body image

Success vs. Good Enough….can they be the same?

I was out for coffee a few days back when I overheard a friend of mine taking about how she doesn’t feel good about herself.  I was astounded.  I mean, this chick has it all, a great home, a great job, a great life partner, a great sense of humor, a great family, she is fit and fabulous and here she is, in the flesh talking to ME (the president of Not Good Enough Land) about her own self image.  This is universal isn’t it?  It isn’t just me, it isn’t just you, it’s a lot of women and men out there filled with self doubt.  My issues go like this…..   

I am not a good enough mother, wife, swimmer, runner, biker or friend.  My body is not good enough. 

When I read the list of these things, pretty much every in every aspect of my life I don’t feel good enough at and that scares the shit out of me.  Do I seriously need to improve upon every single aspect of my being or am I so used to saying it, it has become an automatic way to think about myself?  For example, I put in the list I am not a good enough friend.  Okay, so what does that mean, did some girlfriend tell me that?  No!!!  What is a good enough friend?  Who holds the yardstick on that one?    What is a good size?  I arbitrarily tell myself that the magic number is size 16.  Well, wake up and smell the poop, I used to be a size 16 and I STILL didn’t think I was good enough.  I STILL needed to be smaller…not good enough.

I was given the yard stick of good enough but the words “good enough” were never actually written on the wood.  When I ask the question of myself, what does a good enough mother look like, I can’t wrap my arms around what that is…I just feel that I am not good enough.  I don’t know if defining good enough is something that we are supposed to stumble upon through life, or if it is something shown to us by our parents.  Either way, no one has ever said to me…”now that, that thing over there, is success.” 

So, this is my personal question to you.  Are you good enough?  Are there aspects of your life that you feel like you are successful in, are there areas that you too are challenged thinking you aren’t good enough. 

Tell me about you, I am dying to know.

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I’m fat, I tri, and I’m mad

As I said in an earlier post.  I am a triathlete.  I’ve never felt entirely comfortable calling myself that, for some reason I picture an ironman/woman with cut arms in the victory-over-the-head pose crossing the finish line when I picture a triathlete.  Nope, I don’t look like that when I cross it.  I tend to look red faced, sweaty and bloated.  But the point is….I cross it.  Or at least hope to cross it.  I am thinking about the differences in myself from last year to this year.  What has changed about me since last summer when I ventured into my first race?  Last year, I was nervous and excited to start.  Scared about the start and the swim, more scared about the run.  This year, I was more nervous about the overall time.  I secretly wishedI that last year I hadn’t worked so hard so that this year I had a shot at being faster.  My biggest fear was that I would be slower than last year. 

And guess what folks….I was.  

By a whopping 4 minutes.  It really hasn’t affected me that much.  What has affected me and pissed me off entirely is this….the following ditty.

I was excited to attend the expo, find some fun tanks, tees, shorts, suits…all of the stuff that helps us identify that we are triathletes.  The “I TRI therefore I am” stuff, you all know what I am talking about.

I see women in all shapes and sizes at this all female event.   I would venture a guess that 10% of the gals are size 16 and bigger.  Some even (gasp) are the same size as me 18 – 22 (depending on the maker)

I go from booth to booth, feeling more and more dejected each castaway bin I tear through.  There is NOTHING that fits my frame, let alone my breasts.  Nothing for my top or bottom.  Even the technical T’s that are free giveaways, I can’t get a tank top because they don’t have it in my size.  I settle for the short sleeve version.  I am surprised at this point that there isn’t a sign on the back of the tee that says something like “we were forced to give this fat girl a t-shirt” 

I am not the size that you imagine a triathlete should be.  I don’t look like the rest of my tri team either, but we can go head to head in an event.  I want to wear the t-shirts, the skorts.  I want a wet suit to swim in lake Michigan in August. 

Where are the manufacturers who understand that curvey women (and men?) have money too.   

I came home with a bumpersticker and a pair of socks and a crappy attitude resigned to the fact that 2 years into this, I still can’t find a “fit” in this sport.

Fast forward a few days.  I decide to venture into a running store.  I had the need for a running cap.  I figure, surely my head isn’t fat too, maybe I can squeeze into one of their caps.  As I am checking out, the cashier and owner are standing there.  They asked if I had shopped at the store before.  I indicated, that given my size and their selection of clothing….no, I hadn’t EVER purchased anything at their store.  I then take it upon myself to tell this guy what a HUGE market he is missing out on.  How, just because I am a big girl, doesn’t mean I don’t want to go out there and sweat it up, stink it up with the rest of them.  I also told him about the vendors at the event.  I honestly think he was embarrassed.  What does he do, pull out a catalogue, we start going through it item by plus size wicking wear item.  He promises to have some stuff on the shelves for us in the next two months.  In the future when I type in plus size running clothes will his page pop up?  In the meantime, I’ll go ahead and share his info….let’s hope that he doesn’t let us down.

http://www.runchicago.com/home/index.php

Fat girls can’t wear pumps.

Have you ever played the game Apples to Apples?  Well, around the family game table at Christmas our family was playing.  The premise is this, you get a “hand” of 6 or so cards with something written on it.  It can be noun or verb.  I don’t think adjectives or adverbs…..anyway.  From the six you have to choose the best card–the one card that the person who is “it” would like.  

While I don’t remember the actual cards that were on the table that night, they were something like this:

 barf bag,  high heel shoes, pantyhose, and Hummers

I put the cards into the following order starting with the things I like: 

high heel shoes

pantyhose

barf bag

hummers

So my sister starts challenging the order of the cards, she is thinking I misunderstood or made a mistake.  Like, I should love barf bags more than high heels, or hummers for goodness sake.  My other sister starts defending my love of a little height in the shoe.  She knows I enjoy some lift on occasion.  I was curious about my one sister’s reaction.   At first, I thought it wasn’t okay for anyone to wear pumps, like she is a pump racist or something.  But as the conversation continued, I realized that she feels  “normal size” people can wear them, but it isn’t okay for any fat girl to wear pumps. 

It reminds me of what the goddesses of fat fashion say about dress buying.  (click there cause her talk of hiding the fatty bits here and there will make you laugh.)

I am so confused about this philosophy of “you are too big to wear ______”.  Okay, so I choose not to wear a mini skirt and bikini top to work.  But a pair of shoes?  How are shoes too flashy for the fat girl?  I have nice biker girl legs, I feel taller in them which gives me very good posture (of course I often fear walking on any newly polished surface, but that is another issue)  Frankly, I can’t wear Birkenstocks and Keens every day to work.  I try to be a professional some of the time and come on, slacks and Keens aren’t business attire.

I thought I would put it out there as a topic for discussion, and even let the sister know I have this blog so she can speak for herself.   Comments welcome  wanted.