Dear Benchmark Friends,

This picture  is of me and my daughter running a 5K together at the beginning of May.

Although I have been a runner at various points in my life (high school cross country, a stint in college, early in marriage …) … and I have the MINDSET that I am a runner…

I haven’t run religiously (as runners tend to do) since before I had children. So when my 8 year old daughter decided she wanted to run a race that is 3.11 miles long … I did not hesitate (very much) to agree to run with her, but I knew it might (aka WOULD CERTAINLY BE) be a struggle for both of us.

As a mother, I was happy to run with her *and overjoyed at this audacious goal she set for herself at such a young age*… and I was SO PROUD of her that day… she persevered through what – to many 8 year olds – might seem impossible.

I was elated by our accomplishment …  but… I did NOT anticipate this picture showing up on Facebook for the world to see a few hours later …
I’m gonna be honest …

This is NOT my favorite picture of myself.

At this point in my life, I am about 40 – 50 lbs over what I consider to be my preferred weight (or about 4 jean sizes larger than my preference) … and this picture shows that IN FULL FORCE
(I prefer close up selfies most days)

BUTTTTTT … I ACTUALLY DO LOVE THIS PICTURE!

WHY? Why do I love a picture that doesn’t show me posed in such a way as to hide my extra weight, taken from an angle above, with appropriate filters and cropping?

I love this picture because…

  • This picture shows a body that ran and encouraged her daughter for 3.11 miles.
  • This picture shows a body that gives awesome hugs and beautiful smiles to show that she loves her family.
  • This picture shows a body that enjoys mentoring the Benchmark girls and watching them grow.
  • This picture show a body that works to be a great friend and grow as a person daily.
  • This picture show SO MUCH MORE than my outer body size …

NEWSFLASH:
This picture is not me at my ideal… but IT IS me in current reality.

It has taken a lot of self exploration and discovery to get to this point … but I can say in all honesty that I COMPLETELY love.my.body.

I am proud to post this picture. period. because I accept that this is who I am – and I love her.

***I hope you are able to say the same thing — but if you can’t, I hope that you are continuing on a journey that will help you say it someday soon! ***

xo – the Original Benchmark Girl

PS…One of the ways we work through to love ourselves is by trying new activities and adventures to see how amazing we really can be — which is the whole point of Thursday Throwdowns! If you are local – check them out and JOIN US!!

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