Saturday, November 12, 2011

My hair

This post has been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks now. I am writing it more for myself than anything.

I got my hair cut.  Pretty dang short. I realize that for a lot of people a haircut is not really a big deal, but for me, this haircut symbolizes a lot.

I have always, always, always, had long hair.  For as long as I can remember, everyone always told me how beautiful my hair was. I always thought of it as my best feature, and then as my weight went up and my self-esteem went down, I thought of it as my only pretty physical feature. Even more so, I got to the point where I felt like my long hair defined me, and that I wouldn't be "Erin" if I didn't have long hair.

Every once and a while I would cut it a little shorter than usual, but I always grew it right back. I spent more time than I should blowing drying it, brushing it, and worrying about it. I often saw people with short hair and was envious... wished I had the "guts" to get my hair cut, or the courage to believe I could pull it off. I would often say that I couldn't have short hair because I had a fat face and it wouldn't look good.

The last few months I started toying with the idea of cutting my hair... not just a little shorter, but A LOT short. I saw a picture of a pixie cut and wanted it. I worried I couldn't pull it off. I worried I wouldn't be pretty without my long hair.

But as I have become a runner, more has changed than just my physical appearance. As I lost 75lbs, ditched a whole lot of fat and grew some muscles, I found strength that I didn't know I had, physically and emotionally. I also managed to build myself some self esteem.  The voices in my head that said I wouldn't be pretty with short hair or couldn't pull it off were quieted, and I felt excited about going for a big change. And I figured it was only hair... if I didn't like it, it would grow back. All of a sudden, having long hair didn't define me, and my long hair didn't feel like my only pretty feature.

Right away, I liked my hair cut short and I LIKED that I liked it. It's different. It's fun! The "old me" would have needed the people around me to tell me that they liked it before I made a decision. I would have been nervous to see people for the first time and would have worried what they thought. I would have felt insecure.

I look in the mirror and I see that not only am I still me with short hair, but that I am a newer, better version of me. I am stronger. I am healthier. I am happier. I am more confident. I don't need long hair to feel pretty, or other people's approval to feel confident. And my face isn't fat anymore. Somehow a haircut seemed to represent to me all the positive changes that I have made in the last two years. Going to NY and seeing family and friends for the first time with my short hair reinforced how much I like my hair cut and how good I feel, inside and out.

I know it is just a haircut and not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life, but it has been a fun change that has shown me once again how very much running has had such a positive impact in my life.


24 comments:

JC said...

I absolutely love it! It's so flattering on you :)

Carrie @ Maine Mom on the Run said...

I love it! You look fantastic!

Penny said...

Love the haircut. I think it make you look even younger. You are so cute with long or short hair.

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

I already loved your haircut and thought it was adorable on you! Now I love it more for all it represents. You are strong and beautiful and a great inspiration to so many. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the haircut. I am sure it touches many in ways you never even thought it would.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I love it! It's very cute and suits you really well!

LBTEPA said...

It IS a big deal in the grand scheme of life - it's the outward symbol of the "new you' (or the 'real you'!) that has emerged!

Suz and Allan said...

It's beautiful!

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

Great post Erin! Your hair is very cute! I think it looks great on you. I went the opposite way. I started growing my hair out when I started running.

JenniferLeah said...

beautiful!!
this post really spoke to me. I have been running around with this mega long blonde hair and it's just such a part of me now as much as i would love to try a new look, i dont have the guts to cut it.
:O)

misszippy said...

I saw it in person and it is a fantastic cut on you! I'm so glad you like it.

fancy nancy said...

You look awesome with short hair! I love it!!!

Terzah said...

And now there are a whole crop of people who know you through running and have never seen you with anything BUT short hair! :^)

Lacey Sue said...

I say, cheers to you, for cutting it. For being brave, and just DOING IT. I love it.

Andrea H. said...

Love this post! I noticed that specific beautiful haircut when you were in New York and commented. Isn't it amazing how hair can just get short with confidence and self esteem. Plus you wear short hair so well and it makes you look even younger. I just started to grow my hair out 4 years ago. I always had short hair but now it's itching to come off again, lol especially when I am wearing my beanie while running and the pony tail underneath is driving me crazy.

Caroline said...

first you look very pretty
I love your hair!
and you look happy.

I also lost 75 lbs and I can tell you: I GET this post. 100%.

Annet and Kirk said...

I get this post too, 100% like Caroline says! I have super duper long blonde hair - very thick and solidly long all the way to my butt and I always get comments on it and love it (and my hubby tries to say it is in our marriage contract that I never cut it). However, I don't think I hide behind it, I love it myself (and never ever blowdry it!!) and can't imagine short hair.

However, I think I hide behind my glasses. One day, I'll be brave and rich enough to get Lasix surgery or I'll be consistent enough to get contacts (never gone for more than a month) and that will be for me like your haircut is for you.

Really great post!!

Annet and Kirk said...

And by the way, I forgot to write how much I love your haircut!

Jen said...

Love your haircut, and by the way you are very pretty and your shorter hair draws more attention to your eyes! More importantly, even though I only know you through your blog, I can see that you have a very beautiful soul and that is what shines through, anyway. Thank you for a wonderful post! I think we all have our own hangups and security blankets of sorts and it sure feels good to shed them :)

Prasetyo said...

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But, dont forget to give us your comment into my blog ya.

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Jill Will Run said...

I was thinking how cute your hair looked in your NYC recap pics, and thinking some of the same things... "If only I had the courage to do something like that with my hair!" I love this post and it is interesting how running can alter so many facets of life that you would never imagine. Thanks for sharing this, it really resonated with me!

Tortoise said...

TOTALLY HOT!!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I love the haircut, so cute! I keep thinking I want to do that, but am terrified so for now just cutting it up to my shoulders was a big deal :)

Mallory said...

I LOVE your hair! You look great!

Jessica Washburn said...

I LOVE your short hair and actually think you look prettier with it short. It shows off your beautiful eyes and smile. Sucha cute face!