Strong Is Sexy

Last night I took a Chisel class at the gym.

I hadn’t been to class — or done any quality strength training — for a few weeks. I was convinced all my hard-earned strength would be lost and I envisioned myself begrudgingly downgrading from my 8-pound dumbbells to the 7-pounders.

But hey! That didn’t happen!

Good. Still got it.

The class kicked off with a whole lot of squats. Then we did lots of fun arm things. We got our butts pretty kicked.

As much as I love running, I really do enjoy strength training as well. After class, I thought a lot about my “marathon body.”

I talk to a lot of people who gain weight throughout training — people who run for hours and then eat for hours. It happens. We need fuel to stay strong, but it’s hard to tell just how much we need, so we tend to overcompensate. Whatever. Nutella by the spoonful — or ladle-ful — is delicious.

I also know a lot of people who sign up for half marathons or even full marathons as an effort to lose weight. Power to them. Running a marathon — from what I’ve heard — is no easy feat. (I’ll let you know in 11 days!)

As for me: I don’t own a scale so I can’t officially tell you how my weight has changed over the past few months of training. I only weigh myself every eight weeks when I go to the hospital for my Remicade infusion.

Weight is never something I’ve thought much about. I grew up as a dancer, and we were supposed to be thin. Dancers are skinny. That’s just how it goes. Sure it’s a stereotype, but it exists for a reason.

I was never a “skinny” dancer though. I’ve always had muscular legs and in ninth grade some boobs showed up and then I knew I’d never have the ideal dancer body. I’ll never forget my dance teacher telling me during my senior year that I’d “be able to  jump higher if I weighed less.” Ouch.

She was kind of a bitch, but it was true. I wasn’t built to be a dancer.

And maybe I’m not built to be a runner, but I sure do love what training has done to me. It has made me feel so strong.

My thighs may be big, but they’re toned. And I love knowing that if I met a stranger in a dark alley I would absolutely have a shot at kicking his ass and then running away at a sub-8:00 pace. (Though why would I be in a dark alley? I wouldn’t, Mom, so relax. Just giving an example.)

There was a time in college, during my sophomore year, when I kind of abandoned eating. It wasn’t me at my best, that’s for sure. I would eat a granola bar for breakfast, survive on water and an apple all day, and then eat something ridiculous for dinner, like a massive slice of pizza.

I lost a ton of weight almost immediately and I remember thinking that I looked good. But I knew what I was doing wasn’t healthy.

That lifestyle certainly didn’t bode well for my dance career. I was on the kickline team and I liked that my uniform looked a little better, but hated how hard it was to kick my legs for two hours every night.

I had no energy and I didn’t realize that food was fuel. I thought it was my enemy.

I got over that issue pretty quickly. My food-less days didn’t last long and I ended up gaining weight back — lots of it — which stayed on throughout college.

How people stay healthy in college I do not know. I loved drinking and ordering pizza at 4 am and I wouldn’t change a thing. Good times.

But now things are different. Obviously. I’m older and a little wiser. I’m smarter about what I eat and I know that every single item I eat will either help or hurt my training.

Corn, fried chicken and, sadly, pizza and I can no longer be friends. Crohn’s Disease doesn’t approve.

But I drink a lot of water, I eat tons of fruits and vegetables and in spite of my 16 Handles addiction, I do eat pretty well. Or at least I try.

As a result, I feel better every day.

I will never be stick-thin. I probably don’t have a future career on a runway. And I’m pretty sure US Weekly would have a field day highlighting my imperfections in a bathing suit.

I enjoy getting dressed up every now and then…

…but nothing makes me feel more confident than a good sweat and a post-run glow.

I love food. I love running. They go pretty well together.

Thanks to the abundance of running I’ve endured since April — and yes, I have loved every minute of it — I feel good. I feel strong. I feel kind of badass.

This morning I ran 5.5 miles. The plan was to do a warm-up then run two laps of the Central Park Reservoir: the first lap at my marathon goal pace and the second lap at my half-marathon goal pace.

I didn’t think I had speed in me today. But I was wrong.

The run was great. I’m enjoying my taper and doing exactly what my coach says.

And on September 24, I’m going to become a marathoner, in part because I have a great coach and in part because I think I’ve finally learned how to take good care of myself.

I have also learned how to dress like a cowgirl. So that’s cool, too.

So I say, appreciate your body a little more. Yes, this is probably cheesy as Hell, but next time you look in the mirror do yourself a favor and notice the good things — your smile, your bulging biceps, your massive calves — instead of the things you usually criticize. I promise there are more good things than bad things. You don’t have to be skinny to be sexy.

Thanks. Have a nice day.



0 Responses

  1. Words of wisdom! I totally relate to what you mean. Now, I just want to be strong and in shape so I can run.
    I’m not small, I’ve never been small – and it was always kind of pointed out. I was always the tallest girl, so that made it kind of obvious. Coaches thought I would be tougher because I was a strong looking kid, but I think it made me more shy that I was called out for it. When I first went to college, I also survived on granola bars and a bit of junk and dropped some weight, but I never ate. Sometimes, I think gosh, I was almost skinny then – but then I remember what I did to get there. Not worth it. I couldn’t run for 30 minutes back then, let alone 2+ hours 🙂

  2. this made my lifeeee.

    i put on 10 lbs last winter and had nooo motivation at all to work out for some reason (actually i hate da snow, so that played a huge factor hehe ). signing up for the marathon played a roll in gettin’ my groove back.

    there can definitely be a lot of pressure to look thin up here, especially with models struttin their stuff all over the city!

    but then i think, heck, i will never be that fragile girl.

    i am happy. i love my muscley thighs. and i like this new thing where i get up on saturday mornings to run my heart out.

    KA-POW to that. 🙂

  3. I love your daily work ensembles – dress me please?

    And girl – +100,000,000 to this post. My hamstrings and quads could crush many of the ladies I see nibbling salads and ellipticaling at the gym. Strong and Sweaty, all the way!

  4. Girl, I love this post! Thunder thighs are SEXY! I’ve had them since I was young. One of my “friends” in high school told me I would never be a fast runner because my legs were too big and “real runners” have skinny legs. Psh– that could not be farther from the truth. I heart my legs and the fact that they’ve carried me 26.2 miles, a feat only 1-2% of the population can say! 🙂

  5. I love this post and your cowgirl hair! Sometimes when I’m running, I see the tiiiiiiiiiny girls of the world (not like I’m huge, but still) out running and I think “they look more like a runner than me, not fair!” But then I think…my legs are strong. (And not huge by any means.) They carry me 26.2 miles. My body responds when I ask it to and that’s a wonderful, healthy thing.

    Plus, I’d rather enjoy wine and brownies rather than weighing a few pounds less.

  6. This is spot on. I’ve never had a better relationship with my body image or with food until I started running. After I ran my first marathon, I finally realized that what my body looks like means nothing compared with what it can accomplish. An awesome feeling!

  7. I also love this post. It has been the most inspirational thing of the week. I have been thinking so much lately about being kind and friendly to my body and this post sums it up. Your bod looks rocking, but more importantly, what you are doing with it is incredible.

    Good Luck and Thanks for the AMAZING POST!

  8. I love this post. I also had a dance teacher tell me in a not-so-nice way that I should lose weight…I was in middle school at the time, and that kind of stuff sticks. But like you, I’ve realized that I might not have the body of the dancer, but it can still do some pretty kick-ass things. Speaking of kick-ass things, you are absolutely going to ROCK your marathon!!

  9. Ali! I love this post. Probably my all time favorite of yours. You said it so well, and I wish more people had this outlook.

    I struggled with the same issues for a very long time. Even though I was a runner, my sole focus was on the fact that I wasn’t built like one – which lead to a lot of mis-treatment of my body. Acceptance that I’d never be built like your stereotypical runner no matter what I did was a really slow process, and it wasn’t until I started marathon training that I REALLY started appreciating my strong legs. When I realized the muscles I had could power me through 26.2 miles – and go faster than I had once thought possible. Strong IS sexy – and I’d rather have powerful legs that can get me through the miles than stick ones that can’t run.

    You are such a strong and beautiful woman. I know that strong body is going to power you through the Hamptons on marathon day 🙂

  10. This is a terrific post. It’s great to hear such a positive message which is beautifully reflected in your photos. I love how happy you are in all your pictures. You are inspiring me to work on incorporating more (any?) smiling into my running.

  11. Great post! Does my soul good as a female and a dietitian to read. You and your awesome body if power will KILL it in the Hamptons!!

  12. Love love love this post! You are SO strong and the other day when I saw that picture of you holding yourself up in that doorway I was like DAMN GIRL I WANT YOUR LEGS!

  13. This post is amazing…the world needs more strong, confident women like you who are not afraid to say “I love my muscular body and my sweat!!” I went through a similar eating experience in college, and also came out on the other side of it. I think it’s SO important that you shared this story, because there are so many people out there who are going through some trouble with eating or exercising and benefit so much from the support and the “you can choose to love your body for what it can do” message.
    You are a beautiful, strong woman, Ali!!

  14. I used to be disgruntled about how my thighs and calves bulk up each time I train for a marathon. It’s happening once again now that I’m deep in my training for the NYC Marathon but I don’t care anymore. Strong is what enables you to run the best race you’re capable of. And that’s far more important to me than how tight my pants are right now!

  15. AWESOME post, lady! It is so true–being fit it sexy–NO matter the size (skinny, not skinny). Everyone is different and should not be measuring him/herself to anyone else. And being healthy and fit IS the way to go 🙂

    You’ll rock your race-I am sure!

  16. I really enjoyed this post, Ali. I admire your positive outlook and the way in which you take pride in what your body can DO rather than how it LOOKS. (I think it looks rockin’, if you want my opinion 😉 ). I know you will do amazing on your marathon. You’ve been working so hard for it. There’s no way it could be anything but great!!!!

  17. I really enjoyed reading this post, Ali. I admire your outlook on life and the way in which you take pride in what your body DOES rather than simply how it LOOKS (btw, I think it looks rockin’, if you want my opinion 😉 ). You are awesome, girl! And I KNOW you will rock that marathon– you’ve been working so hard for it! There’s no way it can go any other way than amazing.

  18. This was a great post. I frequently remind myself that strong is sexy. Thank goodness for my large legs and muscles that lets me do amazing things that others cant even dream of!

  19. i love this. 12 years of ballet lessons, a mom obsessed with the scale, and a stint in fashion journalism didn’t exactly lead me in the direction of positive body image, but i’ve made a lot of progress over the years. learning to be proud of my strength and my abilities over a size or a number was a really important shift in thinking for me, and i love the way you expressed that in this post. i’ve weighed less than i do now and i’ve eaten far less than i do now, but back then i could barely do 5 pushups, let alone do a headstand or a crazy arm balance or a 5 mile run. i remember a yoga class a couple years ago where there was a guy next to me who must’ve weighed 250 lbs, and he literally owned every handstand, arm balance, jump back, headstand…all of it. i was in awe, and it really proved to me that strength and ability are so much more staggering than appearance is.

    ps: i don’t own a scale either and i always smile when i learn about another woman who also doesn’t have one.

    pps: where is your cowboy hat with that outfit!?

  20. So true, I love this post! I used to wish I had smaller thighs until I actually did fight off a guy who sexually assaulted me, and watched HIM run away from ME. Thank you muscles!

  21. This is such a great post! I was a baton twirler growing up and was on my college line and due to some of the restrictions, I developed some bad body image issues and bad eating habits in college. I’m happy to say that running has changed the way I view my body and food. I agree – food is fuel. Good choices = better performance. I also have muscular thighs and calves and will never be a runway model, but I do prefer to be strong and healthy versus weak and skinny. Strong is definitely sexy! 🙂

  22. This is a fantastic post! I am naturally a bit more muscular and also I love to strength train so I do have quite a bit of muscle. Over the past year or so I have really started to accept my body more and as a result I actually enjoy working out more when it’s for my mental health instead of to be skinny. I still have days when I wish my stomach was smaller or that the number on the scale wasn’t so high, but overall I am pretty happy with myself.

    I love your cowgirl look!

  23. You don’t have to be skinny to be sexy.
    Love this quote!! I loved this post. I use to hate my legs (but on one of my long runs), I realized I would have never been able to train for races if I did not have these strong legs. I embrace them now and I look at them every morning and smile, which is a huge change for me. So thank you for this post!

  24. I love my runner’s legs. I see girls with stick-thin legs and I honestly don’t understand how anyone finds that attractive. As long as my clothes fit and I’m not completely repulsed if I catch a glimpse of my stomach in the mirror after a shower, I don’t really care what the scale says or what anyone else’s definition of “sexy” is.

    I’ll take muscles over sticks for limbs any day.

  25. Love this post so much! As a gymnast for a million years, I always had a complext about my size (especially the thighs) because everyone else always seemed so much smaller. Looking back, I wish so badly I would have realized my legs gave me power to tumble hard and fly high, and that I looked fine! Running makes me feel strong too, and however my bod looks, I know that’s how it is SUPPOSED to look. and I’m down with that.

    Now can we please run together soon before taper takes over completely??

  26. This post was amazing. It made me think back to my time in college when I too gave up on food and as much as I loved being a size 2, I did not love almost passing out at dance team practice. It’s all about balance, which you have clearly found, and muscles (and sweat) are sexy!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  27. Amen!!! You don’t need to be skinny to be sexy. Seriously, there are so many positive/healthy messages in the blogging community..I’d love to create a way to channel the messages to young girls (there probably is something out there, I just don’t know about it). Many of our insecurities (mine included) are from childhood relationships with food, weight ups and downs, etc. If only we could impart our wisdom on the younger versions of ourselves…but that’s what growing up is for I guess 🙂 Continue to kick butt lady!!!!

  28. So I know that I’m not reading running blogs right now… but sometimes rules are made for breaking. 😉

    I SERIOUSLY needed this post today. Since injuring myself two months ago, I have been feeling REALLY down about my body. Since I have not been able to run, I have been cycling a lot, but I have also lost the figure I gained from all the running I was doing pre-injury. Sure I cycle 5-6 days a week and strength train, but I feel like my “runners” body is gone and that depressed the heck out of me. Also since I have gained weight, I can hear the ED thoughts in the back of my head telling me that I’m “fat” and “chubby.”

    However, I am now choosing to focus on the body I have now. I may not look like a “runner” but I look strong in some areas. I have kick butt legs from all the cycling I’ve been doing and my arms are looking better from all the strength training.

    I’m a work in progress but I am focusing on being STRONG. 🙂

    Thanks for this post Ali. 🙂

    1. Your injury is going to make you so much stronger, Katy — physically and mentally. I know it’s tough to lose what you worked so hard for, but you’ll be running again when your body is ready. And in the meantime it’s awesome that you’re still doing SOMETHING. Most people wouldn’t! You’re not sitting around on the couch, you’re continuing to sweat your pretty little face off. You’re not fat and you’re not chubby. You’re a bad ass 😉

  29. I love this post. I think your marathon body kicks booty.

    I am learning to embrace my triathlon body. (Well, HELLO, giant shoulder muscles and thighs!) I’m learning that I will never be one of those teeny tiny toned triathletes. But that’s okay, because I’m healthy, happy, and strong. 🙂

  30. I love that you mentioned massive calves cause I got me some big ones. 🙂 I’ve always been self conscious of them. I barely wear skirts because of this. Thanks for reminding me we don’t need to be so critical of our bodies. I needed that.

  31. Thank you thank you thank you! I needed this today and i’m sure plenty of other girls did too. I will bookmark this page for when I can’t fit into any skinny jeans because of my leg muscles (who ARE the people the can, really?) for the reminder that being strong is worth it. Also a huge thanks to you for inspiring me to sign up for my first marathon yesterday!! yay!

  32. Great post! What I love about running is that it turns the whole body image thang upside down. I no longer weigh myself, I no longer diet, I just think about food as fuel and train hard! And suddenly, everyone says, “Wow, you look great!” So running can make us sane and beautiful–halejujah!

    BTW I really like your running tops in the photos. Long, covers the tummy, but not baggy up top, could you tell us the brand?

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.

      The top I wear is the Cool Racerback from Lululemon. It comes with a somewhat hefty price tag ($39) but I swear by these tops. Breathable, comfortable and flattering. Score!

      1. So I was actually in lulu Union Square yesterday to kill some time (the only retail store where I can spend a lot of time in without getting anxious) and bought the raspberry Cool Racerback (the third in my collection). It’s pricey, but I noticed that it’s the least pricey at $39 of most all of the tank tops there. Other tanks were ranging from $42-$58 … isn’t that crazy?

  33. Love love love this post. As a figure skater we were also supposed to be skinny. I will always be built more musclularly than skinnily but I remember a time when I ate very little under the guise of “eating healthily.” One day my friend’s parents asked if I had an eating disorder. On the other hand my skating coach told me I looked great and she wished more skaters would “take care of themselves.” like I was. Luckily I never was truly anorexic but I have struggled between not eating enough and also eating too much. With running I have learned that you have to fuel correctly (It was easier to do a 4 minute skating program than run 20 miles underfueled. Or maybe I was just younger…) and am in a good place now. I also feel strong 🙂 Great message you are sending here!

  34. aww I teared up a bit at the end. Such a great message you are sending and I fully agree. We’ve all been through a period of time where we mistreated our bodies, either over eating or not eating enough- I’ve been through both. But I think seeing yourself as healthy and strong no matter if you look like a dancer or a runner is most important.

    I’ll never look like a stereotypical runner and thats okay. Maybe I’ll run faster if I lose weight. Maybe I won’t. What continues to be important to me is feeling strong, fueling right, training smart. Thanks for this Ali!

  35. Oh this is hands-down my favorite post of yours! Strong IS sexy! And we runners are even sexier!! I am so glad you have embraced the marathon experience wholeheartedly and you are beyond enjoying it! I can’t wait to read about your experience!

  36. I love this post! I’m always struggling to focus on how strong I FEEL versus how I look (like a weakling). On the surface, I look pretty skinny– most people that venture a guess think I weigh 10 to 15 pounds less than I actually do. (Friend in college: “You just don’t look like an athlete. Your legs are nice but they’re so SKINNY!”) But based on what the scale actually tells me, I know there’s muscle in there somewhere. But alas, weight training and I will probably never be as close as my relationship with running. 🙂

    I guess I’m lucky that I’ve never dealt with any weight or body image issues, though. But like almost every girl, I’ve had some gross statements thrown my way. (College boyfriend, pointing at random women who happen to be heavier than me on the street: “Don’t ever look like that.”)

  37. I love this post! I’m always struggling to focus on how strong I FEEL versus how I look (like a weakling). On the surface, I look pretty skinny– most people that venture a guess think I weigh 10 to 15 pounds less than I actually do. (Friend in college: “You just don’t look like an athlete. Your legs are nice but they’re so SKINNY!”) But based on what the scale actually tells me, I know there’s muscle in there somewhere. But alas, weight training and I will probably never be as close as my relationship with running. 🙂

    I guess I’m lucky that I’ve never dealt with any weight or body image issues, though. But like almost every girl, I’ve had some gross statements thrown my way. (College boyfriend, pointing at random women who happen to be heavier than me on the street, “Don’t ever look like that.”)

  38. Such a beautiful post! I’m currently training for a triathlon and have seen major changes in my body and am amazed by what it can do. During or after hard workouts, I just want to kiss my muscles because I am so happy to be strong and able and allow all the self-consciousness that worried a younger me to just disappear.

  39. I am petite (read: short) and curvy. I struggle to have a healthy relationship with food and my body. I grew up overweight and was never thin until my late twenties. Ten years after I lost the weight (thanks Weight Watchers!), I am a little above my goal weight, but I am stronger and can run! I definitely am trying to balance my awesome legs against a stupid number and most days I win, but some days…

    But enough about me. You – you are stunning. With legs I would die for. Strong and going places.

    I plan on doing a marathon some day (just finished my second half a week ago), and it truly is inspiring to read your training. I am almost as excited as you are about the marathon!

    1. And I know it’s bad form to reply to yourself, but I wanted to add – I also covet your pretty, pretty hair. And awesome clothes. But mostly the hair.

  40. Love this! I also am mostly built like a gymnast – short, compact, and I like to say sturdy. Can I climb a rope? Yes (ok, I do have to use my feet). Can I run a marathon? Yes. Can I hit the crap out of a tennis ball? Yes. I think saying I can do those things is cooler than saying I weigh XXX lbs.

    I also don’t have a scale and honestly have no idea what I weigh. I just go by if my clothes fit or not and by how my body feels. I’m glad someone else doesn’t own a scale.

    On a side note, my friend who has Crohn’s misses corn so badly – it was her favorite food pre-Crohn’s.

    1. Also, on a side note about the dance teacher — when I was 11 yo, after a gymnastics meet I was eating pizza and my coach said, “I cannot believe you’re eating pizza!” My mom was pretty quick to say “She’s 11, she just competed in a meet, she will eat what she wants.” Thanks, Mom and Dad. That same coach also only let us eat pretzels for a snack at practice.

      I can’t believe your dance teacher said that to you – so horrible!

  41. I don’t have a blog or anything but I am a devoted reader of yours. I have never commented but I felt I had to on this one. It was my FAVORITE post! I didn’t feel like you were preaching and the way you speak reminds me so much of myself or someone I need to be friends with! (Is that creepy? hope not.) I have dealt with body image issues for a long time and this was a great post that makes me realize just what my body can do for me. Thank you again.

  42. I LOVE this post!…..and your dance teacher was an a*ss, I can totally relate to that — I was a dancer too, but stopped for a few years when I was younger b/c I felt too self conscious that I was overweight.

    This message can not be spread far enough! Yey to being strong and sexy!

  43. Ali, I just have to say I’m really enjoying following this journey with you! I ran my first marathon in November, 2010 and I bawled my eyes out crossing the finish line. It really is incredible. All of your hard work and what you’ve accomplished; you just can’t believe it. It fills you up and explodes at the end!! At least that’s how my race went … I hope yours is just as good!

  44. Love this and agree with all. Being strong is so much more important than being “skinny.” I also worry about losing my strength while marathon training, but I figure I can just jump back into the swing of my routine after. I love being stronger than guys in some cases. Your legs really are sexy and toned! I love your healthy attitude. I ate such crap in college too!

  45. Beautiful ending to a great post!
    Oh and its not a cheesy action at all… I think it is the most courageous loving action we can take and become our #1 fan club of our body and all of the amazing things that it can do, how hot it looks.

  46. Um I hate your dance teacher for saying that. Who DOES that to a young girl? As a former middle school teacher, it seriously angers me to know that there are people who are supposed to be mentors/strong figures for women who are breaking them down every day.

    Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh!!!!

    On another note, I like your strong legs. They look a lot like my strong legs. And sure, I can’t really find pants that ever fit, but that’s okay! That’s what A-line dresses are for!

  47. Yay for muscles! Love strength training and being toned! When I am training for a race I never strength train and much and I feel mushy and I hate it. For me it is a toss up between loving to train and loving so be toned. No matter how hard I try I can never seem to keep as much strenth training in my plan as I would like!

  48. Love this post! You are super sexy! Was the dance teacher Cindy?? Haha, not cool. Also, I have some cowboy boots you can borrow to finish off the look.

    I never felt more healthy than while I was training for my marathon (well until the stress fracture of course haha) but I totally know how you feel and it’s such a great feeling! Enjoy it, stay healthy and you will do so amazing in this marathon!! I’m so proud of you 🙂

  49. i LOVE this post! thank you for the reminder, it’s easy to forget how great we all are.

    you are gonna blow that marathon out of the water 🙂

  50. Really great post. I know how we girls can get about our bodies, but if I have a body like yours I would be so happy! I do not see any flaws!

    But seriously, thanks for reminding us that we should stop focusing on the negative and instead zero in on the positive.

  51. I adore this post.
    I kind of think we are like long lost sisters…or you just say what I am thinking. Anyway, I have always been dissatisfied with my legs. I’ve always felt like I had the upper body of a thin person and a lower body of a bigger person. Throughout marathon training…when I decided to run for me and not with the intention to lose weight…I truly did learn to appreciate and LOVE my body just the way it is. Yes, muscular thighs and all!

  52. I LOVE this post more than I think I can express to you. I have gained a lot of weight this year recovering from a knee injury that left me on my couch for a while. While my body still has more weight than it ever has, it is also doing more physical activity than it has in years. And I love it!! Everyday I get to the gym I am happy for my body. My new job is one I would have been physically unable to do six months ago so I am sooo happy that my body does it now.

    I watched my sister almost kill herself as she battled anorexia and am watching as she dances close to a relapse now. It is horrific to watch. She was always so anxious to enjoy food and life and slowly more and more foods are becoming evil to her ….again….. While I know I do not have the best diet (my boyfriend likes bacon and fat too much) I am slowly working on improving it bit by bit.

  53. I like the change in body image in the last decade; and how a lot of Hollywood women are embracing being either toned and strong or curvy and soft or a combo of both. I hate Kim Kardashian for many reasons, but I do love what her giant ass did for non-stick figures everywhere.

  54. Wow!! I LOVED every word of this, Ali. You are strong and beautiful and I envy those legs! I am getting there with mine, but I love yours (not to sound creepy!). This post has such a strong, positive, happy message, and a very healthy one too. Embrace who we are, who we’ve become, not who we are NOT. great post!

  55. What a fantastical post! Second post I’ve read today that skinny =/= sexy. Huh, must be the world trying to tell me something. I struggle with my weight. recently i’ve been doing better, realizing that at 5’5 my weight is normal, seeing my muffin top shrink down & seeing my strong legs, knowing I can run more miles than most of my friends..and that i could also get away from a guy in a dark alley.. we don’t even have dark alley’s here, but if we did, i’d kick his butt.

    Thanks for the great post, Ali

  56. Great post today! It is an important topic for all women. I also did not struggle with weight issues most of my life. I gained maybe 10 lbs when hubby and I started dated (read: eating out every night and drinks lots of wine), but I eventually lost it. My highest weight was when I was pregnant with my son. I gained about 40 lbs. I am grateful to say that 2 kids later, at 36, I am strongther and healthier than I have ever been! Cheers to us. (Your glass is milk… you’re tapering!)

  57. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. This is my favorite of yours by far. Strong IS damn sexy. I had to laugh…I totally LOVE how I feel in my sweaty,nasty workout clothes almost more than how I feel dressed to the nines for a night out or whatever. It’s crazy how sexy sweat can be,huh? Awesome post, awesome message Ali. Rock on!!!

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I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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