Reposted from August 2009
I hate my legs. Sure, they’re toned and strong, but after a friend called them “burly,” I had a hard time baring anything above my knee. They’re the first place I gain weight, the last place I lose it, and even at my “happy weight,” they continue to haunt me.
Over the years, I’ve worked hard to keep my legs covered. I wear dress pants to work, jeans when hanging out with friends, and exercise leggings when working out. Even in the summer, I’ll choose a pair of capris or lightweight pants instead of a dress or skirt. Wearing an above-the-knee dress is actually stressful for me— I hate my thighs that much! If I can see how big and muscular my legs are, everyone else will notice too!
While I may have ditched most of my unhealthy habits, I still haven’t been able to shake this mental block. Last weekend, my husband and I headed to Vermont for a friend’s wedding, and I packed a long dress that hid my “burly” legs. But the moment we got out of the car, we were hit with a huge wave of heat and humidity, and I knew I would regret my outfit choice. There were still a few hours before the ceremony started, so my husband and I took a quick trip to downtown Burlington to find me a cooler clothing option. My first instinct was to reach for the longest dress there, but I reasoned that at a summer wedding, everyone would be focused on the bride and groom, so no one would even notice my legs peaking out from under my dress. I tried on a bunch of shorter dresses, and, eventually (albeit nervously), purchased one that I liked.
I spent the first part of the ceremony self-conscious about my newly exposed legs, but by the time the reception began, I realized that no one was zeroing in on the size of my thighs. And soon it occurred to me that I actually wasn’t embarrassed by my legs. Putting on a short dress for the first time was the hardest battle. Hidden beneath a long dress, I never had to consider my hate for them. But once they were out in plain sight, I realized, Hey, I don’t look so bad! After all, these muscular legs ran 13.1 miles during a half-marathon last spring, and they’ve walked three marathons while raising money for Boston’s Jimmy Fund.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the little things, but when I think about how far I’ve come with my weight-loss journey, I care less about the little details and more about how I feel. These legs have helped me out a lot, so the least I can do is throw them a bone—and a short skirt—from time to time.
How have you learned to embrace your least favorite body part?