Food for Thought: One for the Ladies

From the Tabata Times.

We all have our favorites. Whether it is our favorite ice cream flavor, favorite restaurant or our favorite band, we gravitate to what makes us happy.

Currently, my favorite item happens to be my hot pink Lululemon short shorts. My latest addition to my workout wardrobe is Elle Woods girly meets Camille Leblanc-Bazinet CrossFit badass.

Aside from the bright, cheerful color, I love what my itty bitty CrossFit shorts represents, which is pure appreciation and love for my body.

I haven’t always loved my body.

As a teenager, I remember going into swimming pools with an over sized t-shirt, because I didn’t think I would look good in a bathing suit. I wasn’t the only one.

During my college years, I whittled down to a size double zero — to appease my boyfriend — because that is what he and society thought was beautiful. I didn’t really give much thought to what I thought was beautiful.

When I became a mother, I struggled with my new widened hips, larger breasts, stretch marks, mommy pouch and softer silhouette.

Decades wasted on silent self loathing.

Despite how others, from friends to lovers, viewed me as beautiful, I just didn’t see it.

It’s messed up, isn’t it? Years of brainwashing, body shaming and a bill of lies we have been sold will do that to you.

Even to this day, I still have my momentary struggles with my body image.

However, my experiences at CrossFit have allowed me to adopt a healthier view. No longer do I agonize over a number on a scale; rather, I focus on how my body feels.

Whenever I go to CrossFt, no one is pointing out others’ “flaws.” Instead they are literally cheering and clapping for you to reach your goals.

For the longest time, I wanted to be at my goal weight of 118 (I had been that size four years ago), which is nearly 20 pounds away from my current weight. Why 118? Why do we choose these arbitrary numbers? Seriously?

“I will be happy when I reach my goal weight.”

Do you know what I think now? I am not going to WAIT to be happy until I reach a certain WEIGHT.

Oprah calls that her A-ha moment! I just had mine.

Quick back story: The whole reason why I got into CrossFit is that I actually met a cute CrossFitter at a bar. I hit on him, we started dating, and he gave me my first sip of the CrossFit Kool-Aid.

“Watch this video,” said the cute CrossFit boy from Indiana.

It was in this video that I saw Jackie Perez for the first time in an all women’s CrossFit video called Beauty in Strength.

Over the past few years, I have always admired Jackie Perez, a world-renowned CrossFitter, who is known for her beauty and strength. She was one of the women who inspired me to join CrossFit.

I loved everything they said, but one line in the video really hit home. Jackie shared, “I was just trying to be skinny…It wasn’t getting me anywhere.”

That is exactly how felt. Finally, I stopped worrying about being skinny and just focused on what I do have control over: eating clean, lifting, sleeping properly and drinking enough water.

My weight goals now don’t involve me on a scale, but they do involve calculating how much weight I am putting on a bar.

Watching all these beautiful and strong women inspired me to love my body too and find my own strength again. Maybe one day I would rock my own short shorts like Jackie Perez.

It wasn’t till just prior to this year’s CrossFit Open that I decided I wasn’t going to wait on being a certain weight before rocking those shorts.

So I marched myself into Lululemon and bought my first pair of “Jackie” shorts and wear them on days when I need a little extra inspiration and motivation.

With my second CrossFit Open approaching, I decided I was going to channel my inner Jackie in my new favorite work out shorts.

I felt sexy. I felt strong. I no longer cared what other people thought of me.

If anyone had an issue with my body, they could kiss my a** while I was busy PRing my overhead squat in my second CrossFit Open.

Do I have a Jackie body? Of course not. I am not delusional. However, I sure as hell am proud of what my body has not only accomplished over the last two years, but over the course of my lifetime. Why would I hide that from the world?

Who cares if I have cellulite or a little belly? I am healthy and strong; that is all that should matter.

I love my little pink shorts because it reminds me that I no longer need to give a damn what the rest of the world thinks of my body. All that matters is that I respect it, care for it and love it unconditionally.

I’m not skinny.

I’m not fat.

I’m a CrossFit athlete. Now THAT is beautiful.