Fat Fridays – Couch to 5k

Thanksgiving 2012 052

The series “Fat Fridays” is based off of my new journey of couch to 5k for the Spring Girls on the Run on April 20, 2013. I am trying to raise 300 dollars for the local chapter of girls on the run, the donation link can be found here. While I am training for the 5k I am also self-reflecting using some of the themes from the GOTR biweekly lessons that the girls go through. I do not claim to be fat (although “Feeling Fat” -definitely) but I am taking the perceptions of myself in reflection to help compile this series. 

I recently ran into one of my friends from a feminist camp I took in the winter. I was very proactive immediately after the holiday season at refraining from self-negativity. This camp allowed for me to be in a feminist space that understood why I was calling myself out on body-negativity and self-negativity. The idea of daily affirmations isn’t new. In fact it’s so simple that it seems stupid. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am powerful. It is mocked in film with characters chanting to themselves in the mirror before they go on a date. The scene is meant to be funny.

I know that during some point the Girls on the Run we discuss the ideas of self-positive talk. I am now finished coaching my first season with Girls on the Run.  I still distinctly remember how quickly the girls were able to “think up a self-negative phrase.” Within seconds I heard each girl say negative saying after negative saying and it hit home. These amazing, beautiful, strong, girls have everything in front of them. Their bodies are still changing, their life still molding, and their ideas still coming forth. How is it they could come up with self-negative talk so easily?

Because we, the collective we as an American society, like to look at all the negatives, and best of all the media and the corporations like to look at the negatives as well. Let’s look at the simple act of packing for a trip. I wouldn’t wear that shirt because my stomach isn’t flat enough and it peaks out just a sliver at the end; It’s a total sign of not being aware you’re fat. So I won’t wear that. I can’t wear my slacks because, frankly it’s been months since I’ve put them on and I’m nervous they won’t fit. I’ll bring three cardigans because if somehow when I get to the destination and I realize that my shirt isn’t fitting well or I don’t look my best because of traveling I can cover myself. I should also bring some makeup because I read somewhere studies show women are taken more seriously when they wear makeup.

That is literally my thought process when packing. Now imagine the daily turmoil of choosing what to wear. I have anxiety about the work force and the clothes I will have to force my body into fitting into. My daily activities are full of critical and self-negative experiences.

So what happens when you take daily affirmation into real life moments?

When this friend and I had met was when I was at my most aware during the winter last year. I stopped allowing myself to think that self-negativity is acceptable. I literally spoke aloud, “that was self-negativity.” The best part was that I was in a community that understood that when I picked up a magazine I would put it down saying, “that was body-negativity.” I lived in a hostel for this camp and when preparing for the morning I looked at the bags under my eyes and my pale face and I said, “I look like death. No. I look sick. No. I look like I didn’t get much sleep because I am busy giving this camp my all.” I spoke aloud changing the way I would speak about myself and understanding that this was a process.

Since then I’ve fallen off the wagon and I’ve come full of self-negativity. I’ve called myself lazy, fat, and useless. None of which are true. Which is why I now bring you an entire paragraph praising myself and using self-positivity.

I am a strong woman. I can use my independence to take my places I never thought I would go. I am smart. I can have the luxury of not studying for tests because I have a general understanding of how things work, like tests. I have common sense that lets me walk streets with confidence and try new places and eating by myself without thinking “I’m lonely.” I love my new hair cut and I think it accents the happiness that I find within my eyes. I am very kind person and appreciate the ease in which positive words are said to those around me.

So tell me? How are you going to change your self-negativity today?

Today I ran my first couch25k workout. “Just finished Week 1 – Day 1 (completed 1.95mi with run pace of 10:13 min/mi)” I am using the Ease into 5k App on my iphone.

-Tomato

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