Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Am I Fat?

Please understand that this is not a pity post that was written only with the intent to fish for compliments.  This is just a rambling stream of my thoughts on the topic and I hope you can respect where I'm coming from.

Growing up I was always involved in a million things at a time, including sports.  I was so active that I never had to think about what I was eating.  My body was athletic and until puberty I was always on the petite size.  At the same time my body started becoming more womanly, I also started lifting.  I hit the weight room for the first time in 10th grade and I loved it.  Soon my muscular legs became bigger and more powerful, I grew boobs, and any sign of petite Amber was gone.

I don't remember weighing myself growing up.  The first weight I can remember is from my junior or senior year of high school, I was 148.  Since then my weight has fluctuated over the years, maxing out at 160 something after too many beers and late night munchies at college.  After my first body composition evaluation, I put myself on a serious salad every day for lunch diet, went to the gym 4 times a week, and lost almost 15 lbs over that summer.  The weight loss didn't last very long once I returned to school and I ended up back around the weight my body seems to easily maintain: 155.

Overall, the number on the scale doesn't really mean that much to me.  My body is very muscular and I know muscle weighs more than fat.  I grew up being the able-bodied daughter that would help my dad when any heavy lifting was needed.  I've excelled in just about every sport I've ever tried and I'm always welcome to play with all the guys.  I completed a freaking half marathon!  Right now I'm around 153 which is only 5 lbs above my weight in high school 8 years ago, that's crazy!

But then sometimes I can't help but wonder, am I fat?  My body carries all my extra weight in my torso, primarily the area I lovingly refer to as my inner tube.  In certain cuts of clothing all I can see is my gut staring me back in the face.  I know everyone has their trouble spots, but I long for a day when I don't have to think is this shirt flowy enough to hide the muffin top my jeans are giving me?  Should I be wearing a one piece right now?  And more recently, omg how big is this thing going to get when I'm pregnant?!  And the awful way women's clothing is sized doesn't help, I know my boobs are big but am I really an XL in Target's workout tanks?  I just recently purchased a bridesmaid dress in a size 14.  I know size is only a number, but that's just a little hard for me to swallow.

I guess it's all relative.  To some of my friends I am the skinny runner, and then in another crowd I am the biggest girl in the group.  Sometimes love is blind and my friends try to convince me I can borrow their clothes and then I have to explain to them that I'm 3 sizes bigger.  Or worse I'll try something of theirs on and feel like I'm going to bust out of it like the Incredible Hulk!  My sister is the same height as me but 30 lbs less and well, it sucks.  It's something I've had to deal with my entire life.  But then on the flip side, sometimes I look (and feel) amazing!  Sometimes I fit into a small.  Sometimes I like to run in a sports bra and tiny spandex shorts.  Sometimes I swear I can even see a glimpse of my abs.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm just another victim of terrible body acceptance across America.  Or maybe the belly fat I'm sporting is just as unhealthy as it looks and I need to do something about it.  Maybe I need to stop eating cheese on everything.  Or maybe I just need to look in the mirror and tell myself I'm good enough as is.

Do you struggle with body image issues?


  1. You are more than "good enough as is"! Seriously...all my friends out here keep asking when you're going to come visit again because we all loved having you here!

  2. I think you look great! Stop worrying! Besides, who do you have to impress? Dave loves you for you! As long as you believe that you mak healthy choices in food and exercise, you will feel at ease knowing so. Not all women are built like twigs--remember that!

  3. I think you're perfect lady! And I believe those bridesmaid dresses run differently because my Mom and Pete thought that the size I ordered sounded way wrong. I know I just had a baby, but it still didn't sound right. Anyway...it comes down to the fact that we're real women! You and I have curves and BOOBS which a lot of girls wish they had. I'd rather be bigger than the girl next to me and know that if I had to knock someone out I could do it because I'm stronger than them. End of story.

    Love, Kimber

  4. First thing's first: You have a strong and beautiful body. I can completely understand the frustration of highs, lows, and that number your body just wants to 'settle in' at, though. (We're also in that weird transition stage from juniors/young adult stores to a more mature wardrobe so sizes are all over the place and it can be so frustrating being a different size in every store!).

    Knowing you personally, I think you are one of the most health-conscious people I know (and I had three pals run marathons this year!), but if you have a serious nagging concern, there's no harm in getting a physical or health assessment. With that being said, I think you're a healthy hottie. Go team big boobs!

  5. Hey Ambs :) I know you didn't write this post fishing for compliments, so I'm making a point not to give you any- although you know I'd LOVE to contribute my two cents regarding how beautiful you are inside and out (oops...oh well, I knew that wouldn't last long). The MOST important thing is that you feel good and that your body is able to function in a way that allows you to live the life that you want and deserve. I can't speak for you, but I think you have a pretty amazing life, full of fun, love, adventure and healthy activity. Your body works, and that's the key. So eat what you love (in moderation), keep moving, keep loving, and enjoy the ride..lots of love :)

  6. I love your curves although I might be slightly biased! I hope one day every human being will stop judging themselves by the images printed in advertisements! Just because we aren't all size 0 or fit in mens size 28 jeans doesn't mean we are less healthy or should be any less confident about our bodies!! We need to continue to be healthy and active no matter what age! You know you will always be beautiful in my eyes!

  7. It's like you're inside my head or something! I weigh almost exactly the same as you, and I battle the same thoughts. All the time. I feel like we have to change the question. What does fat even mean, anyway? Are you healthy? Yes. Are you happy? Well, that's something I can't answer, but those two are the most important. Sure, if I wanted to give up dessert and beer forever, I could *probably* lose more weight, but I don't. This is where my body naturally sits with a well balanced diet, and healthy, active lifestyle. It's so hard when society puts all of this body image pressure on us, and other achieve what we view as ideal so easily, BUT all we can do is work with what we have, what we were given, and be the best, most healthy version of ourselves.

  8. Great post! I think there are a lot of us that struggle with body image not matter what the number on the scale!!! It's a cultural and societal thing that makes us feel this way and I think that there are so many of us that can identify with your post! Keep up the running, eating and living life the way you do, beautiful lady! :)

  9. I find myself in the same position as you a lot. I too carry all my weight in my stomach, which sucks! I think everyone has body image issues. For me, some days are better than others.

  10. I have nominated you for a very inspring blogger award! You can check it out here:

  11. Wow Amber - what a good post! I used to have a pretty bad relationship with my body and running helped me mend it. I stopped caring as much about what it looked like and more about what it could do. I wanted it to be strong and healthy and able to run marathons and that's what mattered. It seems like you are on your way to getting there too. I think you look great and more importantly, you're strong and I can tell you feel great too! I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day that said "Strong is the new skinny" and I LOVE that! Keep up the good work!!!!

  12. I'd love to look like you and be as strong as you! I think you're a great role model for the girls you have coached and I know my daughter has looked up to you for several years. I've struggled with weight and being unfit for most of my life after college and I worry about setting an example as a mother - but your post reminds me that being fit and strong is perfect - no matter what numbers are on the scale or clothes.


Every comment makes me smile, so keep 'em coming!

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