Aug | 14

Running Mom Learns to Love Her Body, Finds Strength

One of the things we love most about running is that anyone can do it. No matter your body type, experience, location, etc., all you need to do is gear up and go. That’s why we were so inspired to hear Liz Dehart’s story of coming to love her body and all the miles it carries her through.

Take a read through for some serious inspiration that will leave you run-ready… and maybe a little bit misty-eyed.

Thanks to Dominique at Nikki’s Haven for sharing this post with us, and of course, to Liz for telling her story.

Walk past me in a coffee shop, the mall or local grocery store and I’m just another woman. Scan my sporty outfit, laced up running shoes and pull over sweater….”she’s ‘fit,’ she must workout”. What goes through your head next? “Bet she’s always been like that, bet she doesn’t have to work hard for it, bet she’s confident, never judged her body, never cried wondering why she isn’t happy with what looks back at her in the mirror.” You’d be wrong.

Take a step further, what if my shirt clearly stated “I’m a Triathlete,” “I Crossfit” or “I’m a Marathon Runner?” My body wouldn’t match what society has programmed us to see when we think of “those” types of athletes. I don’t have a six pack, glutes that get 10K likes on Instagram or 7 percent body fat. I’m me.

I remember the first time I was told I should hate my body. Seventh grade walking down the halls of school. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s thunder thighs.” This was the start of 15 years of training and programming myself to loath my body instead of love it. Between bullying, media and campaigns targeted to women about how you should view your body, and what a “perfect” body looks like, I found myself programmed to self destruct. “If your body’s not perfect you won’t find love, happiness or success.” How could I possibly meet those requirements?! I’m me.

#EmbraceStrong+Liz+Feature (1)
Twelve years later, I stood 242 lbs. What have I become? I hated myself, my body and how I viewed it. This is NOT me. I decided in that very moment to bravely take the reigns on my life and undo the programming. “Learn how to love yourself, Liz. Learn to know you deserve better then how you’ve treated yourself.” I walked out of the bathroom to see my daughter, 2 years old at the time, standing in my shoes…literally. And all I could think was to scream, get out of my shoes! Don’t be the woman I’ve become, love yourself, never doubt your value, never wonder how you stack up. Be strong. Love YOU! How could she learn those things if I wasn’t strong enough to teach her.


I no longer push my body because I hate it, but challenge it because I believe in it.

The sporty girl in the grocery store is a mom, an athlete, a friend, a coach, a mentor. She inspires because she had the courage to hit the reset button. Her stomach wears the scars of battle. She’s reversed 100 lbs. of weight gain from her athletic frame. Her body will never be “perfect,” because perfect is bullshit. My body is an instrument, it’s a machine. It is me.


My body has carried me through child baring, 100-mile bike rides, brutal crossfit workouts and 26.2 tortuous miles of running. It is capable of amazing things. I no longer push my body because I hate it, but challenge it because I believe in it. I may never fit the mold of what an endurance athlete “looks like.” I’m me.


So how do you display the ultimate sign of self love and acceptance? You peel off your shirt, bare your battle scars, share your story. This isn’t easy but…..This is me.


I’m not saying loving your body is easy. I’m saying it’s possible.


Instagram: @Glutenfreegangsta

See the original post at Nikki’s Haven.

About Derek
I’m a runner, a writer, and a shoe lover who enjoys morning coffee, travel, singing in the car, and getting legitimately lost on trail runs. Three things I can’t live without: bubble tea, Fridays, and my Brooks PureFlow’s.