Hiatus, CrossFit, and Body Image

I could easily say I haven’t blogged for a while because I’ve been super busy, but that would be a big load of crapola. I cut my class load down to a very manageable 14 hours a week, and summer school doesn’t start until July 1. So basically I’ve been doing summer. It has been sweet!

But today I got to thinking about something that I needed to write about. I know some people will read this and totally not get it, or think that I’m a huge bitch or possibly just stupid, but haters be damned, I’m putting it out there!

I have a little bit of backstory for ya.

Since I’ve really started deepening my yoga practice, and then when we went Paleo in January, I dropped some pounds. Not a ton, but enough that it was noticeable. As this happened, I had a lot of that “Oh you got skinny!” talk coming at me. Mind you, I wasn’t unskinny before, but I thought of myself as healthy, not skinny or thin. So although I’m sure when people say that another person got skinny they mean it as a complement, this totally fucked with my head. Around this same time I had already decided I wanted to be stronger and build more muscle mass, and yoga just doesn’t build muscle mass. So my boyfriend and I joined the CrossFit box a few blocks away from our house.

Before I go any further, can I tell you how much I effing love CrossFit? I’ve never had my ass so consistently handed to me workout after workout. I’m constantly sore, for days, after a WOD.

So I know that I’m getting stronger here. I know I’m making progress and I know I’m going to find that strength I want.

But here’s the thing. CrossFit ladies, for the most part, are fit. Not skinny fit. Fit like they lift heavy shit and they eat real food. They have legs and shoulders and arms, and they are not twiggy. They are muscular.

Today in class there a bunch of women, more than most days. And I got a weird complex. I was the weak skinny chick in class. And I felt totally awkward and entirely too self conscious of my stick arms lifting tiny 20lb dumbbells during our thruster warmup.

Luckily for me, everyone at my CrossFit box is fucking awesome and encouraging and no one pointed and laughed at my stick arms. And of course my yoga brain kicks in and tells me it’s not about comparing ourselves to other people yadda yadda yadda.

Point being, never in my life did I think I would be uncomfortable in my body because it’s smaller and weaker than someone else’s. We all know it’s way more common for people to be uncomfortable because they are bigger than others. I’ve been on that side too, many moons ago. And I will tell you, it is the exact same feeling. That feeling of being inadequate, or not good enough. Which is bullshit, because I’m taking my ass to CrossFit three days a week to get stronger and lift heavier shit, but today was, well…rough.

I would hope anyone reading this, whether overweight or otherwise, wouldn’t pull that “skinny people don’t get to bitch about their bodies” line. I would really hope that we can all identify with one another through this feeling, and understand that the girl with the broad muscular shoulders who wishes she was thin, probably has some thin girl looking over and wishing she had shoulders like that.