Body consciousness vs. body confidence

I consider myself to, for the most part, be pretty comfortable with my body. But like most women there are certainly times when I am self-conscious of certain things about myself. My lower half is the part of me that I would say I am least comfortable with. Like I think I have mentioned before I have had “athletic” legs and a bigger-than-average butt since high school.

I have never worn compression shorts while running before without something over top of them (shorts or, in my lacrosse days, a kilt). It isn’t that I loathe my legs and butt as much as I don’t want to draw unnecessary public attention to them. The thought of doing something as high-impact movement oriented as running in form-fitting bottoms is hard enough; but compression shorts, in all their tightness, also put me at risk of the dreaded muffin-thigh and that is entirely too much exposure to handle.

Well, last night was supposed to be laundry night and I instead chose to ignore every chore on my list in favor of the couch and a trip to get frozen yogurt with Jeremy. My punishment was waking up this morning for my run and realizing that almost all of my running clothes were dirty. Instead of wearing nasty smelling shorts I sucked it up and put on a pair of compression shorts and a tank top and headed to the apartment gym.

Granted, the gym at my apartment doesn’t see heavy traffic in the early morning hours. But it was still a big step. I ran 7 miles in compression shorts in a public setting and didn’t feel embarrassed. When all was said and done, I wasn’t thinking about how my legs looked at all. Instead, I was just thankful that they had gotten me through a really tough tempo run.

Legs

It is interesting that my legs are my most valuable asset as a runner and yet they bare the brunt of the largest majority of my self-deprecating thoughts. I should be proud of my athletic lower half and all that it has helped me accomplish and I should be prioritizing those positive thoughts ahead of any negative ones, like “muffin thighs”.

I think that the same mentality is something that everyone – especially women – should try to adopt. The parts of our bodies that make us most self-conscious still serve an important purpose and contribute in some way to something that we love about ourselves. Honoring those positive contributions can help us to improve our self-image and ultimately feel more comfortable in our own skin.

What part of your body are you most self-conscious about? What is something positive it does that you can be proud of it for?

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6 thoughts on “Body consciousness vs. body confidence

  1. I love this! It’s so true, I’m always so hard on my body even though it does amazing things. Congrats on being brave enough to rock those compression shorts in public!

    • Thanks! I think women in particular have a habit of focusing on the negative over the positive when it comes to our bodies and we definitely need to work on changing that attitude!

  2. I feel you COMPLETELY on the legs comment…. I have always knocked my legs out of all of the parts of my body and yet they do SO much for me. I’ve learned to count my blessings and realize while they may not be tiny they are STRONG and have a LOT of miles on them because of it!

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