So here's why I think Miller's run touched such a nerve—it's what her accomplishment means for the rest of us.
It's not enough that you have to hold down a job and fit into a size 2 and be Maxim-worthy a month after you have the baby. Now you have to be in training when you actually get pregnant so that you can keep it up for nine months while gestating, even if your physical imperative is an afternoon nap.
Orr Limpisvasti, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, sees plenty of overuse injuries from women trying to lose postpartum weight, and the reason isn't fitness—it's body image. Look at any magazine stand and you can see it.
At nine months, Gisele Bundchen appeared to be holding a tastefully petite loaf of ciabatta bread under her designer shirt rather than a near-term human. There's Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham, in a size 0 dress four days after giving birth. It's a competition, and Posh—as if David Beckham wasn't enough—has won again.
Miller ups the ante. Not on purpose, but the story has gained traction because we as a society are obsessed with our navel on this one and how distorted it gets after accommodating a baby.
Baby weight doesn't equal fat. Pregnancy used to be a timeout from body issues. You could romanticize about how sweet life would be with your baby for a few months before the avalanche of reality came crashing through the nursery doors. No more, not with a woman crossing the finish line in Chicago just before giving birth.
Now you've got to spend pregnancy timing your splits.
Amber Miller may have unintentionally set an impossible standard for women everywhere to resent. Or maybe she is a hero.
Anyway, that's how I have to end it because I really need to get my 5K run in today.
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