Achieving a Runner's Body

A runner is a runner. Period. Someone asked me yesterday how to get a runner’s body. I made this face-

annoyed face

and said, “I’m not sure what a runner’s body is.” She said, “You know, like a runner’s body!” Then she pulled up a Pinterest board with dozens of pictures of tall, blonde, tan, lean women with subtle six packs and perky boobs. She said, “I want to look like this.” I was like, “Me too!” She exhaled audibly (because she wanted me to take her seriously) and said, "Well is it possible?" I said, “I’m sure it is!” And she said, “Well how do I get a runner’s body?” I said, “That’s not a runner’s body. Looking like that is that person's job so they spend their day working for that. That's just a really, really strong and chiseled body.”  

There are many different reasons to decide to get active. You'll have more energy, you'll be healthier, you'll have higher self esteem, and you'll be physically stronger. But for those of us who work full time jobs, have families or social lives, enjoy drinking a beer and eating normally, you might not end up looking like that chiseled Greek God esque Olympic athlete.

I'll admit that I thought I was going to become a lean mean running machine when I started running. I had this notion that all runners were "thin: because I believed that running made you thin. That’s not how it works. Turns out running makes you strong. I thought running was going to turn me into the size 2 I desperately wished to become. Here’s the beautiful thing running has inadvertently taught me. After training for a marathon, it’s impossible not to love what you’re accomplishing and the way your body looks doing it. It’s impossible not to be proud of the work you’re putting in. I dare you to run more than 10 miles and then look in the mirror and say, “I’m not strong.” Strength outweighs skinny every single time. I don’t care who you are or what size you are, going through the training process and feeling that sense of pride and accomplishment once you run on the regular, it changes you.  

Don't start running just because you want a runner’s body. Instead focus on what will happen once running relinquishes you from your all-consuming body and weight insecurities. Running changes you. I used to be consumed with how others perceived me. I was convinced people would look at me and judge me on my size because I wasn't a little thing. I didn't think my weight was beautiful. Now I finally feel at ease with myself and the way I look. I’ve realized the only person’s opinion that actually matters is your own. When you put in the work you stop caring about what others may or may not think. It’s liberating.

I’m sick of people referring to themselves as fat runners. A runner, is a runner, is a runner, is a runner. There are only runners. So what if you don’t have a tall itty bitty body, that’s not a runner’s body! That's just another runner's body. GASP. People come in all different shapes and sizes and your body will look the way it looks. If you eat incredibly clean, avoid the fun stuff, run smart, do your strength training and get your rest chances are you will have a banging body. But you can still have an incredibly strong and beautiful body if you run, do some strength training, enjoy a variety of foods and enjoy your life. It's not about how you look but how you perform. It’s the amount of effort you put into it. It doesn't matter if you run 10 miles a week or 70, if you run you're a runner.

Take fat out of your vocabulary because it’s not a constructive word. You can always be better. Ask a World Record Holder or a Gold Medalist, even they critique themselves and think they could go further. When someone sets a world record they don’t sit back and say, “I’m incredible.” You'll hear them say, "I bet I can do that 5 seconds faster." You’ll never be done, just keep bettering your best. Until tomorrow friends, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.