I am active- I'm training for a fucking marathon and I enjoy cycling 100km at a time. I am the person who has to be told to take extra rest days. I'm also overweight by about 10kg which has been the case for the last 2-3 years. It makes me uncomfortable because I don't like the way I look any more. I got fat and I didn't even realise.
I don't exercise in order to lose weight, I run because I felt the need to challenge myself and I cycle because it brings me joy, I also believe being active is pretty crucial to cultivating a healthy body that is strong, resistant to illness and can support me in all my endeavours, If you exercise and you're happy with what you see in the mirror- whatever that looks like, I'm pleased for you, But I'm not very happy.
The reality for me is that just because I exercise 4-6 times per week, it doesn't mean I can eat and drink whatever I like and look as good as running 5km makes me feel. For the last month I've been working with a Personal Trainer for a number of reasons- primarily to help with rehab and injury prevention but said trainer also happens to be very knowledgeable regarding nutrition and I decided to take a long hard look at what I could do to improve my relationship with the mirror and my body. It's certainly a tough experience for someone who has been so blind to their own body for so long.
It's been such a conflict for me to resolve that I can run and cycle and train so regularly and that it isn't my get out of jail free card. I can't sink a few bottles of wine a week and be at a comfortable shape, size or weight. It feels somehow unjust because I LIKE wine. And cheese. And I spend hours every week sweating and raising my heart rate. And sweating and raising my heart rate makes me feel good. It's just I don't seem to see any of that in the scales, the body fat percentage of my reflection.
So it goes- if you don't like it, change it. A month of 'cleansing'- real food but no booze, no caffeine, no refined sugars, a knowledgeable outside view of the macros I should be consuming to sustain the level of exercise I do and also shift some weight. It's fine balance that we haven't quite yet gotten a handle on, but it's a step in the right direction.
Weight and body image is a very personal *thing*, and what it comes down to is whether or not you can look yourself in the eye and be happy with yourself. The current movements like #thisgirlcan and WomenInSport are designed to remind us that first and foremost being active should be fun, should be a choice and women's sport is about sport. I 100% support all these movements which is probably one of the reasons I've struggled to reconcile my feelings about my weight and how I look. But this is the beauty of it being 2015- so you know what, it's ok for me to enjoy being active and it's ok for me to not be happy with how I look and for me to decide to do something about it.