February 21 2018
Karen Lyons started running to escape hardship–and couldn’t stop.
I used to run because I hated my body. It was my punishment for not looking the way I thought I should look.
I wasn’t skinny enough.
My internal demons chased me, mile after mile. Any time I ran, the negative thoughts followed.
“You’re so ugly.”
“You’re too fat.”
“Ugh, why are your thighs like that?”
“You totally have the worst saddlebags.”
Those were all the words I heard. The words I believed. The words that still sometimes come back to haunt me.
Throughout my fitness journey, I have found ways to deal with my body image issues. It was in finding a community of likeminded fitness individuals that I have become more confident in my abilities as a fitness professional. It was in talking about my unhealthy eating habits with friends that I was able to find balance. It was in talking about my insecurities that I was able to find ways to counteract the negative voices in my head. But I’m not perfect. Every day is different, and some days I still wake up with those negative thoughts. However, my outlook has changed. When I have those days, I have to actively work toward self love and promote the lifestyle I want to embody: a lifestyle of health and strength–of both the mental and physical varieties.
When I have those days, I turn to a sweat session to help myself reset. I grab my spin shoes and hit a spin class. I grab my towel and head to a bootcamp session. I lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement.
I used to run because I hated my body. Now I run for a different reason.
I run to become better. Stronger.
I run for the endorphins. I run for the feeling of satisfaction when I run farther or faster than I did the day before.
I run because it is my therapy. I run because it helps me clear my head when I’ve had a rough day.
I run because it reminds me of how far I have come. I run because I can see my improvement mile after mile.
I run because I love my body and all that it can do. Why do you run?