One runner is sending a very important message of body positivity to other athletes when it comes to the images of them that might be captured while they're getting their sweat on.
Dorothy Beal — a marathoner, blogger, mom times three, and running coach — shared side-by-side photos on Women's Running magazine's Instagram account. The two snapshots depict Beal in very different states during the race, one clearly more upbeat than the other, but she's not going to let that get her down and take away any feeling of accomplishment.
"How many of you have let a race photo steal joy from you??" the post begins. "Both of these race photos were taken on the same day at the same race. In one I looked happy and strong and in the other I was left questioning if there was a part of my body that didn't have cellulite."
See the photos in question here:
While Beal said the race "sucked" at points and resulted in "possibly my slowest" finish, she remembered the day as "being fun" overall thanks to catching up with her friends afterward. That being said, those feelings didn't last forever.
"If you had asked me after if I had a good time I would have said YES!!" she continued. "I still felt that way in the days following the race UNTIL I saw the photo on the left and then insecurity set in and I thought about how that day was not fun."
With that self-doubt setting in, Beal had to remind herself of her accomplishments and see how insignificant that one bad photo was in the grand scheme of things.
"A race photo is ONE SINGLE moment in time and I let one of them steal joy from me," she added. "Most times we don't look great while we run, but that's not why we run anyways, we run to FEEL like I look in the photo on the right - HAPPY."