Has being an athlete made you love your body or hate it?

If you've been reading this blog the past two weeks, you might be thinking, "Noel, you're crazy. How can being an athlete be both good and bad? You are saying opposite things." 

Well, silly, like most things in life, context matters. 

To review: 

Being an athlete might be BAD for your body image if:  
- You are obsessed with "looking" like an athlete.
- You ignore signals from your body because you're used to "pushing past the pain."
- You wish you were still competing and you miss your old body.
- You are still have a really competitive mindset and can't help but size up everyone around you. 

Being an athlete might be GOOD for your body image if: 
You're used to being naked in a locker room and being unphased by it.
- You know how to listen to your body. 
- You know how to take care of your body. 

Where do you fit on this spectrum? 

Maybe you feel solidly like being an athlete is awesome, but you realized that you are more attached to that identity because you liked "being hot." After all, in England, they call really, really, ridiculously good-looking people "fit."

Maybe you feel like you generally hate putting on a bikini in the summer but you realized that your years of cross country makes you pretty good at knowing the difference between being full and being so full you're going to have a terrible side stitch for hours.  

When you think about your own relationship to exercise, especially if you're an athlete, how do you untangle the good from the bad? 

All of this is pretty tricky to navigate because, as I've talked about before, exercise is not just a context-free word.  It's something that we associate very much with being good, so when we go back to the gym or hit the treadmill, we pat ourselves on the back because it seems like we've done the morally correct thing. 

It's hard to look back on an athletic career and not think to yourself, if only my body could still be there, especially your body was 10 years younger then, with fewer problems, a faster metabolism and little kid abs (link). 

I'm not sure I have a real answer for this for you, dear reader, without getting to know you and your specific story. The best way for me to do this is to schedule a session. 

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