Having the Ramos Legs

Growing up, I remember having stockier legs than the other girls – everyone seemed to have thin legs, and I was so envious of that.  When I asked my mom why my legs didn’t look like the other girls, she just stated matter of fact, “You have the Ramos* legs – I have them, grandma has them, and your aunts have them.”  She said this not really shamefully, nor wistfully even, but with a connotation that it’s just something I had to deal with.

So throughout my teen and college years, I struggled with the fact that I had the Ramos legs, and that they were just something I had to live with.  I remember feeling awkward how everyone had room in the thighs when wearing shorts, while mine were more snug.  I remember constantly wearing black tights to make them appear slimmer, despite the silhouette just making them shapelier.  And I remember sneaking to borrow my mom’s Thigh Master, in hopes that constantly doing them will give me legs like Suzanne Somers.  Countless things to try and slim them down, because I just didn’t accept them, and deep inside, didn’t accept me.

Then, I found running, and after awhile, I noticed something going on with my legs.  As I started testing my boundaries and capabilities of what I can accomplish through them, I noticed they weren’t really getting any slimmer, but they were getting more muscular and more defined.  Beyond these physical changes, I noticed that my perspective on them changed – not automatically, but over time.  That my legs are what they are, and they’re not stocky – they’re muscular, strong, and resilient.  They can handle enough endurance to complete marathons and half-marathons, and all the training miles associated with it.  They’ve taken me on countless hikes, the Trans-Catalina Trail, and the summit of Mt. Whitney.  And they’ve helped me bike the California coastline, and constantly forgive me despite giving them battle scars from the countless times I’ve toppled over my mountain bike.

They’re strong and have endured so much, and, over time it started to gel that I view them this way because I am strong and have endured, not only with my physical activities but also from some life challenges.  And, I’ve realized, that these Ramos legs are the best things I could have inherited from my mom’s side of the family.  All these amazing women who have endured and gone through so much – raising children, divorces, financial hardships – yet still push forth.  And we all carry this family heirloom that not only have a strong presence in the physical sense, but is symbolic of our inner strength and endurance for life’s constant challenges.  Because of this, I am no longer dealing or accepting the fact that I have Ramos legs – but I’m proud of it.

So if I’m lucky enough to have a daughter someday, and she also carries the Ramos legs and wonders why her legs are shaped the way they are, I’m just going to respond, “Because you have the Ramos legs – Congratulations!  It means you’re strong, resilient, and capable of whatever lies ahead of you.”

*Ramos used to depict my mom’s maiden name, though it’s not really so.


49 thoughts on “Having the Ramos Legs

  1. It sure sounds like I have the Ramos legs too twinsie. It doesn’t help that I’m only 5’1 either but I digress…I wished my legs would “handle enough endurance to complete marathons and half-marathons, and all the training miles associated with it” but alas they are mine so I must love them. 😛

    • Awesome, so long as you love them, then that’s great! It took a long time to love mine, and my body in general, but maybe it’s because I’ve become older that I’ve learned to appreciate what the body can do so much more. 🙂

  2. How funny. I had this exact some thought — of having naturally thicker legs than everyone else — growing up and never once thought that it might have been why I gravitated toward jumping sports in middle school. I suppose your and my thicker legs could be a genetic thing…would love to see a statistical study somewhere 🙂

    I also wonder if it’s subconsciously why I made the switch toward endurance racing after I grew up.

    Also, I like the metaphor!

    • Haha, interesting correlation, I’m going to snoop around the interwebs to see if there are studies (probably better than measuring the circumference of my family/friends’ calves ;)). That’s interesting about the activities we gravitate towards – I do think that has something to do with it! Any races for the remaining of the year for you? 🙂

  3. I love this! My BFF has always joked that she had the [traditional German surname] butt, and I didn’t realize it until seeing all of her family at Thanksgiving at the same time! They do all have the same rear end, and it’s strong and muscular and has helped my BFF climb many mountains so far. =)

    • Thanks, Mrs. PoP! That’s so interesting the features we inherit from our families, eh? That’s awesome that your BFF has climbed so many mountains – I do agree that accentuating your assets (no pun intended) with your physical strengths can make you appreciate that so much more!

  4. Love this Anna! I think as teens we all struggled with some part of our body that we just weren’t ever satisfied with. It’s only, in my humble opinion, as you really embrace who you are, that you love what used to bother you. I used to loathe my hips when I was a teen, but I love them now! 🙂

    • Thanks Mackenzie! I completely agree with you – it’s too bad that as teens, some people get down on themselves, but hopefully they learn to appreciate their bodies as you and I have. That’s awesome you love your hips, work it, girl! 😉

  5. I’m glad you learned to love your Ramos legs as they have definitely made you a strong runner. I was 6 ft tall by the time I was 13 and taller than most of classmates – boys and girls. I felt so out of place but my Mom helped me learn to love my height. And now I’m proud when my girls say they hope they are as tall me when they grow up. Someday you may pass your Ramos legs to your kids and will be able to help them embrace them!

    • I’m in such awe you’re 6 feet! That’s awesome your mom helped you learn to love your height – it sounds like she was just as much of an amazing mother as you are to your girls. 🙂

  6. My mom and I call our legs elephant legs, because we have thick ankles. For the longest time, I thought my ankle bone’s ticker than most people, but recently realized I have extra fat around my ankle. I know it’s weird, but my mom has it, my brother has it, and I have it. I still don’t like it, but what can I do. I just need to stay skinny. haha!

    • Haha, aww, I love these little similarities in features with families. 🙂 Been thinking about you and your mom, love, I hope things are going well. xo

  7. Aww, I loved this post. I think I have the Daley hips. Thankfully each generation is a little taller (grandma is 4’11”, mom 5’4″, me 5’5″) the hips aren’t as pronounced as you get taller, but make no mistake they’re still there. I use to hate being “curvy” but now I embrace it, it’s who I am.

  8. I love your prose here. Pretty neat how you flip something negative on it’s end to be something good. Well done!

    I have the opposite issue. My legs make me look like a human flamingo. They are like pencils. One of my goals this year is to bike up to a mountain town call Allens Park. This involves 4000′ of elevation gain is complete torture. I’ve only managed to do 1/3 so far. When I finally complete this goal, I’ll probably still have flamingo legs, but hopefully they are muscular flamingo legs!

  9. So funny! As I was reading the article, I kept thinking “Ramos legs” were named after the US soccer player Tab Ramos. I remember watching him play in the 1994 World Cup and everyone commenting on how big his calves were!

  10. My “ramos legs” is my poochy belly. I mean I look at chocolate and I look like I’m pregnant. My mom was a stick figure with a lil round belly. Yup, I got that from her. But…I also inherited long legs (which I never appreciated before I started playing volleyball and running). We all have our own version of ramos legs which makes us unique. It’s sometimes hard to appreciate but I’m glad you found a way to! And Im sure no one notices it at much as the women in your family do. 🙂

    • I agree that there’s some physical trait passed on that makes family members unique – I didn’t understand it before, but I do now, and appreciate it, as well. Too funny, I feel like I gain weight just by looking at food, too! 😉 Glad to hear you appreciate your long legs, I’m sure it comes in handy with your sports!

  11. I know exactly the kind of legs you’re talking about because I have them too! Add in that I’m five feet tall (which shoes on and maybe a bit of a platform too), I have short, thick legs to my great sadness. I imagine your legs as being nicely muscular from all your running whereas I can find any excuse not to do any type of workout! My big toe hurts so I should instead sit on the sofa and cruise the gossip sites. This probably doesn’t help trim down those thighs! I have learned to appreciate the features that I do love – my small hands and feet, nice lips, good hair and accept that my legs will always be short. And maybe tomorrow I’ll get up and go for a power walk. Except that it’s too hot to do it right now…maybe next week. Like I said, great with excuses! LOL!

    • OMG this comment completely cracked me up – LOL at big toe and opting to peruse gossip sites (I read those, too, and feel slightly ashamed afterward but not enough to stop erading. ;)). Haha, I will side with you there, it’s been humid as heck lately! I love that you’re able to see the great qualities about yourself – that’s key to loving yourself imo!

  12. Great story Anna! I too have not so shapely legs… I almost have cankles. But then there are parts of me I find beautiful and I know it balances out so I don’t get down about it. And remember, these strong legs we have make us less likely to hurt ourselves so I’m glad you found your strength to be proud in what you have!

    • Thanks Tara! Too funny, I never heard of cankles until a few months ago, and now I’ve heard it more than a handful of times. Exactly, they are parts that make up your beautiful self, so it’s great that you have that mindset! It took some time, but I’ve learned to appreciate them. 🙂

  13. I am glad you learned to accept and appreciate your Ramos legs! This is definitely something we can all relate to. I, too, never liked my legs, and continue to dislike them, but I think I need to get them in shape. I have long legs, but they’re thicker around my thighs and it has just always bothered me. Hopefully doing squats will help with that.

    • That’s awesome you love your legs – I think that’s important. Yoga’s definitely amazing for strength… I don’t do it often enough, but perhaps I shall start up again!

    • I used to hate my skinny legs too, but I’ve grown to like them. They’re kinda weak but reasonably shapely. I used to HATE my flat chest, but I”ve come to realise the benefits that come with it.

  14. I definitely have a case of the “Ramos legs”. Everyone on my mom’s side of the family has huge, defined calves. I used to hate them, now I love them! I think they’re one of my best assets. Maybe it’s a filipina thing? 😉

    Great reflection, Anna!

  15. I broke my shoulder a few years ago, and I think that helped me realise bodies that function beat bodies that are pretty. Every time my running and gym obsessed friend worries about the last KGs (pounds) I remind her how much her body can do, and that should be the focus.

    I found with regular walking to work a few years ago, my legs firmed up nicely – not stick thing, but better shaped etc. I think/hope my learning to run is also doing the same, the BF said recently that they jiggle less, so that’s a positive. Now to get up to 1/2 marathon distances! I have a run in less than a month, 9kms, and to date I’ve only run/walked 5.8kms, so it’s a bit more than that. I’m hoping the crowd will push me along!

    • I love that you encourage your friends to see what their body can do, rather than just focus on the weight – it’s little changes in perspectives like that that can make all the difference! That’s a great compliment what your BF said, though no doubt it came from hard work and determination – that’s exciting about the half marathon! The crowds absolutely are encouraging, though I have no doubt you’ll do awesome at it. I’ll keep my eye out on your post about it 🙂

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  18. If more people would have this attitude about things! I like how you mom just put it as its just something you have to deal with and not make excuses. You get a lot of credit for understanding and just loving you for being you. My wifey’s family has the same thing with their hips. Every female seems to have the same look in the family.

    • Thanks Thomas! Agreed, it’s a part of someone, so you just gotta learn to emrace it! It’s so interesting how family members have the same features – I think it’s pretty cool. 🙂

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