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How Playing A D1 Sport Changed the Way I View My Body

In high school I never worried about the number on the scale, if my shoulders looked too big in tank tops, or if the jeans I was about to try on were going to fit.

Fast forward three years, and it takes me an hour to pick out an outfit because I feel nothing suits my body type.

I get up at 6am five days a week to throw weights around, run more sprints than I can count, and practically live in sweats because of my sport.

My body went through a huge transformation my first semester at college. Suddenly I had broad shoulders, thick thighs, and strong calves.  When I came home from my freshman year, I had to buy all new shorts because my legs were much stronger than before I left. At the time, I didn’t realize how in shape my body was. Instead all I saw was the number on my new jeans.

Thanks to the images of women in the media, I thought my body was unattractive. I believed that 32, 26, 36 were the measurements every “skinny” girl should have. It was hard. I was eating clean, working out 4 hours a day, and burning about 1000 calories at practice. Even though I was in the best shape of my life, I didn’t feel confident. I was confused. What could I possibly be doing wrong?

Then I realized, when you play a division 1 sport, or any sport in college for that matter, your body is going to change. It’s just the name of the game. Your body needs to be strong to get you through 3 hour practices. You need more fuel than others because you got up at 6am to run 3 miles and they’re rolling out of bed at noon.

I had a hard time adjusting to my new body, and honestly I still do. There are some days where I feel like a boy. But I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter what the media or others think or say. Instead of being insecure about my athletic build I’m working on being proud of how much time and effort I’ve put in at the gym to make my body as strong as it is.

Foodie, Dog lover. Shu Lax '19
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