(February 2014) Keeping it real is hard.

One of my favorite runner/writers is Lauren Fleshman (I know her from Runner's World, but she also has a blog and does other things). She's a pro runner and so, naturally, you'd think she has this awesomely chiseled body along with killer self-confidence. (She has both of those things, in my opinion.) Last fall she posted a few pictures of herself during New York Fashion Week, at which she was a runway model (three cheers for muscle on the runway!). Read that blog and see her fab photos here.

Fab photos? Yes. The one of her on the runway AND the ones of her belly overhanging and of her thigh cheese. Because Lauren did something great and included pictures of her being her everyday, real-life, not-on-the-runway self along with the picture of her from probably her best. day. ever. on the runway at NYFW. Because what we see in magazines and in movies and on TV is not real life. Because it would be a lie to only show the best doctored and photoshopped images of ourselves. Because when you're a role model to countless girls and women of all ages, you want to make sure they're getting the real deal.

Props to you, Fleshman.

Then, in an article from this week, Fleshman went on to respond to the frenzy her original post had caused. (Both positive and negative responses, no surprise there. There are jerks everywhere.) She issued a challenge. She dared everyone to post pictures of themselves at their, well, their worst. As I read this, I was excited. Yeah! Let's do it! Let's destroy the idea that we have to live up to this impossible perfection! Let's be real! And then I thought about it. What would I post? Do I want to be reallyreal? I began to get picky about the "bad" pictures I could post. Like, I don't want it to be too bad. I still want to look good. As though during my most real, most honest, moments I am always looking fabulous. You see, even when I'm trying to be honest online I'm still posting through a filter.

I'd like to do this someday. Maybe someday soon. But it's seriously terrifying! (Fleshman would agree. It took her weeks before she was ready to post her "real" shots.)

I feel like Fleshman had an ace in her hand though, being able to pair her "real" shots with her runway shot. Like, here's me not made up at all, but here's me looking stunning!!!! So, don't judge me when I post an unflattering picture of myself paired up with a shot from my wedding day or something. Give a girl a break.