Lately I have been thinking a lot about my favorite novel. I think about it during all my recent bad runs and wonder why I give up on myself so easily. If, like Maggie, I am not happy with who I am now, why am I not pushing to change who I am? Two weeks of bad runs create a lot of time to beat up on one's self.
Then, as if bad runs were enough to make me feel like a giant loser, Mike Jeffries had to go and open his big mouth. Admittedly, I have always hated Abercrombie & Fitch. I'm not into the half naked model thing. Or the store's smell. And their clothes are the same thing you can get at any other store in the mall, usually for half the price. But as I read his 2006 Salon interview, my inner middle school girl crumbled a little inside. It was like he was calling ME out, right now. After a few days of calming down about it, I thought about something Maggie said:
"I have never stood up for myself. I've never made myself visible. My enemy has always had the ultimate weapon: They might call me fat. Or so I thought. I thought if I fought back the insults would multiply, and so would the insulters. But no one is laughing at me. No one gives the girl at the window high fives for calling a spade a spade. Instead, I said what I had to say. If I'd known this earlier, maybe I would have lived by another code.
But I know it now." (p. 176)
While I am not going to attack Mr. Jeffries for saying what he said, I am also not going to let what he said define me. Sure, I can't fit into A&F clothing, but I have never wanted to wear their clothing before, so why be sad I can't now? I am freaking amazing now. I have given birth to two beautiful daughters. Even though I have pretty complicated pregnancies, my body gave me the wonderful gift of motherhood. I don't need clothes to feel good about my body. I just need to look at my daughters.
I am also running my first half marathon on Saturday. How many people can say that? I realized just recently that I don't take myself very seriously. I never treated myself like the athlete I am. There is no way you can train this much and not be an athlete. Still, I failed to see that. But I know it now.
I may not be an A&F size 10 or smaller. I may not be able to model in a bikini to sale jeans to some kid that is using clothing to gain self esteem. But I am pretty damn good the way I am, and that is enough.