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What if you don't have a 'soccer body'?

Gear Girl

Media's body expectations are bullshit!
I wish I'd had someone to talk to or read about body image when I was a youth playing soccer - livin' and breathing the sport. There was very little if any media chatter about healthy bodies or anyway of knowing that my body was going through puberty and changing and that the extra pounds I carried were just fine. My mother focused on weight and appearance, so I was always felt fat and abnormal. I look back at pictures of me as a kid/teenager and I was NOT fat. I was fantastic and muscular from playing soccer; sure I had some chub but nothing more than a normal growing girl would have. 
Abby works hard to look like this! That's an awesome soccer body! Of course the media has to have her pose nude, but at least it's not sexualized. Sometimes it's a motivator to see a world class athlete's body, but keep in mind they are pros - paid to be that fit! Damn, no wonder she's the record holder for goals scored!
I don't know what's worse, growing up with not finding resources to identify that my body was just fine or having to live with today's body obsessed crazy media. Okay, I do know - I think it's worse now - the onslaught of what the media and corporations put out to the public as acceptable and 'normal' is out of control. Sex sells and big business pays a lot of money for the hottest people to stay hot and represent their product. Educate yourself right now, no matter how old you are, it's all about marketing and consumerism. It's so hard to believe that  your body is just fine, when images surround you of who's got the best bodies and who's fat, and the fattest person they're mocking is WAY smaller than you or I. It's gross what they're doing, and I just want to make sure you know that.

Really, why did they have to make Alex Morgan look like a glam bikini model? Her body is an incredible machine from working out and being mindful of her food. I'd be much more inspired to see her in her Sounder's green cranking a shot between the posts. 
Right on, soccer girl!
Do you get embarrassed that you don't look like the professionals in your soccer uniform? Do your shorts ride up your inner thighs causing a rash? Isn't it awkward when they don't have a jersey or shorts in your size? Don't you want to look cool and tough in your uniform? These are all things I've struggled with, and I know you do too if you're not fit or as fit as your teammates. No matter what size we are, we tend to look at the next girl and wish we had her thighs or buff arms - they're wishing the same thing about some other girl. It's a screwed up perpetual spin! I wish someone would have discreetly taken me aside and told me what to do about it; told me I was okay or told me I should start thinking about dropping a few pounds for my fitness. But it's so hard to approach a beautiful young player and say "you're too overweight and it's affecting your game" or "here's how you can be even more fit". Would you crumble to tears or would you be grateful for the advice? 
This gal works hard. But please please know that it's perfectly okay if you don't have the same body style or fitness level as her. The image inspires me to work harder, while keeping in mind that I'm doing okay as I am.

Well I'll tell you here since we're not face to face and I won't embarrass you - if your weight or conditioning is slowing you down, do something about it. Get a trusted friend to help you train a bit extra. Get off of sugar - it's addictive. Move more; eat a bit less than you currently are (remember food is fuel, junk in/junk out - you need quality fuel to play well). You will be so glad I said something because you'll feel better, clothes will fit better, and you can make that sprint to the ball faster and harder! If you think you're just fine and you're at a good place with your fitness - then keep rocking it, sisterl! Just don't make a big deal out of it - don't obsess on your body. Get away from magazines and websites that portray women as sexy objects - that's really messed up! I've included some example pics to make a point, not make you feel less about your self. You are enough right this very minute! Yes, it's nice to look fantastic for yourself and/or loved ones - but the media makes us feel like the joke of society if we don't have hard cut-up abs and soccer butts. Just be gentle on yourself. You're doing okay; you're a Soccer Girl!
I think most of us know that Hope's body is crazy fit! She's awesome.  She's also a professional who gets paid a lot of money to train full time and have the best trainers. So ask that voice in your head to be a bit easier with you, and not make judgement when you look at your own abs and they look different than Hope's. If you want a firmer core, google some exercises to do at home and eat clean, not junk. 

Girls, let me mother you for a moment - you're fine just as you are!! If you feel like you want to lose weight than you should. It is important to take care of yourself and your body. Eating right and exercise are two media messages you should live by. Bonus - it will make you feel better and play better soccer!