Today we’ve got Muireann, our Runner, letting us know her thoughts on body image and blogging.
Body image is a funny ol’ game. As women, we’re basically supposed to hate our bodies – at least, you’d be forgiven for thinking so if you pay attention to the media aimed at us. Everything is about weight loss: get rid of your cellulite, shift those love handles, tone up those flabby bat wing arms, you’re too pale – get a tan! Your eyelashes aren’t long enough, lips not plump enough, boobs not big enough and where are your washboard abs?
I’m lucky that I’ve never really been the type to obsess over my body image. I’ve always been relatively happy with the way I look. But once I started running and blogging about my journey from couch to half marathon, I noticed a pronounced shift in the way I thought about and spoke about my body.
The more I exercised, the more I thought of my body as a machine. As I ran, I zeroed in on my heartbeat, imagined how my lungs were working, pictured the blood pumping through my veins. I pictured my muscles working away, the power it took for them to get these legs moving the way they did. I felt strong, powerful and in control.
The more I blogged about these feelings, the more women got in touch with me saying how much they appreciated this fresh approach and how it was helping them change their feelings about their own bodies. Putting together my groups of Team Bangs on the Run ladies, I made this a founding principle – if you’re only in it to lose weight, you’re on the wrong team. I was trying to create a mentality where women want to be fit for life, not just to look good in a bikini this summer.
Blogging has been key to all of this. It’s helped me get my feelings down and find a connection with others in the blogging community who want a new approach to fitness and body image. It spurred me on to start my new website, Spikes and Heels, aimed at badass women who train hard. This Maxitone challenge has definitely spurred it on also – it has solidified my desire for my fitness principles to be about power, strength and endurance over anything else.
The growing number of us who are now freely and confidently able to say ‘I love my body’ thanks to the power of blogging and exercise is growing – long may it continue!