This was going to be a part of a different post but I believe it needs its own day in the sunshine…
The title poses the question: Do you feel self-conscious in your Lycra get-up?
I don’t. In my full get-up I know I make it look good. This happens when you put in enough miles in to stretch a string from New York to somewhere south of Mexico in a year. I did, however, read a post a couple of days ago from a guy who is putting his miles in… He was at the gym working on an indoor Tri to train for the real deal and check out his new tri suit.
Reading about the awkwardness that this guy felt at being large in his tri-suit in the gym broke my heart. We’re not talking about the overweight person we see at the local shopping center in their spandex pants, shirt and thong leotard (oh yes, I’ve witnessed this one myself – and this person was pushing a full shopping cart, it’s not like she just popped in to pick something up real quick after hitting the gym). We’re talking about someone working out in the gym.
There are a dozen different directions that I could take this post but the important one, I believe is this: For the vast majority of us slim fitties, nothing does our hearts better than to see a guy like this one, in the gym with his tri-suit on, getting fit done. We know exactly how hard it is to get to where you want to be, because eight of ten times, we were there once ourselves. We were sweating the fact that our guts stuck out over our shorts and that our love handles made our shirts do funny things… In fact seeing others trying to battle back helps us by reminding us exactly what we had to go through to get to where we are.
As a final note on this subject, the most important thing one can do for themselves about feeling self-conscious is to battle those negative thoughts on a personal level. All too often we have a tendency to look outwards for validation and acceptance in the hopes that this will stop those negative thoughts from festering… That’s not how it works. I still have negative thoughts creep in about my level of fitness and whether I should be doing more. I still have those doubts about how I look in my cycling shorts. These thoughts originate within my own mind – they are due to my own self-image problems and they must be fought and won on the battlefield of my own mind. If someone were to make a negative crack, this would reinforce the image that already existed… Therefore, to look for the solutions to come from the outside world is a losing battle that ends with me on the couch with potato chip crumbs stuck to my sweatshirt.
Change the tape that plays in your head, fix you, then those outside comments won’t carry any weight. The path you’re on is to be celebrated, don’t ever give another person the opportunity to take that away.