BY: DANIEL PETERSON
When Michelle Carter attained her ultimate objective by winning gold at the Rio Olympics, she also discovered an important thing beyond just her medal. She discovered she was a positive body icon.
The shot putter sealed gold at her third games, thus becoming the first American ever having won in the event, and gained huge fan-base for being proud of herself.
“I was highly amazed by people’s responses, but it’s something which I truly believe for myself since I’ve dealt with such issues,” Carter, 31, talks about being seen by many as a body-image role model.
Carter explains that although today, she has found her body confidence, in 2012 she was at a very low. The USA Field athlete, who also happen to work as a makeup artist, was actually diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
“That’s hard since my body was going through a lot of changes that I didn’t understand what was going on,” Carter adds. “I gained over 100 lbs. Which I couldn’t lose, my hair was falling off; I was always tired, I couldn’t maintain my muscle. It’s really tough knowing that there’s something unwell with my body, but I couldn’t fix it.”
Her self-image fallen as her body enlarged out of her control, although medicine and shot put kept Carter going.
“Although I was undergoing through all of those health issues, still, I was doing well during my season,” Carter continues. “It was not the best season, but it’s consistent. And I thought ‘if I can be this much consistent when I am not at my best, what will happen when I get better? Where could I be?’ So I wanted to see what exactly I would be like on the other side.”
Therefore Carter decided to accept her body.
“I gained back my confidence just by accepting what my body was,” she adds. “Because I kept imagining, ‘Oh If I lose the weight, I will go back to where my body was,’ but in actuality, I have a whole different body now. I actually have to relearn my new body and what it can do for me now, but not what used to work out for me.”
That confidence enabled her to get the mindset to win gold—in the days when people doubted her that she could be a successful athlete at her size.
“Athletes can’t look the same, and then be great in their personal sport,” Carter explains that.
“Some people are just meant to be bigger, and that is okay. Since if everyone was created the same, it would be somehow boring. We really enjoy the differences in one another, and I think that is what makes all of us look beautiful.”
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