My calves have consistently been one of the parts of my body that I am most self conscious about. They’ve always been very thick and muscular since I played soccer as a kid, and I remember being so excited to see them shrink as I lost weight. While they did get a tiny bit smaller, they continue to be rather large and cause me problems when shopping for boots or skinny jeans that aren’t stretchy.
I’ve found myself looking at other women’s slender calves many times with a bit of jealousy. I know it probably sounds so trivial, but having to select boots based solely on the fact that I can zip them up around my calves kind of sucks. Boots are one of the best parts about Fall, and I only own ONE pair!
Because I am now at my goal weight and have to accept that my calves are the size and shape that they are and will likely not be getting any smaller in the near future, I’ve been trying to begrudgingly accept (and most of the time ignore) that they are the size they are.
And then yesterday morning that changed.
I met my friend Jess for a 6:45am (ouch) spin class at the gym, and while it was only my second class ever, it was an exhilarating and heart-racing workout even if the instructor wouldn’t stop talking. I had chosen a bike towards the back (since I’m new-to-spinning) and also towards the side (since I had a backpack and didn’t want to go to the locker room) and it just so happened that my bike was positioned so that I got a good view of myself in the mirrors at the front of the room.
As we were pedaling away, climbing hills, and “running” I continued to check in on myself in the mirror to make sure I had good form and wasn’t sticking out too bad since I still don’t really know what I’m doing. I was literally dripping sweat and loving that I was getting such a great workout so early in the day.
When I looked into the mirror I caught a glimpse of my calves, shiny with sweat and powerfully pumping those pedals on the bike. All humility aside – they looked GREAT. I couldn’t believe how muscular and defined my legs looked as they powered me through this workout, and though thicker than most, they were very toned and strong in the mirror.
I saw them in a different light then I ever had before.
Yes, my calves are big. But they also carry me through half marathons, help me to PR in shorter races, power me through difficult spinning classes, lunges, and squats, and are a part of who I am. Yesterday, I saw them for what they are and looked at them in a different way than I ever had before.
Yesterday, I finally started loving them.