I am also a woman with a memory like a steel trap. When I was 13, the boy I was OMGSOINLOVE with grabbed one of my thighs and told me, "You'd better start working out!" When I was 16, I overheard the boy I was OMGSOINLOVE with say "Sharon's great... from the waist up." And then, after getting that incredibly useful theatre degree, there was the casting director who sat me down and told me, "You're really talented, but I just don't know how to cast you. You're too heavy to play the ingenue and not heavy enough to play the character roles."
What did I take away from all this? Well, first of all, I learned that there are apparently only two types of women in theatre, and I wasn't one of them. Second, I learned that I should probably never wear shorts.
Over the past years, I've struggled a lot with these and other comments, rolling around and resonating in my head. Going to a store to try on clothes could cause a panic attack. Going to the beach was a major source of anxiety.
However, since I've started running more and more, besting my previous race times and seeing myself improve in fitness and ability, I've realized something -- I may not always love my body, but I certainly respect it.
These thighs? Sure, they're meaty. But they are powerful. They carry me further than a lot of people could go, and while they may not be the sleekest models, they are strong and reliable.
My body may not be an aesthetic "ideal," but it is a mechanical marvel. In order for it to do all that I'm asking of it over the next year, and beyond, I'm just going to have to show it a lot of respect. Even the jiggly bits.