Body Glide and the Big Epiphany

There is no wrong way to have a body2

 

This Stuff.

 

 

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I’m pretty sure there’s special place in heaven for the creator of this stuff.  What is this glorious invention?  It’s Body Glide–a little bit of heaven in deodorant-stick-like form.

 

 

 

 

It’s given many a runner a great deal of comfort, and it’s given me the ability to look at my body in a whole new light.

 

 

 

 

I think I first discovered Body Glide in 2007, when we were stationed at Fort Rucker, AL, and I’d started running regularly (in 90-degree heat and 100% humidity) after recovering from my low back/pelvic injury for the prior 14 months.

 

 

 

 

If you live in the south of the US, or have visited in the south during the summer, you’ll understand how as soon as you walk out the door, your body bursts into a total-body sweat instantly.

 

 

Now compound that with actual movement and exertion–in a climate where your sweat never evaporates, just collects on every millimeter of your skin until it pours off of you.  What you have is a formula for some serious chafing of any place where your skin rubs your clothes–at all.

 

 

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2008 Gate to Gate Run Finish

 

Well, for a girl whose thighs have always been very friendly, and whose triceps are a little on the bigger side, this does not bode well.

 

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I’m definitely ‘well-endowed’ in the tricep department!

 

There were more than a few occasions where I rubbed my inner thighs and below my armpits raw after just a couple of miles.  Yeouch.

 

 

 

Well, I wasn’t quitting running, and we weren’t being relocated anytime soon, so finding a solution was critical.

 

Enter:  Runner’s World Magazine and THE solution.

 

 

Body Glide.

 

 

Lucky for me, the local sports store in Enterprise, AL, had some small sticks available right up at the cash register.  For about $5, I snatched one up and prayed for relief.

 

 

 

Body Glide did not disappoint.

 

 

For the first time in pretty much ever, nothing chafed, nothing rubbed uncomfortably, despite high temps, horrific humidity (I’m a Seattle girl.  We don’t do humidity.), and a massive amount of sweat.

 

 

 

Victory was mine!

 

 

 

 

Fast forward a couple of years to a very warm stretch of summer in Germany, and the rare event where it was both warm enough for me to don a sundress and I actually had the desire to!

 

 

 

Although I only went out to dinner with a couple of friends that night and there was MINIMAL walking involved, by the time I got home my friendly thighs had ‘road rash’ once again!  OUCH.

 

 

 

I was pretty disappointed and annoyed that my thighs touching made it hard to comfortably wear a dress in the summer.  Damn friendly thighs….

 

 

 

Then it dawned on me, as I stared into my medicine cabinet later:  Body Glide isn’t just for athletic use.  It’s for ANYTIME use!  Duh!!  Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?!?

 

 

 

Friendly thighs were no longer going to stop me from wearing skirts or dresses in warm weather.  With the assistance of some Body Glide, I could wear what I wanted (skirts, dresses, shorts, bikinis) with comfort and confidence.

 

 

 

Around this same time, I started having trouble with blouses and dresses with sleeves fitting.

 

 

 

Specifically, all was well until I tried to get my shoulders in them, or the blouse or dress to close.  About 6 months before this, I started doing pull ups regularly and having alot of fun with push ups and upper body training.

 

Spring 2014

 

Seeing as I’m ‘gifted’ in the delt department (they gain size really easily), my shoulders had shaped up and grown a bit.

 

 

 

At first, I had the urge to blame my shoulders for being too big or muscular–but only for a second.

 

 

Then I took a look at myself.  

 

 

 

I liked what I saw.  

 

 

 

 

I didn’t like the way the dress fit (or didn’t).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve got some delts…and I like them.

Epiphany:  The problem wasn’t the size of my shoulders or the way my shoulders and arms were shaped, the problem was in the design of the clothes.

 

 

Well, you know how feelings can snowball….Pretty soon I was looking at the rest of my body in the same way, starting with my friendly thighs.

 

 

 

I started to take the view on things that if clothes didn’t fit, it was because the clothes were the wrong design, not that my body was flawed.

 

 

 

My thighs have touched for as long as I can remember–seriously way back into childhood.

 

 

 

There have only been a few (three, maybe) phases when I remember my thighs NOT touching, and these were all related to drastic weight losses, one stemming from abdominal surgery and losing a ton of muscle, and two really stressful life events when I ate very little and ran a lot.

 

 

 

My thighs are the way they are and they’re not changing anytime soon.  And you know what?  I’m totally cool with that.  

 

 

 

Because they are strong and shapely and capable of some amazing feats.

 

 

 

 

It hasn’t been an overnight mental transformation, though.

 

 

 

 

Building better body acceptance has been a bit-by-bit, over time project.  It’s required me to catch myself when I slip into negative thought patterns, when I pinch my belly, or grab at my outer thighs, or mentally berate my cellulite, or fall into any kind of #comparisontrap, and to replace those negative thoughts with body-positive statements.

 

 

 

 

 

These days, when I’m shopping for jeans, or dresses, or even bikinis (still not a fun project for me!), I don’t harsh on my body when something doesn’t fit well or look good on me.

 

 

 

 

I blame it entirely on the cut/design of the clothing.  Fashion trends and social media be damned, if it doesn’t fit my body, it’s not because my body is flawed!!

 

 

 

 

My body is healthy strong, capable and amazing–stretch marks, mommy tummy, cellulite and all 🙂

 

 

Thank you, Body Glide, for starting me on the path to greater body acceptance and for helping me realize that products and clothing need to adapt to ME and my body, not the other way around.  

 

 

And in the immortal words of the Dread Pirate Scott, from one of the best movies of all time: The Princess Bride, “…anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.”

 

 

Some of my favorite body-positive mantras are:

 

  • Just Do You (to pull out of the comparison trap)
  • You’re amazing; the clothes suck
  • I love my strong ____________ (fill in the blank with body part)
  • I’m more than the sum of my parts

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So if you’re out there carrying out that sometimes traumatic task of shopping for a bathing suit, or any other piece of clothing that has stressed you out in the past, keep this in mind:

 

 

 

 

It’s not your body that’s flawed. It’s the clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

Ditch what doesn’t make you feel good, and move on!!

 

 

 

 

{PS—2016 update} Body Glide now has an even better partner product: Body Slide.

 

 

This stuff is super easy to apply to our rounded bits and gets into any ‘nooks and crannies’ more easily. Plus, it wears amazingly well through sweat and water exposure.

 

 

 

Body Slide saved me so much pain last summer, and made wearing a bikini in saltwater a pleasant experience!

 

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Summer 2015: rockin’ the bikini with the help of more body positivity and a bunch of Body Slide :)

Can’t recommend it enough.

 

 

 

What are your body-positive mantras??

 

 

 

 

Add yours to the comments below–I’d love to hear what works for you!

2 comments

  1. Ginna Cortese says:

    Nice article. I have never tried Body Slide.

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