Does This Race Make Me Look Fat?

I completed The Boilermaker 15K on Sunday!

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Although my ultimate goal was to finish at less than an 11 minute mile pace (which I barely missed), I did finish within my personal "acceptable" goal range.

I trained hard.

I was excited.

I felt great after the race.

I was proud of myself for completing yet another milestone in my running life.

So, why did I let this picture erase every ounce of pride that I felt in myself?

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And why did I let this picture wash away all of my hard work and devotion for the past 3+ months?

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Oh, the joy of disordered thinking.

My red face was expected--I had just finished running 9.3 miles.  What I didn't expect was to think that I looked like a giant hippo.  Yes, I know.  I don't look like a giant hippo.  But, for some reason I just could not shake the negative chatter in my mind after I saw these pictures on the 2.5" screen of my camera.

"Shit.

If I look huge on that tiny screen, just imagine what I look like in real life!"

And, the madness began.

It's upsetting and rather humbling at the same time.  I thought that I was over my eating disorder and body image issues.  Then, I see a red-faced race photo, and immediately get geeked out about having huge unruly boobs, being about 6" taller and 30 pounds heavier than my sister, and having flabby arms.  Then, I feel like all of my hard work (both physically and mentally) has gone down the drain.

All it takes is one comment.  One moment the night before the race, when someone looks at an old picture and says "wow, you were thinner then!"

Even if they follow up that statement with "and you looked horrible...like a bobble-head!"

It doesn't matter.  The damage is done.  My mind is reeling.  I'm fat, I'm fat, I'm fat.  I'm fatter than I was then.  I'm ugly.  I'm fat!

Those words will haunt me for days.

Today?

My body feels awesome.  No soreness, no knee/calf/leg problems.  No post-race pains, gripes or complaints physically.

But my mind.  Oh, my mind.  My sad, mis-programmed mind.  I'm being kind to myself.  Being sensible.  Eating.  Not restricting.  Not binging.

That's the least that I can do for myself right now.

And, because I would really hate for this entire post to be a total downer, here's some fun...

If you want to watch me cross the finish line (which I think is a really fun feature that they do at The Boilermaker), just click here and then fast forward the video until the race clock is at 1:47:52.  Shortly thereafter, I come rolling up on the right side in my teal and white ensemble.  Please don't miss my huge sigh of relief just after I cross the mat.  I laughed.

And, I don't look fat.  I look hot, but I don't look fat.

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