So, Erica got all inspirational yesterday, and I’m about to get a little emotional/slight feminist (which is very unusual for me. Not the emotional part, but the feminist part. I’m sort of like a dude 24/7)
My whole life, I’ve been muscular. I came out of the womb with broad shoulders (my mom won’t let me forget that) and thunder thighs. I also apparently came out of the womb sucking my thumb, and immediately downed two bottles after being alive for about 3 minutes. So really, not much has changed. I’m still muscular, and I’m still hungry. All the time.
Homegirl, I can relate. via Nike
In high school, when I got really into working out, my goal was to always get “skinny”. I would purposely only use 5 lb weights so I wouldn’t bulk up, did at least an hour of cardio a day, cut calories, and kept a food diary. At my thinnest, I weighed 125 lbs, and was always so frustrated that I wasn’t losing any more weight (I’m 5’3, so 125 is still slightly above average than a “normal” weight for my height. I’ve definitely roid-raged out on doctors who have told me I should weigh less. Test my BMI, bitch, THEN tell me I need to lose weight). The point is- I would obsess over that number on the scale. I’d weigh myself every day and cut my food intake and up the cardio if I wasn’t satisfied.
It really wasn’t until the last year that I became comfortable with my body. I’m always going to be muscular, and I should embrace that. I’m always going to have to get my jeans altered so they fit my booty and my waist. I’m going to go Hulk status every now and then and rip my shirts with my huge stupid shoulders (this has happened more times than I’d like to admit. It usually ends in tears). When I’m on the spin bike, or at CrossFit, I feel so empowered (feminist alert!!) because I feel how strong I am and I see the things my body will do and I see others around me doing the same thing. It’s inspiring, motivating, and it’s expected.
But I can’t help but feel frustrated and let down sometimes. I hate myself for leaving the gym feeling all badass and sexy, and then I’ll pass a girl who’s 5’10 and weighs less than I do, and my self esteem drops. I notice how my thighs are rubbing together and how short and stumpy I feel. I immediately start comparing myself to her, and want her bod (not in that kinda way, but in the way that I’d like it if my thighs didn’t rub together and my shoulders were proportionate to my body and my ass didn’t require its own zip code). I know there must be tons of you out there who suffer the same thing- and it sucks. Lately, I’ve been catching myself do it, and have been able to snap myself out of it. In my world, I’ve noticed a HUGE shift towards “Strong is the new skinny” which I obviously love, but there’s still a huge part of society that pressures us into being rail thin (feminist alert part 2!!) and I think it will take awhile for all of us to collectively break that mold.
Can you spot the difference between these two pictures?
Hint: One is an Victoria’s Secret model. The other is not. I know,
it’s probably difficult to tell which one is which.
But guess what? This whole situation is sort of a Catch 22. Through my Fitfluential family, countless blogs, and Instagram, I’ve come across dozens of girls who are actually trying to GAIN weight and bulk up because they’re too thin. And they are just as frustrated with not being able to gain weight as I get sometimes with not being able to lose it. So, embrace it ladies (feminist alert part 3, last one). Get off the scale. Stop counting calories. Stop comparing yourself to others (especially those in magazines- you wouldn’t BELIEVE the power of Photoshop). Be happy with your bod. Be confident. Be strong. The bottom line is to BE HEALTHY.
Was that too deep? Did I just become a feminist? Am I being crazy? Anyone else out there cope with body image issues here and there?