It’s common for athletes to have issues with body image in general, and I feel like it’s even more common right now when training and racing are kind of all over the place. I spoke to two amazing sports psychologists for a piece over on Map My Run diving into the topic and trying to figure out how to navigate athlete body image when racing and training are paused.
Piece number one: You’re not alone in this feeling!
If you’re struggling with body image issues right now, you’re not alone: When things around you seem to be out of control, we all have a tendency to start focusing on things we can control. For many of us as athletes, that includes body composition. When that’s combined with a lack of motivation to run or a lack of ability to run (due to injury or a quarantine/lockdown situation), this can manifest as a body image issue, explains Danelle Kabush, PhD, a registered clinical counselor and mental performance consultant who specializes in working with athletes. “This can be especially true for athletes who really love to race or compare themselves against other runners,” she adds. “When you can’t test yourself in your normal ways, it’s common to look for ways you can control and discipline yourself by controlling your body.”