A couple of weeks ago I had my first race DNF, at a marathon no less. In other years of my life that would have sent me in to a tailspin and I would have been down and out for longer than I wish to admit. I would have felt embarrassed and stayed home avoiding social situations for fear of judgment. As I enter my 34th year on Monday, I feel like I new{er} person. I was sad, sure, but marathons, running, a time on a clock – they aren’t everything. Love, friendship, faith, family, helping others IS everything.

I had the #IHaveARunnersBody idea for awhile, but I wasn’t sure if anyone would connect with it. {http://www.mile-posts.com/running/what-does-a-runners-body-look-like-ihavearunnersbody.html}

I found myself struggling to embrace my changing body as a runners body. I was trying to find my place as my body admittedly wasn’t cooperating and doing the things it once did so easily.

Related: Body Judgment Comes In Many Forms I wasn’t in my own head though. I’m learning WE ALL are too hard on ourselves. As I look at the beautiful happy pictures you are tagging me in I want to say we are more than what we look like. The joy oozing out of you as you run should replace any judgments you make on something like cellulite. Joy > Cellulite   The pursuit of fitness is something that is fun to me. I like feeling good in my own skin and moving my body does that for me. So while I’m always on the quest to improve myself and my body I’m okay with where I’m at today. You can want to improve, chase goals, all while NOT hating your body. Loving your body doesn’t mean that you have to sit on a couch and say – well I love my body and accept it so I’m just going to sit around. Body acceptance and the pursuit of fitness are not are mutually exclusive. You can have both.  

Here are some of your lovely, strong, happy and joy filled photos that you have shared with me!!    

⚠️If you read nothing I post ever, please PLEASE read all of this one!!! ⚠️ ••• My run today was incredibly wonderful. I didnt put any music on, I ran ‘blind,’ and just enjoyed the sunshine with my girl. Never looking at my watch, just waiting for that last beep. Hit mile 4, stopped the watch, and let my watch sync to my phone soo excited to see my splits because I just knew I had done a beast 4 miler pushing my girl. The time came up and I was less than thrilled. Despite my efforts on hills & headwinds, it was actually quite slow. Someone running over Emmas dropped sippy cup (on purpose!) and totally crushing it to pieces just fueled my fire. I was pissed, to put it lightly. ? Cut the gps back on, shoved headphones in my ears, said “hang on Emma, mama’s going again!” and I took off. To this day, my fastest mile I have ever ran is 7:23. That was 1 mile, without wind, and by myself. I’m telling you that story, to tell this one… ••• I have been sooo inspired by the @ihavearunnersbody movement that Dorothy Beal of @mileposts started! In every single video I take after my runs, I always cringe when I play it back and see the cellulite on the back of my thighs. I’m pretty sure I was born with a butt & thighs covered in cellulite! ? But in all seriousness, I totally have it & it irks my nerves. And stretch marks galore on my butt & hips from carrying & growing my girl. And ever since this movement/hashtag started, I have felt so convicted always posting the pictures after a run that look the best, but not the real or far-from-flattering ones. However, for the very first time in my 27 years of life, I WANTED to post a picture of my cellulite, because ya know what? Those cellulite covered thighs, stretch mark covered butt, and the rest of my imperfectly perfect body is really strong, and fast, and totally just clocked mile 5 today at… Wait for it… 7:34!!! ? Considering the wind, hills, & pushing the jogger, I’m SO excited to tears! We can do hard things, friends, despite what our body LOOKS like! Go make yourself proud today! ?? #ihavearunnersbody #philippians413 #strongforme #strongforemma #sweatpink #fitapproach @fitapproach A photo posted by @chelseylovestorun on

I ❤️ to #travel and it feels so much better when you’re healthy and fit! In the top picture I had already lost about 15 lbs. and was feeling great! In the bottom picture, however, I had lost an additional 30 lbs. and felt even better! My vacation routine in Costa Rica in 2010 looked so much different from when I traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico on my own! In Oaxaca, I enjoyed exploring the city while running the streets on a morning run. In Costa Rica, however, I didn’t exercise at all. I, in fact, wasn’t even a runner yet! My favorite phrase was still, “This body doesn’t run.” As I’m now training for my 7th marathon, and have lost a total of about 60lbs., it is important that I look back and see how far I have come. The journey has not been easy and it certainly has not happened overnight, but it has been so worth it! I look forward to where this journey will take me next! ? Where are you on your journey? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #transformationtuesday #transformation #run #sweatpink #fitfluential #fitandhealthy #hshive A photo posted by S T E P H (@runstrongrun) on

Warning: marathon of a caption ahead! (See what I did there ?) I snapped the picture on the right as I was heading out to the gym this afternoon, and then I remembered a similar one from about three months ago. The left photo was taken at the end of week 3 of #marathontraining, and this is now week 15. This isn’t a typical “before and after” photo. The two pictures aren’t separated by pounds or inches, but by miles. In the past 15 weeks, I’ve run 327 miles and in the next month, Lord willing, I’ll run 149 more. For the past 15 weeks, I’ve run 4 times a week, without fail, in snow, ice, rain, wind, sun, on the treadmill, early in the morning, and late in the afternoon. It’s easy to become mired in the daily grind of it all, but I’ve accomplished a lot in the last 15 weeks. They haven’t all been home runs, but you can rack up a pretty high score by consistently hitting singles. Friday’s long run was hard, and had me feeling discouraged, but when I think about the big picture, I’m so proud of all I’ve done, and thankful that you all follow along with all my sweaty selfies ?

A photo posted by Emily Hobbs (@emilys_eye_view) on

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