I know one day, when I look back, I’m going to regret the amount of time I spent obsessing about the amount of space between my thighs.
I distinctly remember in my early, early stages of my weight loss journey when I reluctantly stepped on the treadmill at the YMCA for the first time. As I jogged for my measly 5 minute intervals (damn, I’ve come LONG way, lets just acknowledge that!), I was so uncomfortable and self conscious of the feeling of my legs rubbing together, “chub rub”, as I has been told to call it. But the little, determined voice in my head whispered to me over and over “One day they wont touch.”
And you can bet that that voice was right. I prided myself so much that I was capable of achieving that highly sought after “Thigh Gap” that was glorified in all forms of media. In my mind, it was one of the defining markers of health, fitness, and basically everything I supposedly stood for. However, my self image was so distorted that I couldn’t see just how unhealthy this was.
Underneath the superficial layer, it of course was more than just about the gap between my thighs. It was what the gap stood for. Ultimately, it was the symbol of my success. Visible proof that all my efforts had paid off. The wider the space, the greater the degree of my accomplishment.
During recovery, the gap obviously began to close. With every tiny bit that my legs inched together, I felt my success slipping away. It was discouraging. Other girls could maintain their itty bitty legs, why couldn’t I?
And now that most of the ED thoughts have been cleared out of my head, the answer is pretty obvious: My body wasn’t built for a thigh gap. Not healthily at least.Maybe other people, but not me. My thigh gap wasn’t part of my identity, and it definitely didn’t contribute to who I was as a person. My legs might be bigger now, but that extra weight doesn’t signify failure. It represents good times, good food and good memories that are free of my disordered eating habits and thoughts.
So yeah, sometimes the little voice that crept into my head so long ago tries to wiggle its way back in when I run on the treadmill, or walk around campus. The difference is that now its easier to shut it up. My legs are strong. My legs are muscular. My legs get me to where I need to go, and allow me to even run in the first place. My legs touch. And guess what? Who. Freaking. Cares.
I am so excited to post my first entry in Julia’s series “Recovery Round Up“. This series provides a spaces for others to share their recovery stories and get inspiration from people who went through similar experiences.Head over to her blog to check out more posts like this! Love it, keep up the good work girl!