An Athletic Female’s Body


I finally went to a sports medicine doctor about my left foot that’s been bothering me again since the half marathon. Turns out it wasn’t a stress fracture (thankfully), but tendonitis instead. A relief? Yes, but still frustrated because there’s not much you can do about it but rest for the most part (and I don’t do that well).

One thing the doctor said, though, really struck me and has bounced around in my head all week. He was explaining that I needed to take it easy when it came to the amount of running. He explained that my body wasn’t really the “type” for a runner–I wasn’t a “petite” female runner, but rather a “large, athletic woman.”

So I might not be as thin and toned as some runners are…

Wait…excuse me?? I’m still not sure how to take that comment. I understand I’m not a waif of a woman–I never have been, and I know I never will be (it’s not in my blood). I’ve always been a little bigger than most girls, in more ways than one, but that’s why I’ve always been a gym rat. I grew up on a horse farm, so I spent my summers throwing up 50 pound hay bales in the barn and sweated away the hours working horses.

When I played volleyball in high school, even the varsity coach made the comment how I didn’t have the “typical volleyball player’s body.” Well, that’s true, I never did–I am tall (5’8″), but not as tall as some of the best front row players can be, but I wasn’t as long and lean as some of the other players.

And now, more than ten years later, I have someone else saying I don’t have the typical athletic body build. Funny how some things come back around…

So it got me thinking…what is the “typical athletic female body”? Is it the thin, waif of a runner you see wearing a sports bra and spandex shorts running along the road in the middle of the day? Or is it the muscled body of the weight lifter at my gym? Or what about the average girls (size 8-12) who play sand volleyball at the bar?

And perhaps I’m not as cut as this weight lifter (but boy would I kill for her arms!)…

Lately there are so many different body types, and while we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic, there are those who are fit and healthy, but not extremely thin. And there are extremely thin women who struggle to run even just a mile.

And there’s always that debate as to is there a “healthy fat” or an “unhealthy thin”. I’m not meaning to make this some huge debate about can you be healthy while overweight. I just wondered what others thought?

For myself, personally, I know I could stand to lose a few more pounds to be at a solidly healthy BMI (I’m high borderline healthy), but I’m pretty proud of the weight I’ve lost over the last year. I love the compliments I’ve been getting from people telling me I look good–I’m the lightest I’ve weighed since I can remember, and I’m proud of my loose-fitting clothing (although it can be a bit annoying, and pricey, having to buy all new clothes). I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish with this newfound fitness (ahem…who da thunk I’d run a half marathon!?). I want to continue to push my body to new heights, and continue on the road to healthy living. (I do have a pretty big deal coming up where people expect the bride to look pretty awesome in a white dress…)

So does what the doctor say bother me? A little. Will I let it get to me? Well, I’m trying (just depends on the day). But, for now, I’m using it as my motivation.

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5 thoughts on “An Athletic Female’s Body

  1. My daughter is almost 8 and is a little thick and has been starting to feel “fat” already. I just showed your beautiful photos and this blog to her and I think it made a difference. Thank you!

    • Wow! Thank you for your comment! I grew up a “little thick” and it took me a while to accept that I won’t ever be a waif. Best of luck with your daughter! Just let her know she has to be proud of herself in every way possible.

  2. Hi Megan, for what it’s worth from some guy on the internet, you are absolutely gorgeous! Also, in absolutely no danger of being an unhealthy weight/size/body type (whatever you want to call it!). You shouldn’t rate yourself by BMI, as BMI is a load of rubbish! It’s just an arbitrary approximation made up by some bad scientists because it kinda vaguely works for a certain body type. Jonah Lomu for instance (the famous All-Blacks rugby player) had a BMI of >30 at his peak – which is obese! And if you look up photos of him you’ll clearly see the man is in peak condition. So basically what I’m saying is don’t worry, be happy with yourself and stay beautiful!

    • Wow, thanks Joe. I do need to point out that the photos on this particular blog post are not of me, but are from Internet searches of what some might think are the “ideal athletic female’s body.” I appreciate your input about Jonah Lomu and to be happy with what I am.

  3. Pingback: PSA: It’s Time to Stop the Body Shaming Once and For All - Snacking in Sneakers

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