Body Shame from a Male Perspective

So it has been a while since I posted last. Several weeks as a matter of fact.

I can chalk it up to being crazy busy. I am in a transition in my life which will leave me with a lot of decisions to make on where to go from here.

But that is another post for another day.

I have had something on my mind since I participated in the Ironman 70.3 Florida a few weeks ago and then an interesting thing happened in the bloggersphere that is related.  Allow me to set the stage:

The Florida half-iron was a tough race. It all but broke me, both physically and mentally. But there was one thing that happened that I didn’t really talk about.

I was about a quarter mile from the finish line. I was trying to run, but all my body could really muster was a tortured shuffle. There were a handful of spectators on the sideline, one of which was a child looking for high fives. He was probably not much older than 4 or 5. I gave him a high five and as I did his eyes went really wide and he pointed at me with his other hand. He started to say something but his mother very quickly put her hand over his mouth and starting telling him “No!”  I am not 100% sure what had just happened, but I had an idea.

I felt like it was confirmed for me when I saw my race photos.

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The above montage does not actually capture what I saw. I picked those pictures because they don’t show the roly-poly-ness that I am still dealing with after losing weight. I hate it. And sometimes it makes me hate myself. Honesty first, right?

Maybe I am the only one that sees it this way, but I can’t help but see a stay-puff marshmellow man running.

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I wrote a post a long time ago about wearing the Apron. Please go read that post. I just re-read it and realized that I have come far yet still have far to go… 

I still deal with a lot of self-loathing over my body. After losing over 100 pounds I am still not at my ideal weight and I carry  A LOT of loose skin and flab around my belly and lower mid-section. It makes my pants fit weird and is totally embarrassing to me.  I have a good feeling that the child on the course in Florida was pointing out my flabby bits because, hey, children are unabashed in their honesty. I don’t hold it against him. I hold it against me. Maybe I am just imagining it or I am so self-conscience about it that I was seeing something that wasn’t there. But it is what I feel.

So there it is. I am not happy with myself. Sometimes I feel like my whole success in losing weight is overshadowed by my continued discomfort in my own skin.

But then something happened a couple of weeks after the race. You may have heard about Brooke Birmingham and the awesome fuss she raised when Shape Magazine wouldn’t accept a picture of her in a swimsuit after her incredible weight loss journey. Here is the pic that caused all of the fuss:

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Brooke was brave enough to tell the world that her success in weight loss far “outweighed” what society may see as unsightly. She basically told Shape magazine that if they didn’t want to show her as she was as an encouragement to others in the same place then she didn’t want to be associated with their magazine. Bitchin bold move! I love the fact that she caused such a ruckus and a stir because she was able to overcome an issue that I was and still am struggling with.  She is so much braver than I am and I am thrilled about it.

Brooke SHOULD be proud of what she has done. And I SHOULD be proud as well. But the truth is, I am still struggling with it.   I just wanted to let you know about it.

Thank you Brooke for your boldness and honesty.

It is an inspiration.

I think that with time I will be healed from my own mental issues with myself. I hope so anyway.  I just have to remember how far I have come. I have to keep in mind that I am a new person with new habits and a new lease on life. I can do things now that I have never been able to do and I have beaten this illness back.

If I can overcome the physical obstacle of obesity then I will be able to overcome the mental obstacle as well. Until then, I will keep pressing forward.

 

 

 

 

2014 Ironman 70.3 Florida

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Have you ever heard the phrase “an uphill battle? Keep that in mind as I spin this yarn about a former fat-boy who is now tri-ing.

So last year I ran my first 70.3 at Try Charleston. At the time, it was the most
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Alan Ali – Triathlete

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I made a promise to a friend about a year ago.

My friend Alan has been on an incredible weight loss journey over the past couple of years.  He has lost around 150 pounds and I think that he will tell you that he
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2014 Parris Island Sprint Triathlon

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Well, if you haven’t heard… this was my best triathlon to date.

And it started like this…

Last week I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do this race. I pretty much decided the week before that I would do it even though I
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The Race Season is Upon Us

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So I have had some crazy stuff happening at work recently. It has had my mind occupied and has put my triathlon training into a bit of a funk. But you didn’t come here to listen to me complain about work. You came here
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You Wouldn’t Give a Drug Addict a Cheat Day

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I submitted this blog to the Huffington Post but for some reason they decided they didn’t want to run it. Since it was already written, I figured I might as well post it here for you guys to read. Anyone who has followed me
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Ungredient: You Heard It Here First

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My wife was talking to me about what to make for dinner tonight.  She said that she had promised the kids that they could make pizzas because they didn’t think I would be there for dinner. Well thanks to Charleston Snow/Icepocolypse 2014 Round 2
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2014 Charleston Half Marathon

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Here we are again. Me, apologizing for not writing sooner. You, holding it over my head and making me feel like a complete slacker. Well, ok. So only 50% of that scenario is actually the way it is. With that being said, I’m sorry
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Chas Half Mary Approaches

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So, somehow when I posted my upcoming race schedule, I left off my first event of the year.

Not sure why I failed to mention what I have basically been training for since the end of October.

On Saturday I will be running
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Race Cards

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2013 was a wild year for me.

You can see for yourself by checking out my 2013 visual review. There were all sorts of things happening. Not to mention that I competed in 9 triathlons and did a handful of other physical activities.


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