• coachsarah

9/17/19 - NAH, I'm good.

The Morning Mantra is available on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube and pretty much anywhere podcasts can be found. Transcripts forthcoming on the blog at www.coachedandloved.com

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” they say as they shove a shit sandwich across the table at you.

Hi! This is Coach Sarah, and this is the Morning Mantra!

*cue intro music*

Hi, my name is Sarah Axelrod. I'm a run coach and a lover of poetry, and a person who cares about your well-being. You don't have to be an athlete to be #coachedandloved, and if you need an anchor to hold onto as you move through a tough situation, you've come to the right place.

*music ends*

Today's mantra is: "Nah, I’m good."

Lots of people told me I should see the movie Brittany Runs A Marathon. Some of them knew me when I was a version of Brittany, at least in their eyes. I am even the same height as her, and her initial weight is only a few pounds off from what mine was when I started going to weight watchers at age 19. I didn’t start training for a marathon until I’d been running and losing weight for about a year. But I, too, ended up at the finish line of the New York City marathon way back when, 60 pounds lighter than a previous self, making many people believe that this had been the substance of my transformation.

But I wasn’t a shell of a human before I lost weight and started running. I told myself that for years - I told the story of Poor Fat High School Sarah like I was a before picture on a weight loss ad. I basically was! I brought in my before picture to my weight watchers meeting when I hit my goal weight so that everyone could tell me what a different person I looked like. Good Riddance! I am sad that I spent my weight loss years reflexively hating my high school self, just because she was fat. I did not need to lose weight to “take control of my life”, and losing weight did not make me a better person. Running marathons did not make me a better person either - I was actually a great person, as much as a 19-year-old can claim to be. I grew as a person by literally getting older, by reading books, by spending time with myself (sometimes while running), believing people when they said they loved me, and by finding running to be a habit that brought me joy and made me feel good. And most importantly, by getting therapy (which my loving friends, who loved me when I was fat and loved me when I was thin, gently urged me to do when they saw my relationship with food getting a little bit problematic).

This weight loss narrative pitched as a personal redemption story bothered me. It bothered me right from the opening frames of the trailer, which is where it makes its case plainly. You’ll hear more about that on our upcoming podcasts where we talk about the themes present in the movie, but for now suffice it to say that I never want my daughter to see a movie like this hailed as a feel-good comedy without there being a serious conversation about the assumptions it makes. Because weight loss was not my redemption, and it is not my story.

If you saw the trailer for this movie and think you’ve seen enough and you know what you’re going to get, you have, and you do. You don’t have to go see this movie. Not in the name of fairness and not in the name of adventurousness and not in the name of being game and cool and easygoing. I resent the implication that someone should have to subject themselves to a movie that they know will trigger them before they get to decide that actually they did not want to see that movie. And if ANYONE tries to imply such a thing, with you, I want you to cross your arms over your chest and give your best, most nonchalant, most uninvested, “nah, I’m good.” And smile the satisfied smile of knowing thyself.

*cue outro music*

You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And if you need MOAR reasons to believe that, follow @morningmantrapod on Instagram.

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