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{My Curvy Life} Being a Plus Size Triathlete

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{My Curvy Life} Being a Plus Size Triathlete

Rachel Estapa

Athlete

{This is the third article in a new series running through October titled “My Curvy Life” featuring body-positive guest bloggers sharing personal stories on body image, daily life and various plus-size perspectives. To submit your work to the series, read my blog requirements here}

Athlete"I've changed a lot since then, not because I was trying to lose weight, but because I loved myself enough to try and be healthier - both inside and out."

My name is Kristina Blake, and many of you know me as The Contrary Athlete. I have had a love / hate relationship with my size for most of my life. A couple of years back; I was at my heaviest, and as a result, had no self-esteem. I was over 350lbs, and don’t know the whys or hows, but somewhere along the way I had let myself go.

I knew I had to start doing something, and it needed to be a full lifestyle change. I also knew that if I was going to take my life back, it needed to be for the right reasons and not just about weight loss this time around. I needed to learn how to love and believe in myself again.

My first big decision was to STOP being a slave to the scale.

We have never gotten along in the past, so why not change things up and ignore that for a while? Instead of a diet, I wanted to find something challenging that would get me off the couch, keep me busy, and allow me to have some fun.

I mentioned this to some friends who suggested I join a local triathlon training program. It took quite a bit of coaxing, but I decided to give it a try.

For those of you not familiar with a triathlon, it requires you to swim, bike, and run. Talk about going outside of my comfort zone! Above and beyond the time commitment, I knew this was not going to be an easy task. The right types of clothes were not always readily available in my size, and my bra had to be special ordered. I needed to find a bike that could safely hold my almost 350lb frame, and get fit for proper shoes. I would also have to get comfortable appearing in public in a swimsuit! It was not always the most pleasant adventure, but I kept pushing through and remained positive.

Finishing that first race was the most exhilarating feeling I could ever possibly describe.

It outweighed any negative experiences I had throughout the training process. I knew I had done something for myself. It wasn’t because someone told me I ‘had’ to do it, but because I ‘wanted’ to do it, and finally found the courage to say ‘I can!’ It took awhile, but I finally realized that I was the only one holding myself back.

Since then I’ve gone on to do several other races, and I’m constantly reaching for bigger and better things. I’ve stopped subscribing to the notion that you have to be a certain size to be able to enjoy life.

I just want to be FIT, and be HAPPY. Weight loss just happens to be a wonderful side effect of an active lifestyle. You don’t have to let a scale rule your life. Put yourself out there; try something new, and learn to love yourself one little step at a time.

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KristinaKristina Blake of The Contrary Athlete  is a 30 something female learning the ins and outs of an active lifestyle. She enjoys motivating others through her own experiences. Originally from Philadelphia, she now resides in Charlotte. When not training, she enjoys reading, singing, and playing cards with friends. 

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