Like A Good Bra
Picking out a good bra is hard.
There are so many things to consider: size, shape, colour, fabric, hooks in the front, hooks in the back, ability to cross or go strapless, brand or designer, price, outfits it needs to go with and a big factor is it's ability to make you feel confident and sometimes sexy. I once said "you're pretty" out loud to a bra, ended up coughing up the $90 for it and yet I hardly wear it. It has many of these features and then some, including lace, beads AND it's in my favorite colour but the one thing it lacks is support. Now let's be honest, I don't have a lot that needs to be supported, but the fact that this bra can't even help me with the small amount of support I do needs shows that it isn't the bra I will be relying on.
Support is something we need throughout our whole lives and in almost everything we do. It would have been impossible for any of us to get to where we are today without the support we had growing up. Our friends, family and those close to us helped shaped who we are by cheering us on, motivating us, and standing behind us whenever we needed it. There are some people, just like good bras, that are there no matter what. You rely on them, you trust them and they will support you through ANYTHING, no matter what you do, who you love or what your hopes and dreams are. Then there are some who may look like they will be helpful and supportive but when push comes to shove and the girls start bouncing around - they let you down.
Before my eating disorder started I felt like I didn't have much of a support team. I didn't live at home, I hardly talked to my few close friends, I didn't have the relationship with my mom or my sister like I do now and I just felt very alone. As my disorder started to grow I started receiving support but from the wrong people and in the wrong ways. Friends and even family would say how great I looked and how amazed they were at my weight loss. Guys started paying attention to me and supported the hours I spent working out every day and would comment on how strong willed I was to be able to just have a salad and water whenever I went out to eat. These people are like those stick-on bras (which I actually love but that's not the point). Yes this bra provides some support but it isn't the kind you really want and they can only be used for a short amount of time until you get too sweaty and they start slipping. It isn't the support I needed and it played a part in my disorder growing and being so hard to acknowledged and decide I want to recover.
It was when I started recovery that I really started to realized there were different kinds of support. Many people knew I had an eating disorder, most even knew or suspected before I ever admitted it or had my doctor or nutritionist confirm it. People close to me did research and learned how to help, some would check up on me daily to see how I was doing, reminding me they are there for me, help me through food wins (sometimes over massive plated of pancakes), and one friend would even hold me accountable for my actions by asking what I ate or if I worked out that day and then would ask if those decisions were helping me get to where I wanted to be. Then on the other sides, some people would bug me, give me hard time and tell me to "just eat lots of burger and fries," would point out the amount I was eating or how I was gaining weight. These things always knocked me back a couple steps.
For a while I had very few people I could actually feel comfortable talking to. These people always listened, tried to make me comfortable and did their best to understand. My parents and my sister have been incredibly helpful by understanding that I get food anxiety and they know that letting me cook or be part of planning a meal allows me to be prepared and in control of what I'm eating. This happens a lot when I travel or go to the lake. Although they may not always be happy about it, my family also knows that exercising is a non-negotiable for me, so when they started silencing they're protests it stopped me from continuing to lie about the amount and the reason I would exercise.
To these people, my friends, family, co-workers and anyone who is on my support team, I will be eternally grateful and will never be able to thank them enough. I would not be this far in my recovery if it weren't for all of their love and support.
My recovery and my marathon training go hand-in-hand and I couldn't have one without the other. I knew both would be hard and I would have to make many sacrifices. There would be days that I would lose progress and days where I would want to just give up, but I would keep pushing and keep fighting because it is what I want.
I told my friends about my goal and posted something on Facebook saying that I'm sorry that my social life will probably suffer but thank you for your support and understanding in my goals and dreams. Since then I have had many friends give me a hard time about not going out and drinking, staying in on Friday nights because Saturdays are my long runs and for going to bed early on week nights. Not that I have ever been a party kinda gal but suddenly my friends started making fun of my life choices and would try to talk me out of them. I am a firm believer in doing what makes YOU happy, so if you want to go out to clubs, do drugs, get so drunk you don't remember what happened and then feel awful for the next two days, all the power to you. That's just not who I am or what I want to do. I could give these friends a hard time about their choices or bug them for not being able to run 5 km but I'm not that kind of person. I want you to be happy and will support you through it all, just as I would HOPE from you.
I have gotten to the age where I'm learning to not give my effort or attention to things that don't matter. When it comes to the people in my life I have decided to only give my time, my love and my little ball of positivity to the people who actually care about me, want me to be happy and healthy no matter what and will support and motivate me to be the best possible version of myself. The rest don't really matter. Life will go on without them, I will keep running without them.
I think this is a message that everyone can relate to. We hang on to people for too long and give too much effort and attention to people who won't give those things back and it is a waste! We can do better, we ARE better. We are all incredible, valuable people and the only people that matter are the ones who see that. We do NOT need to keep these bras in our drawers if they aren't supporting us. (Donate them?)
Is this my way of saying haters gonna hate? Maybe.
So my life will include marathon training, rice on and early bed nights on Fridays and long runs on Saturdays. I will say no to plans because of training and races. I will continue to drink limited amounts of alcohol and only when I feel like it. I will shamelessly talk about my struggles and successes with running. But most of all, I will appreciate everyone who has genuinely supported me through everything and every step. They/you are my sports bra; excellent support, with me every step of the way, at every finish line and you still like me even when I'm sweaty.
Thank you, bras.