And so it begins
November 8, 2013
reflections of the year
December 31, 2013

Body Image

Triathlon
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Body Image

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time. It’s taken a while for a few reasons.

  1. I needed to wrap my head around how I felt about some recent comments made pertaining to women’s bodies.
  2. I wanted to be careful of how I expressed my feelings as they are being posted on the internet for anyone to see.
  3. I got busy at work and haven’t had time to write. [Actually #3 is a big reason it wasn’t posted two weeks ago, but that’s nothing new]

There was a big kerfuffle (great word huh?) about statements made by the founder of a large company that sells yoga pants to women. Without naming names (you probably already know who it is; if not do a Google search), he basically blamed (in loose terms) women’s bodies for the problems with their garment. Long story short, outrage was expressed by many women (myself included) who feel that this company is not interested in women over a certain size buying/wearing their products. They can sell to whomever they want, I don’t have to buy it. However, if your pants fit me and I purchase them, then I expect them to last for a certain amount of time or for you to provide information on use so I can determine if the garment fits my lifestyle. They’re expensive so I feel like the expectation of quality is warranted. But I digress.

So, why write about this when so many women and news agencies have covered it already? Because I think it’s important to remind people, especially women, that size does not determine your worth, ability, or capabilities! I know women who are marginalized not just by these events, but on an ongoing basis.

I have heard the following statements at races made by people, including women (!):

  • “What is she doing here? Doesn’t she know that this race is for fit people?” [or for “people who trained” meaning her size is due to her lack of training]
  • “I don’t have to worry about being last. I’ll definitely beat her. I mean look how fat she is.”
  • “How does she fit on the bike?”;
  • “At least she won’t drown cause you know fat people float.”

This is awful to hear! It’s high school bullying by mean individuals who grew up, but didnt change. [If you know me, then you know I’ll call you out if I hear any of these statements.]

​I used to be very fit and very thin (but muscular) for my height. When I was a ballet dancer and in musical theatre and was rehearsing/performing, I weighed 107 lbs at 5′ “; and was all muscle. When I was a gym rat working out 7 days a week, I was a little bigger (125-130 lbs), but was strong with very little body fat. But now later in life, I have a metabolic syndrome that makes it very hard for me to lose weight even when I train several times a week for endurance races. People think I’m still “small” and in some ways I am, but small is relative to the individual. [I think this could be another blog post]

Anyway…If you’re wondering if I have a point or if I’m just venting, hang on just a bit longer. It’s coming right up.

So, right after all of this brouhaha (another great word) happened in the news, I saw this post on the internet: De Soto Femme Embraces the “Average” Woman. It’s true…they do. I am that “average” woman. I don’t consider myself average, but in the tri world I probably am. I’m not the thinnest or the fastest, but I have a lot of heart and have a lot of fun. I try hard and push myself to be better than I was yesterday. I don’t do this for a living; I do this for me.

When I first contacted Tracy De Soto about being a De Soto Femme Ambassador, I really thought I would be turned down. Physically I’m not the typical triathlete and I didn’t have a lot of experience racing tris, so why would this company be interested? I was sooooo wrong! I emailed Tracy my story and became a De Soto Femme Ambassador. She’s been phenomenal to work with, and she and Emilio (De Soto) really care about female athletes (and male athletes) — of all ages and sizes. I’m proud to be associated with them. Plus they don’t make me feel “average” – I feel like a “real” triathlete. And to those who might think the post about them embracing the “average” athlete is just PR or lip service, I say you’re wrong! They really “walk-the-walk.”

de-soto-website-screenshot_2013-11-21-08-03-29-1

Yup, that’s me in the top picture on their website – I got featured for a day. My moment in the spotlight.

My friend Allison took the pic when we were in Miami for a business trip in October. I sent the pic to Tracy while I was away. I was so excited because I hadn’t swam in the ocean since 2001. Thanks to their garments, I not only got to swim, but was also protected from the sun. I had no idea that they would use it on their web page. HOW COOL!  [All of the garments & hat except the swim skirt is by De Soto. The swim skirt is from HydroChic, the sunglasses by Tifosi.] Disclaimer: I paid for everything I’m wearing in the picture.

So if this post piqued your interest or you are tired of being marginalized, check them out at www.desotosports.com. If you have any questions about the products or the company, contact them. They’re very responsive and really care about their customers.

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