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Friday, June 5, 2009

Ab & Image Work

Way back a few months ago - probably around October or so - I was laying (lying?) flat on my back in bed and for whatever reason poked my tummy and found something hard underneath the layer of jiggly goodness that was on top. In shock and awe I realized that I had ab muscles. I even made my husband feel them. That was a nice by-product of my personal trainer's weekly torture combined with my other aerobic classes that normally had "abs" somewhere in the title or description.

I don't have much lower ab muscles. A fact that becomes painfully clear to me whenever the above mentioned classes want me to smoothly lift and lower my legs (sometimes holding a ball or other torture device between them). I can't do it to save my life and I'm sure the faces I make are lovely.

But I have a question of what does it mean to keep your shoulder blades off the floor. Does it mean the top of your shoulder blades or the bottom (shown as red lines on this picture)? I always thought it was more of the bottom line on this picture which I can't do. But I saw myself in the mirror (also something I avoid looking at while working out) and saw that I do keep the top line off of the floor. So if anyone of you read this and have more insight please let me know. Or perhaps I can just ask my instructor who will be more than happy to show me a good form.

I also thought of another image related issue last night as my husband and I were talking about him taking a hiking trip and whether or not it would be too strenuous for his current level of fitness. I thought about myself in that situation and my distorted feelings on how others view me and thought well they would think I'm too heavy to hike that far. I think this is also the reason I try so hard in my classes to keep going and not give up because if people saw me give up it would not be because the class was hard (even though if I looked around everyone of EVERY shape was giving up) it would be because I was the fat girl trying to keep up.

I guess it also hit home last night because yesterday I took a daring step and tried to get a running partner. She's my age, in better shape (I truly envy her perfect legs) but not too far out of my league. And I felt that when I approached her about running together sometimes she looked at me and thought, "can she really do it?" I don't think badly of her because of that because for one I might have been imagining it and two I'd probably think the same thing initially if someone wanted to run with me. We left it as a "well let's keep in touch" kind of thing so I don't know if I'll have a partner or not.

I don't know if I really have a point to all of this rambling besides the fact that our images of ourselves sometimes help and sometimes hurt. If it gives me the motivation to keep pushing through a class then it can't be all wrong. But I still think it would be better overall if I thought of myself as having enough strength to get through a class - the "you're stronger than you think you are" factor rather than the shame factor.

1 comment:

  1. I know EXACTLY what you mean!! (as I sit here and eat french fries :o/). But, as for the shoulder blades, I always just sort of figured the top line. Or, I go by what the instructor is modeling. But, if I"m doing regular crunches, and they say keep your shoulder blades off the floor, I take it to mean the top.

    I, too, have that whole "fat girl giving up" thing, which is why I run better if there's lots of people around. I feel more pressure to "prove" that I can run, and I"m not just some fat girl trying to be "cool" or something. So, I'm hoping that will be a positive thing in my race, having people intentionally watching me run, to keep me motivated to not give up.