging over my hydration belt.  I thought to myself that after months of marathon training, I shouldn't have a tummy pooch.  I posted the pictures that showed it the least.  I told myself that I had carbo loaded.  The truth is, I have a little pooch that will never go away.**
I actually didn't post this one because I was vain about the belly shot.
I have a lot of crap going on in my life right now.  I am feeling a little victimized and definitely not in control of what is going on around us.  I know that these kinds of feelings can lead to behavior that seeks to find control.  

I have been lucky enough to have never been on a diet.  The only scale we own has been out of batteries for months.  I don't obsess about my weight.  I am sure that I don't have an eating disorder.  In fact, I don't think a lot about what I eat***.  However, I would hate to think about wanting to lose weight when I am right where I need to be.

So here I am, post-baby belly pooch and all.  When my three-year-old asks me if I have a belly in my tummy, I will smile and tell her that she is the last baby I will ever need.  I will be proud of my strong abdominal muscles, even if they don't form a six-pack.  I just need to focus on staying strong and running, running, running.  Not because it is good for my tummy, because it is good for my soul.

Happy Running.

*Thank goodness there is no stress fracture.  He recommended custom orthotics and a bone density scan.  He thinks that my bones are starting to get weaker (which might explain my pain), so I need to start adding calcium.
**I have never a completely flat tummy, even at my thinnest.
***I do want to think a little more about what I eat.  I recently had some bloodwork done and my HDL (good cholesterol) was not as high as I would have liked.  Results also show that I might be borderline anemic.  Time to add some more iron.



Lisa you are an inspiration! Good for you! I love your honesty and your willingness to call yourself out when you're creating self-talk that hinders or discourages you. You are a beautiful, strong, capable, fabulous and inspiring woman. I am grateful to know you. It's tough to stay strong amidst the chaos of our lives as mothers, spouses, daughters and leaders when even our own inner voice is not supporting and encouraging us. Remember who you are and why you run and talk back when that inner voice criticizes or discourages you. Instead create a steady stream of thoughts about all that you know you are!

Unknown said...

That's great that you are able to see the potential for a problem, acknowledge and go public with it. Very brave! I had an eating disorder, briefly and mildly, over 10 years ago and it is amazing how distorted your thinking gets. You have an amazing body that runs marathons and grows babies!

Anonymous said...

I think we have a knack at gravitating toward what we perceive as the least flattering aspects of photos of ourselves. But the pictures of you show me an incredible athlete having fun!

Don't get hung up on the numbers (easier said than done, I know). Focus on how you feel overall and recognize the power and strength that you have.

This was a good post, I like the idea of keeping yourself accountable.

Alissa said...

What a transparent post. I really appreciate it. You are really on the bottom end of the healthy range - remind yourself of that. I am also 5'5.5 and I do the very same things when calculating my BMI. One of the things I learned awhile back is that a little pudge here and there is part of being healthy. The models you see in the magazines, either have been airbushed, or they are NOT healthy. I remember as I gained weight back to health how all the pudges came back and I kept pointing to my growing stomach pooch and saying to my dietitian "THIS can not be healthy!". She repeatedly reminded me that unless you are a body builder, being a healthy weight includes a little pudge. I have tons of those pictures I'm ashamed to put on the blog, and I haven't even had kids! You're body can run marathons, and birth children, be proud of it for that! :)

Glenn Jones said...

What a great post Lisa. The fact that you aren't satisfied tells us all a little about your drive. But the best part is that you are able to bring yourself back to a grounded reality. Way to go!

And what's wrong with a little rain? I'm looking forward to slipping and sliding in the rain! Hope to see you Saturday!

EmLit said...

Thanks for posting this, Lisa. I know it takes a lot of courage to talk about issues like this and I'm really happy you took the time to write all of this out. It is so important that women share their feelings, thoughts, and opinions about body image and how these things effect them. As more and more people talk openly about this stuff, hopefully fewer and fewer people will suffer from it.

Runner Tammy said...


I agree with the other posters.

You are maintaining a healthy lifestyle with running. And I am sure chasing and lifting a toddler adds even more exercise.

You definitely look very fit to me, so be proud of yourself!

L.B. said...

Great post. I understand where you are coming from. After losing all my weight, I was left with some skin that just won't go away. I haven't tried any sort of extreme ab workouts but I don't even know if that would work. It's disheartening to see pictures sometimes and it can get me a bit down but oh well. I always say that's my penance for having lived the lifestyle I used to.

Still, you look awesome in your pictures.

This is actually the first time I've mentioned this anywhere - outside of my house of course - so I'm keeping it real with ya :)

Irene said...

Hey Lisa! I completely get this. It all comes down to what is right for you - where you are the healthiest, where you feel your best. Things like childbirth and age happen, and that sort of skews how we look at ourselves. I also think some of those formulas they use to figure out BMI are whacked, too. For more accurate numbers you might want to get a DEXA scan that shows your entire body composition and is the most accurate, or hydrostatic testing, which is also pretty accurate. If you go on the internet and look for body comp formulas you will find tons, and depending on what measurements they ask for, the numbers will vary greatly.

I guess what I'm saying is that try not to get hung up on those numbers, unless you're training for a body building competition. We all have parts of our bodies we'd love to change. You are doing amazing things and running so awesomely. You rock, woman!

Terri said...

First of all, I think you look amazing. Do you realize I'm almost 5 inches shorter than you and I weight about 117? That means you are very skinny because I know I am not overweight.

Also, about the pooch you mention. My sister had the same problem after having had three kids. She ended up going to a doctor and it was taken care of by insurance, it was an actual medical procedure for an actual medical problem, and it did involve a tummy tuck. I can ask her more about it if you like. But the point is that it can be a medical problem, she was the same way, that extra skin was just never going to go away on its own without a doctor's attention.

Drop me a note on Facebook if you want me to talk to her, or if you might want to talk to her directly.

prashant said...

That's great that you are able to see the potential for a problem, acknowledge and go public with it. Very brave!

Work From Home

The Alien said...

First of all, you look great, you really do and shouldn't worry much about that.

I've always thought that exercising makes you be more conscious on your body and always wanting to have the perfect body so you can have better performance (and also look good, because there's nothing wrong with that). And seeing yourself in the mirror and not being 100% happy or watching the scale and wishing it was 1 or 2 lbs lower is normal and it's something that I think helps motivate us to train sometimes. Just have to be honest about it and not obsess with it. If you want to loose 1 or 2 lbs there's a difference between thinking "I'm almost there" and going "OMG I'M FAT I HAVE TO GO ON A DIET!". So as long as you keep it healthy and honest I think you will be ok.


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