Strength

I have the Arnold Family ThighsTM. It makes jeans shopping an absolute nightmare, and let's not even start in on my body image issues.

But I'm not going to bore you all with an entire post about how much I hate my thighs.  I think about it enough.  Instead, I'm going to write about a time this past weekend when I didn't totally hate my thighs.

I've written about my love for my bike and how cycling has really helped in my recovery.  This past weekend, I did a longer ride as part of a group outing to a local national park.  The trip was really, really fun.  I was rather proud of myself that I kept up with the fastest in the group with no problem (except for the one self-proclaimed Speed Demon).  It was a mixture of road and paved and unpaved bike trail.  The weather was perfect, and I had a great time.

While I was riding, though, I wasn't cursing those Arnold Family ThighsTM.  I was thinking that those thighs--my own damn thighs!--might be one of the reasons I was so good at biking.  Instead of being a liability in jeans and a bathing suit, my thighs were an asset.

I still hate how they look.  I still think they quiver so much when I walk that you could reasonably measure the vibrations on the Richter scale.  Cycling hasn't made me love my thighs, but it has made me appreciate their function.  I'm not going to get all sappy on you and write a long thank you note to my thighs.  That's not the point of this post, nor could I handle that much cheesiness all at once.  The point of this post is learning to appreciate something you don't like, of turning your liabilities into assets.

I've probably mentioned this before, but my OCD habits and behaviors have gotten me a writing job (that I ultimately turned down for other reasons).  My proposal was the only one without any typos, so the person picked me--I don't think I was supposed to see that email, but there you have it.  Most of the time, my OCD is a huge drain on me and the stuff I want to do.  I can't do things because I'm too busy checking and counting and double-checking.  I don't like my OCD stuff.  It annoys the crap out of me.  But as much as it has been a tremendous liability, it has also been an asset.

The liability of my thighs is probably mostly in my head--and in a few screaming hot pairs of jeans I had to leave behind.  But my thighs aren't universally bad or useless.  They help me ride my bike.

15 comments:

littlemissminny said...

gosh, I hate my thighs as well. They were always big, although my upper body is skinny. They allowed me to kick some ass in karate and tae kwon do lessons, to ride my bike for an hour or two, and to run. I should really start loving them, and not hating them.

Katie said...

I have muscular thighs too. I suspect that taking ballet classes between the ages of 3 and 16 probably helped create my body shape, because I have very strong legs and little skinny arms! I don't particularly mind though because I don't have any use for stronger arms whereas I certainly have need of my legs. I'm glad you're beginning to see your thighs as productive too ;) cycling would be very hard without them!

Cathy (UK) said...

Muscle strength is proportional to muscle mass, and muscle strength contributes significantly to muscle mass. Your inherited thighs probably comprise a lot of muscle (as opposed to fat) and look bigger than you would like because of your muscle mass.

Methinks you should continue to celebrate you thighs :)

Cathy (UK) said...

*Sorry, I meant to write 'muscle mass contributes significantly to muscle POWER*

HikerRD said...

Hard to find a benefit of abdominal fat, but what a blessing in disguise! For many years I needed to self inject a medication for MS into fatty areas. The abdominal area worked like a dream! 8 years ago I would never have imagined I'd have something positive to say about my middle!
As for distance biking, I could never keep up with those large thighed, muscular calfed women.

hm said...

Pretty cool to see the body as a functioning "machine" in which your person can move and accomplish things. I'd never DREAM of not giving my car gas, of gouging holes out of the lining, of not changing its oil- I want to give it what it needs so I can keep using it. Would be nice to see the body like that instead of like this annoying, inconvenient thing I'm trapped in- something I want to control and abuse. Good job recognizing/acknowledging your wonderful legs as they are meant- to serve you!

Katherine said...

Hey, I found your blog today and am going to start following. I have just started my journey to recovery and I was wondering if you could add my blog to your life: http://livingeatingbeing.blogspot.com/

From Here to There. In Purple. said...

but let's think about what fabulous, miraculous things your thighs have done for you?

happy friday lovely <3

Katherine said...

I changed my blog URL http://livingeatingbeing.blogspot.com/

Cathy (UK) said...

Lol Carrie, your blog is becoming the blog on which to advertise one's own blog :D

Carrie Arnold said...

Thanks for all your comments, everyone!

I'm scraping together my cash to get a bike rack for my car so I can do more rides like this--it was seriously awesome!

Yay Arnold Family Thighs!

Sarah said...

Yay. Reminds me of what we say at the end of every yoga class. We raise our arms toward the sky and give thanks for our amazing bodies. It is one of my favorite moments of the day.

Special K said...

I hate my....ruminating tendencies...and right now, VERY small boobs.

I shouldn't have stayed away so long...

Anonymous said...

Thigh fabulousness aside....

I can relate to your comments about OCD. I'm in grad school right now, and while my OCD has helped with getting assignments and papers done, it's taken a life of its own now and I spend hours checking, double-checking, triple-checking everything. And then I have classmates, friends, etc., who get through life never worrying about these things.

It's horrible. I hate it. I don't want this OCD anymore.

I think if someone wanted to hire me only because of perfectionism, I couldn't take that job. Having those expectations hanging over my head would make my OCD worse.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is helpful, but I don't have an ed and I don't like the appearance of several of my body parts. I don't feel obligated to make myself love them and I don't feel obligated to do anything about these unattractive parts. We are just peacefully co-existing with perhaps a little skirmish here and there.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote



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