I was perusing my favorite fitness web site earlier and found that a friend had posted an interesting link about women and weight lifting.
I know. I was supposed to be working, but all work and no breaks makes Jules kind of a bitch, sooooo….plus there was lunch.
Basically, the article, which can be found HERE, is about what sixteen different women learned about themselves as women after having lifted heavy for some time. I won’t go and paste all of the things that they learned here, since it is kind of a lengthy bit to be pasting into a blog post, but I will elaborate on some of the observations that they made, simply because I have made the same ones. The bold text in quotes are from the article, verbatim, and below are my takes on them as I’ve discovered similar thoughts running through my mind:
“Lifting has brought to my attention that a body that can do so much is one worth loving, not worth lamenting.”
This pretty much sums up how I felt/feel in a nutshell. When I was fat and figured it out, I hated my body; how it looked, how mushy it had become and, really, how weak it had become. I would look at that blob woman in the mirror and pretty much hate on myself. Then lifting. Once I figured out that not only did I enjoy doing it, and that I was getting better (read: stronger) at it, I also looked at that larger version of my current self in the mirror and appreciated myself a little more with each passing day. After all, how can one be weak and wimpy when one is squatting repeatedly with heavy weights across your shoulders? I didn’t see a fat chick on a diet trying to get skinny; I saw a strong (getting stronger) chick getting smaller and more fit. What was NOT to love, right?
“If I am feeling anxious in social situations I usually visualize myself performing my favorite lift and how confident I feel completing that lift.”
I second that emotion. If I am uncomfortable or awkward in ANY situation, I mentally put myself back at the bar and remember that I can pull more than my own body weight off the floor. Whatever has me feeling squirmy isn’t all that big of a deal, if you put it in perspective like that. Lifting gives me confidence.
“Lifting weights is my therapy.”
And it really is so much cheaper. I don’t care how hellish my day was. If I can get my tail to the house, change clothes, and throw some of that iron around a little? Yeah…A PR kicks a bad day’s ass anytime, even if that bad day was full of family-crazy. <3
“I used to spend way too much time focused on what I couldn’t do or the imperfections I posses, but now I focus on what I can do.”
It isn’t about the number on the plate to me. It is about being better than you were the last time; if it is the same weight, but one more rep in each set or the same number of reps but a heavier weight. I am not competing with you, her, that lady over there, or even that lady that is squatting way more than her body weight. I’m competing against ME, and I am the only one that can beat me. That’s pretty freaking liberating if you think about it. Especially if you have ever spent any decent time at all in a Zumba class or in front of an exercise video that really made you feel clumsy/awkward/slow/too fat/insert your self-deprecating adjective here. This isn’t like that. This is just getting a little better every time. THAT is what it is all about.
So, all of that said? Yes, I’ve gotten smaller, but that is just an added bonus to what has happened to me since I got comfortable in the weight room. I don’t stress over scale numbers any more, because I kind of like the way the numbers on the tape have gotten a lot smaller. I like the idea of .8-1g of protein per pound of weight per day. That, y’all, is a LOT of steak, fish, quinoa, yogurt, cheese, etc. The biggest win of all? How I feel at 49 years of age. I didn’t feel this good, this strong in my teens, twenties, or thirties. How can anything that makes me feel THIS good be anything but right? I am a former slug, and did four 5K’s last year. (And am a little miffed that I haven’t done ANY this year, but life, yanno?
I have found the energy to not only compete in fitness challenges, and walk away with my minimums met and then some, I am also building one with a friend. We’re so excited, because there will be another twelve weeks of my life spent concentrating on meeting goals.
So with that all said, I’m heading over to the bar shortly, because it was, after all, a Monday, and what Monday doesn’t deserve a strong finish?
I am going to leave you with THIS LINK RIGHT HERE to follow. This one really cracked me up and I hope that it will either make you laugh or give you some insight to why I seriously roll my eyes when someone tells me, “You’re gonna put on too much muscle.” Yup…15 Things Girls Who Lift Are Tired of Hearing.
I hope y’all enjoy it!
Until Next Time…