Today’s Gal Friday is Heidi of Playground Diva. Heidi just ran her first race yesterday – the famous Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Congratulations Heidi!!
Read on to see how running has played a large part in creating Heidi’s positive self image.
What do you think is your best feature and why? I have always loved my eyes. They are a lovely gray/blue color & they make me feel unique.
What do you think is your best (non physical) trait and why? I've never been accused of being grumpy. I'm a very cheerful person, & I think that comes in handy when life's rubber meets the road, if you know what I mean.
What (non physical) traits do you admire in others? I am very attracted to funny, loyal people. There is just something about people who can not only make others laugh but who are also loyal to not just their family, but also to themselves.
What three words would you use to describe yourself? Cheerful, loyal, ambitious.
Is there anything about yourself that at one time bothered you but now you love? Mk, it's naked time, because I'm about to bare ALL-- As a teen, I was the only girl I knew with breasts as big as mine. I was (& now that I'm done breastfeeding my third child) /am a c-cup, but that was HONKIN' huge compared to my minus a-cup friends. I hated them. I felt like they were always the first thing to walk into the room whenever I did. It was tough--- that is until I met the boy who would become my future husband.
We met when I was 15 & he was 18. After dating for a year or so (we almost exclusively wrote letters to each other for the first year of our relationship due to the fact that we lived in different states) he finally got the courage to tell me he really liked my, um, shape. Then, shortly after that, my dad must have perceived that I was going to begin getting lots of attention (he was right) & he, beet-faced, told me that I was what some would refer to as a girl with "dangerous curves" & I needed to be careful of guys who only liked me for that. I have loved my breasts ever since then.
If you could give your children a piece of advice about having a positive self image, what would it be? One of the single most affective things I've experienced is viewing my body as the strong, capable creation that it is. Getting involved in running has changed how I view myself completely. No longer are my legs too short-- now I see them as the power houses that carry me at a 9:17 minute mile. Having a positive purpose behind my body has helped my image SO.MUCH. I discuss with my children how their hearts & limbs are strong & how they help them to be so strong as to swing from that branch, or kick that ball so far. It seems to be working. :)
What do you wish you hadn't worried about when you were younger? What would you tell yourself if you could go back? Holy hell. I'd grab my 18 year old newly wed self & scream "MOISTURIZE YOUR BELLY WHEN YOU'RE PREGNANT!!!! STRETCH MARKS ARE PERMANENT!!!!" Haha, no, I would grab myself & tell me that 130 pounds isn't fat, for the love of g-o-d.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? I see a woman who is very much still the girl of her past. I see my insecurities staring back at me, but I can also see the strength that is overcoming those insecurities. I see a woman who is getting stronger-- one who has made herself stronger. Both physically & emotionally. I see that my days of a perfectly smooth face are quickly passing, but that it's being replaced by the wrinkles of wisdom. I'd rather have the wrinkles. I see a woman who has a daughter with many days ahead of her-- a daughter who will not be alone because the woman I see in the mirror is that girl's mother-- a mother who will not leave her side.
Anything else you would like to share about positive body image/inner beauty? For a positive body image, invest in Spanx. I kid, really I do. Although, those suckers really do work wonders on ones thighs. No lie.
But seriously, accepting that no matter how hard I work out, I'll never have Kate Moss' body. No matter how much makeup I wear, I won't have Sienna Miller's face. & no matter how many clothes I own, I won't just BE Gwyneth Paltrow. It really was as simple as accepting that I will always be Heidi & that hating myself sucks a whole lot more than not being able to change into another woman.
Whatever inner beauty that I may have has everything to do with the others in my life. My husband, my children, my friends-- they have all loved me so much, no matter what, that they inspire me to love like they do. I am beyond blessed by the others in my life. Focusing on them helps keep my life in perspective.