What’s this? Could it be equality? An admission that everyone who exercises are not size 4 dolls with perfect musclature? I love it!
Who’s that girl? For the August issue of Women’s Running, we shot Erica Schenk in one of her favorite places to run: Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The New Yorker, who has been a runner for 10 years, shared her thoughts on our cover shoot and the accompanying feature, where she shows off new running gear for women with curvy frames.*
I feel that there are several parts of both the Huffington Post article and the various articles in Women’s Running that are perhaps more eloquent than anything I can write about this subject, so quite a bit of this article will quotes. And, of course, there will be links to each article so you can read each one in its entirety.
For so long we have been faced with monthly exercise magazines covered with models with seemingly unattainably shaped bodies. I have respect for women who have the will and determination to get to that shape and maintain it. But let’s face it, a lot of that is based on genetics. No matter what I do, I won’t look like one of those women. I know, I was a size 4 in my early 20s. And I still had a pot belly and large thighs. Just a smaller pot belly and large thighs 😉
I spent years trying to regain the glory of my size 4 days. Now I know what my body shape is and I accept (most days) it. I exercise for the feel, not the look. It is a good feeling to reach this point.
Instead of focusing on what running does for my body, I now focus on the joy it brings to my life—like this moment in May when I had the pleasure of pacing my little brother through his very first half marathon.
It’s important to remember that runners come in all sizes—and healthy does too. You look fast when you’re striding down the street at top speed. You look fit when you’re holding a plank with perfect form. You look healthy when you’re making the best decisions for your mind, body and spirit.
Jessica Sebor, Woman’s Running, Why everyone can be a Runner
We all make judgments when we see other humans. I think it is a natural instinct left over from days when we had to pick the cream of the crop (tribe) for a mate that would keep us and our children safe, and which other tribe women might be a danger to our getting that mate. Ok, that was a bit simplified. But when we lived in caves, we lived off instincts and thought completely different. I have been trying to control my “judgements;” in that after I make that snap judgement, I try to think of a good (re:nice) reason that the other person looks that way that spurred my judgement.
Of the many misconceptions that exist about plus-size people, the notion that they don’t care about fitness is one of the most narrow-minded.**
I can’t even lose my last 10 lbs. How on earth can I sit in judgement on people who need to lose more? It is so difficult and takes so long. The effort, the will to keep going and not eat what they shouldn’t for YEARS! And the huge amount of media and social pressure that tells them they should be able to do it. So I encourage anyone who wants to run–or exercise in any format–to go for it. It will be hard. But find something you enjoy, and you will miss it when you take a day off. If you don’t like what you are doing, try something else. And the heck with anybody else’s preconceptions.
“some women believe that since they have curves they can’t run or shouldn’t run. Running is for every body, any time.” –Erica Schenk**
As Taylor Swift says, “haters gonna hate.” Just do what you enjoy & ignore the naysayers