This “thigh” post first appeared on my original FitMommas blog three years ago. So much has changed since then. This marked the beginning of studying positive body image and the effect of mindset on how and why we do what we do. After months of trying to make sense of the disconnect within myself as a health coach, this was the first day I publicly declared a shift in my perspective.
That maybe we need to stop fighting our bodies.
That maybe we need to love them first to achieve ideal health.
And maybe ideal health does not look the way the magazines tell us.
What part of you that you used to fight have you learned to love – or are ready to love?
April 24, 2014
By the time I was in sixth grade, I fully understood I had thunder thighs. In fact, I distinctly remember telling a boy I liked I had thunder thighs (and I really hope it somehow fit into the context of our conversation, because that is all I remember, and it haunts me.)
I am now 40 years old, putting me in sixth grade in 1985-1986. Reagan was in office. We were watching The Goonies and listening to Mr. Mister.
And I was an 11 year old girl, already concerned about the size of her thighs.
This trend, this thing that happens to girls, has not only not changed in 30 years, but has gotten worse. It starts even younger. Boys now play the “What I Hate Most About My Body” game. Thanks to social media and smartphones, today’s kids never get a break. It is with them 24/7.
Of my two boys, one resembles me, while the other looks nothing like me. Ever since he was a baby, I have joked, “The only thing Beastie Boy got from me are his thighs!” Because even as babies, my two boys had distinct body composition. While they each went through pudgy and skinny stages as they grew, my second born has thicker thighs than his big brother, every day of the week.
It is how he is made.
So if that is how my kid is made, and he got his thighs from me, does it not stand to reason this is how I am made?
I am a 40 year old woman, who just now understands this is how God made me. Thunder thighs and all.
There were a few months, in 2013, when I had Inner Thigh Clearance, for the first time since I was about eight years old. Some combination of precise diet, exercise, and supplement plan shred fat off my body that had never dared budge before. Of course, I lost my boobs and my butt, too, and my husband was understandably devastated. I was disappointed, too, but I felt okay about losing two of my favorite parts of my body, because I lost the one part I have hated since I was a little girl.
Not long after, I eased a bit on the perfect diet, injured myself, and experienced the Hormone Ambush of 2014 (see Exhibit A – my acne-riddled face), and my 40 year old body has since reclaimed these lost body parts.
While my husband is overjoyed, I might have had a complete freak-out a few weeks ago. With the health and fitness marketing machine in full “get bikini ready” swing, I suddenly wanted to buy every pill, wrap, and cleanse on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, just so I could face the world in a swimsuit this summer without hanging my head in thick-thighed shame.
I am not sure what stopped the madness in my head. There are few logical voices in media, with everyone talking about weight – their weight, your weight, her weight, his weight. I just saw an ad on Instagram yesterday promising to banish thunder thighs in time for summer.
I give credit to my best friend in the whole world, my husband, who routinely tells me he loves my body exactly as it is, as well as my renewed yoga practice, which reminds me at least once a week to honor my body and appreciate where it is today, in the moment.
And so I have resolved to become a logical voice in the media landscape, repenting for all I have said and done in the past that unintentionally added to the “you gotta get thinner!” fervor that plagues our world.
Just eat healthy, real food.
Exercise a little every day.
And love your body. It is how God made you. Thunder thighs, and all.