Athletic Bodies- Overcoming Body Weight Stigmas

After my time on Season 8 of NBC’s “The Biggest Looser,” I decided to set a goal for myself: compete in one race in each of the 50 US states by the time I was 30. I had about three years to complete my goal and managed to succeed!

Along the way, I definitely had some funny looks in response to my weight. I don’t exactly look like what most people think of as an “athlete.” But, that is one of the main reasons why I do what I do. I am motivated to prove to myself and millions of others like me that athletic bodies don’t just come in sizes 0-8. Athletes come in all shapes, sizes and abilities. The word athlete is defined as anyone who competes in a physical activity for a prize. So, that’s all you have to do: compete. Just give it a try!

“Love your body,” seems like a trendy thing to say right now, but it is the first step to working up the confidence to compete. For me, the first step was when I realized most of the awful things I thought others were thinking about me were actually things I was thinking in my own mind. Yes, of course, there are the jerks or the people who just don’t understand who might give you a funny or make a side comment under their breath. But which hurts worse? A stranger’s snide remark or the little voice in your head that says, “You aren’t thin enough, sexy enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or (insert here) enough?”

The good news is that you are enough! You can even be enough to be an athlete. All you have to do is Tri.

Overcoming Stigmas About Weight

This is not a Stewart Smalley moment where I’ll ask you to say, “I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggonit people like me!” I am asking you to simply start telling yourself, “I am ENOUGH!” If you want to complete a triathlon, whatever the distance, there are races out there for you. You are one decision away from being an athlete!

I have learned quite a bit about myself and my pursuit of happiness along my fitness journey. To get over the hump and commit to your first race, you have to get over the fear of the unknown and stop believing what you think other’s think about you. Here’s an acronym I have heard that has stuck with me and helps when I’m scared: F.E.A.R is False Evidence Appearing Real!

Get out there and help me stomp out the stigmas about body weight and athleticism one swim, bike and run at a time.  Try a Tri!

-Rebecca Meyer Wright 

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