I think as women we can have what society says is the “perfect body” and still see things wrong with it. We hear the negative comments from other and tell ourselves that it’s only words but it still hurts. Welcome Ambassador Annie to the blog today as she discusses our struggles with body image.
There’s been a lot of talk recently among the Ambassadors about body size. Most of this stems from a comment about HLAW not having any 250lb Ambassadors and not representing women of all body shapes and sizes.
This comment got me fired up, not just because I’m protective of my tribe but because I was a 250lb Ambassador when this journey started. Even now I tip the scales at over 200lbs and I’m not the only Ambassador doing so.
The conversation that ensued behind the scenes with the Ambassadors really got me thinking.
We are featured on the site just as much as the next person, more so at times, and if we aren’t it’s not because of our bodies. It’s probably because we’re an all volunteer tribe and we haven’t had time to contribute.
Our journey as Ambassadors doesn’t belong to just us, it belongs to every Ambassador, Contributor and fan of Hike Like A Woman. As much as we pride ourselves on being selected into this sisterhood of wild women we welcome others with open arms, we encourage, we support, we strive, and all of it for Hike Like A Woman.
We don’t donate our time, ideas, stories, and personal failures for ourselves or for the benefit of our own agendas, we do it simply to grow, improve, and create an amazing place for women of the outdoors.
Not a single woman in our tribe has ever made me feel like less of a person, hiker, camper, etc., but the comment about us not having any 250lb Ambassadors did.
Alright…this took courage. Today on the blog Annie talks about growing up with an abusive father and how it shaped her future and helped morph her into a #ForceOfNature. Enjoy, and thank you Annie for being so honest and real by sharing your story. ~Rebecca p.s. This is the 3rd article in our #ForceOfNature series in partnership with REI. Enjoy! #outdoorwomen #teamHLAW #hikelikeawoman #sponsored #gooutside #nature https://hikelikeawoman.net/2017/05/i-am-a-force-of-nature/
It made me wonder what was wrong with me or what was I doing wrong that caused me to be invisible to our audience?
Better yet, what’s wrong with people that they don’t see or hear the plus sized Ambassadors or Contributors?
I’ve spent many years on the trail in this body and this body has never been anyone’s idealistic form, surely never my own.
Many times I’ve been passed on the trail by another hiker going in another direction who just seemed eager to get away from the fat, sweaty girl on the trail.
Truthfully, I never really cared what they thought of me so why do I care so much about what one person’s critique?
Maybe I care because I value not only our tribe of wild women but Hike Like A Woman as well, everything that we put into it and everything it stands for.
Maybe I’m tired of feeling invisible or looked down upon because I don’t fit what most people think of when they think of an “outdoors woman”.
I honestly can not tell you why, I can only tell what it’s like to feel overlooked by so many while being made to feel awesome by a select few.
Perception could play a big part in it, how I perceive others to view me?
We tend to judge others in more favorable light than we do ourselves.
She was also right that it’s time we quit judging ourselves so harshly, allow ourselves to just be what we are and being okay with that.
There’s nothing wrong with it and I think once we adopt this line of thinking the world can truly open up.
We can taste the freedom from judgment and push not only others but ourselves to goals of dizzying heights.
No, we don’t select our Ambassadors by photo or weigh-ins because we are looking beyond.
We are looking below the surface, beneath the fat, beneath the skin and instead looking at what is in women hearts and souls when they apply with us.
We are looking for experience or inexperience, for something genuine, for passion, selflessness, love and acceptance, none of which you will find in the folds of someone’s fat.
I can tell you 100% if you are looking at someone’s body size for the quality of person they are then you are not truly looking.