Normalizing bodies (or trying to)

After all the activity yesterday I really debated going to the gym this morning. I went to bed thinking “Okay I give myself permission to skip tomorrow if I’m sore and miserable, I don’t want to over-do it and hurt myself” but luckily I woke up feeling okay, so off to workout. I still might have overdone it; 45 minutes on the elliptical and then half a mile on the treadmill (I did feel really good! and I went extra fast (1 mph over my ‘slow’ 2 mile run pace) to justify doing only a half mile– it was a stretch but it was perfect to cap off the workout). I get the feeling that recovery is going to be critical this weekend; I am already hitting the ibuprofen and it’s only going to get worse as I sit all day.

So remember the woman from ? I see her at the gym often. As payback, I like to do my thing around the locker room with less clothes on than I might otherwise– my fat body is all up in your gym and it’s GREAT, lady. I went to blow-dry my hair in pants and bra (pretty fully clothed, IMO, but apparently my belly is massively offensive) and she seriously ran away from the sinks and finished getting ready somewhere else. Normally I’m not about invading someone’s comfort zone, but it’s a freaking locker room and bodies belong there.

I think it’s important for women to see all kinds of bodies, especially since the media picture of womens’ bodies is so unrealistic– magazines and porn, folks. But when I’m in the locker room there are women of all ages and sizes and shapes, with wrinkles and droopy bits and cellulite and all the things that get airbrushed out. It’s refreshing.

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2 Responses to Normalizing bodies (or trying to)

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m really enjoying your blog. I’m working on the whole running and HAES thing (got my first 10k in a month) and I love reading about your running adventures.

    I just wanted to add in that I think your comment on how we have to normalize bodies is bang on. I live in North America and my experiences with pool change rooms and gym locker rooms over the years had mostly been exercises in hiding. We all did it: showered in the little individual stalls or with our swimsuits on. I perfected dressing under a towel even though that meant I never really got dry.

    So, yes, the only scantly clad bodies we saw were of carefully coiffed and touched up celebrities.

    I then spent a summer in Europe about 6 years ago and I lived in a residence where all of the women showered in a big open room together.

    At first, I was very nervous and shy. I tried to avoid showering when others were in there because it was hard to hide then, but due to schedules and such that quickly became impossible so I was in there in the nude showering with everyone else in the nude.

    Looking back on it, I swear it was one of the healthiest experiences of my life. I saw what real female bodies look like: hair and tan lines and moles, stretchmarks and wobbly bits. And after it I felt so much more comfortable in my body.

    Cuz no matter what size it is, my body is normal too.

    (It also gave me a very solid sense of the difference between sexual nudity and non sexual nudity but that’s a little off topic)

    • G says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Actually, I would love to hear your thoughts on sexual/non-sexual nudity. I’ve never been in that degree of exposure– even in the locker room, there are individual showers– so I’m curious as to what you took away from the experience in that regard.

      Good luck with your 10k! Let me know how it goes. :)

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