How I learned to love my body as a female athlete.

How I learned to love my body as a female athlete.

click photo for more information
How I learned to love my body as a female athlete.
Editors note: To help celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day, we asked University of Southern California athlete Victoria Garrick for her take on being a female athlete in 2017. For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to act: Poised. Sweet. Quiet. For so long, society has told women how […]

Editors note: To help celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day, we asked University of Southern California athlete Victoria Garrick for her take on being a female athlete in 2017.

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to act: Poised. Sweet. Quiet.

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to be: Gentle. Delicate. Soft.

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to look: Skinny. Sexy. Beautiful.

For so long, society never told women that we could be strong.

The idea of what it means to be a beautiful woman has changed for me many times. In 2011, when I was 13, I thought beautiful meant weighing the same as the Victorias Secret models I googled. In 2013, at 15, I thought beautiful meant having the hashtag-famous thigh gap. In 2016, at the age of 18, I thought beautiful meant not having to edit your pictures on Instagram.

Graduating high school, I was a lean girl, happy with my appearance. Of course, I had fallen victim to believing in societys standards a couple of times and maybe read too many tabloid magazines, but overall I was content with myself. This changed when I became a college athlete.

When I committed to the USC womens indoor volleyball team, I was overjoyed at the opportunity and prepared to learn, but I was not prepared for the significant changes my body was about to endure. After I started lifting and practicing with a Division I team, my body began to change quickly before my eyes. All of a sudden, I was burning close to 1,300 calories a practice, lifting heavy weights, and eating around 4,000 calories each day. This was a huge change from the routine I had grown accustomed to in high school.

After just a few months of this regimen, I was no longer that lean girl. I was bigger and I was muscular. However, I didnt pay much attention to it until one particular weekend my freshman season.

Excited to have the day off, I went shopping. I wanted to buy something that would make me feel girly and pretty, because sweating in a gym every day and max-squatting 220 pounds isnt girly and pretty, right? After grabbing a pile of clothes to try on, I headed into a changing room not knowing that the next 10 minutes would turn me against myself. The first pair of jeans wouldnt pull past my thighs. The next shirt I tried was too tight on my arms. The dress I loved on the mannequin wasnt zipping up my back. Piece after piece, nothing fit. I wondered anxiously, Is it me? Is this marked wrong?! As I squeezed out of the dress, my eyes welled with tears. After a few more attempts to make anything work, I could no longer hold in my emotions. Behind the curtains of a 5-by-5-foot changing room, I silently began to cry.

“I could sprint 100 meters in 14.60 seconds. I could single-leg squat 130 pounds, and I could hold a plank for four minutes. All of this still means Im feminine.”

I spent the rest of that year attempting different diets, avoiding certain outfits, and despising the athletic lifts I had to do every day in practice. For countless months, I was focusing on my body, trying to be skinnier, and trying to eat less than what my body required to perform.

However, after two semesters enduring this misery, I finally realized something that all female athletes must come to on their own: There is nothing wrong with my body.

I had a firm stomach. My legs were rock solid. And my arms were defined. I could sprint 100 meters in 14.60 seconds. I could single-leg squat 130 pounds, and I could hold a plank for four minutes. All of this didnt make me any less feminine.

I was still that healthy-looking girl, but now I had the build of an athlete. What I hadn’t understood in the dressing room was that I was strong. I didnt know that strong was something I could be. From that point on, my outlook changed. Just because you are not a certain dress size or weigh more than 120 pounds does not mean youre not beautiful. Just because your body needs to consume 4,000 calories a day does not mean you are fat.

And, most importantly, girls who compete to win the national championship will not, and physically cannot, look the same as models clouding our Instagram feeds. So, as a female athlete playing volleyball for the University of Southern California, I finally realized what it meant to be a beautiful woman. And to my pleasure, it was nothing that society had told me to be.

This story originally appeared on GOOD.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/how-i-learned-to-love-my-body-as-a-female-athlete

The Real Reason Introverts Dread Small Talk

click photo for more information
The Real Reason Introverts Dread Small Talk
This article first appeared on QuietRev.com Why do we introverts dislike small talk? Some argue that if we were better at it, we wouldn’t dread it so much. It’s true that just like salsa dancing or cooking, the skill of small talk can be learned and refined—and as our level of mastery increases so does […]

Growing number of law enforcement officials urging licensed owners to carry guns

click photo for more information
Growing number of law enforcement officials urging licensed owners to carry guns
 (AP Photo/Jim Mone) A Texas police chief who warns President Barack Obama in a social media video that trying to disarm Americans would “cause a revolution in this country” is the latest law enforcement official to urge citizens to arm themselves in the wake of mass shootings. Randy Kennedy, longtime chief in the small East […]

A Bank Error Put $4.6 Million In This Girls Account and She Spent $3.3 Million Before Getting Caught!

click photo for more information
A Bank Error Put $4.6 Million In This Girls Account and She Spent $3.3 Million Before Getting Caught!
…AND GETS ALL UP IN YOUR FACEBOOK Here are just a few. $320,000 wasn’t a big deal for her, apparently. Even if that’s the price of a house. via: Guff This graphic was created by the Sydney Morning Herald as they investigated exactly where the money went.

Latest updates: Shooting at Munich shopping centre: German police

click photo for more information
Latest updates: Shooting at Munich shopping centre: German police
Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting rampage by a lone gunman in a Munich shopping centre, police said. The newspaper reported that the gunman ran through the mall near the Olympic s Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/latest-updates-shooting-at-munich-shopping-centre-german-police/article8887646.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

A letter to my breadwinner husband | Fox News

click photo for more information
A letter to my breadwinner husband | Fox News

Teens Are Sharing Prom Dresses They Regret Buying Online And Its Hilarious

click photo for more information
Teens Are Sharing Prom Dresses They Regret Buying Online And Its Hilarious
#2 #4 #6 #8 #9 #12 #14 #16 #18 #19 #22 #24 #26 #28 #29 #32 #34 #36 #38 #39 #42

21 Ways To Take Care Of A Highly Sensitive Person

click photo for more information
21 Ways To Take Care Of A Highly Sensitive Person
A highly sensitive person is someone with a more developed than average nervous system. Basically someone who overfeels everything. They are extremely intuitive, and at times come of as being a little judgemental. Even if they had no intentions of judging anyone. They are sensitive to loud people, irritated by smells and even rough fabrics. […]

Man in a bulletproof BMW saves 70 people from ISIS snipers

click photo for more information
Man in a bulletproof BMW saves 70 people from ISIS snipers
Irbil, Iraq (CNN)When Ako Abdulrahman came under attack from ISIS militants advancing around the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, he realized he needed protection. The Kurdish Peshmerga fighter decided to invest in an armored car, but he had little clue the vehicle would end up saving the lives of dozens of people. “I was happy with […]

French police conduct security operation in Paris church

click photo for more information
French police conduct security operation in Paris church
French police conducted a security operation on Saturday in a busy shopping district in central Paris and said it had ended with no sign of danger. During the operation, the official French govern Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/french-police-conduct-security-operation-in-paris-church/article9119136.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

10+ People Who Absolutely Dont Give AF

click photo for more information
10+ People Who Absolutely Dont Give AF
You might think we’re inciting anarchy here, but the point we’re trying to make is actually a lot simpler. Every day, we face countless expectations and social codes that are meant to dictate our behavior and inhibit our individuality. You would be surprised how relieving it is to disregard what other people think about you. […]

London fire: Flats acquired for Grenfell Tower survivors – BBC News

click photo for more information
London fire: Flats acquired for Grenfell Tower survivors – BBC News
“That was a failure of the State – local and national – to help people when they needed it most. “As prime minister, I apologise for that failure.” Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTheresa May on Grenfell fire: “As prime minister I’ve taken responsibility” There has been widespread anger from Grenfell Tower […]

People Are Adding And Then The Murders Began To Famous Book Openings, And Its Impossible Not To Laugh

click photo for more information
People Are Adding And Then The Murders Began To Famous Book Openings, And Its Impossible Not To Laugh
“And then the murders began” – that’s the clever line Marc Laidlaw came up with. Add it to almost any opening line and you’ve got yourself a hell of an intriguing book opening. Now people are tweeting famous first lines of books followed by Marc’s second line, with the hashtag #LaidlawsRule. The results are absolutely […]

US army orders eviction of Dakota pipeline protesters’ camp, tribe says

click photo for more information
US army orders eviction of Dakota pipeline protesters’ camp, tribe says
Engineer corps says the main encampment must be cleared in nine days because of the onset of winter weather The US Army has ordered the closure of the main encampment established by activists opposing the Dakota Access pipeline, according to a letter released by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Citing federal regulations governing public lands, […]

The $10bn question: what happened to the Marcos millions?

click photo for more information
The $10bn question: what happened to the Marcos millions?
In the 21 years Ferdinand Marcos ran the Philippines, billions went missing. As his son stands for vice-president, will the stolen fortune ever be recovered? In the early hours of a February morning in 1986, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos flew into exile. After 21 years as president of the

Man Secretly Documents His Wife Taking Him To IKEA Again, And His Photos Go Viral

click photo for more information
Man Secretly Documents His Wife Taking Him To IKEA Again, And His Photos Go Viral
The guy behind this funny story certainly knows this feeling, as he recently found himself at the famous flat-pack furniture store with his wife without the vaguest notion as to why. So in order to try and make some sense out of his seemingly inexplicable journey, he decided to document his trip and post it […]
load more posts