Vanity Rocks! Let Weights Lift You Up

Vanity rocks.

I tweeted this a few months ago and knew it could be misinterpreted. But the response I got from a few women told me they understood.

I love the word vanity. It’s filled with negative connotations, but I’ve taken ownership of it and changed its meaning. This word represents everything weight training has given me. And once you have healthy vanity, it changes your life forever. You can not go back.

Tune in to what weights can give you

Vanity and weight lifting go together so well not just because of the external results weights give you, but because of the inner confidence. While you’re lifting machinery and chunks of iron, the weights are lifting you.

You know you’ve found weight training vanity on when you:

  • Learn to lift weights next to men who’ve been doing it for years,
  • Feel like you have a right to be in the weight room,
  • Feel like you know what you’re doing,
  • Don’t mind standing out, even around other women (you aren’t competing with them and they sense that),
  • Make no excuses for who you are, what you look like, or what you’re doing.

Once you know you’ve got it going on, you will not be found flopping weights half heartedly in the gym anymore. You also won’t be intimidated either.

My style of vanity is a self confidence that rocks beyond anything you imagined. You’ve seen people like this, and you know it when you see it. I have my insecurities just like the next person, but I don’t let them rock my world.

If the word vanity still conjures up images of an evil stepmother plotting to do away with a competitor, remember that this is not Snow White… This is a world in which women are held to unrealistic standards of beauty by the media, our culture, and ourselves. Most of us hold back on proudly showing off our assets because we don’t think we look good enough, or “perfect.” Not to mention that our culture’s insistence on modesty keeps us nicely held in our places, afraid to publically be proud of our bodies.

I saw a quote from @SelfMagazine on Twitter recently:

“Proud heart: Want to be healthy? Love yourself. High self-esteem may protect your heart.”

If you can’t reconcile yourself with having healthy vanity, then give yourself a proud heart. The words “proud heart” also resonate with what I feel about myself and try to encourage in others. Not to mention the truth that being happy and being healthy are connected.

How Do I Get There?

If you’re lifting weights with confidence, the next step is to freaking own the weight room. You will not see killer results while you’re flopping those little toy dumbbells around.  Try these:

  • Use heavy weight sisters! If you’ve been lifting awhile and know proper form, you can gradually increase the weight. Barbie weights will not get you anywhere – not more confident and not more muscle.
  • Post pictures of yourself. This is about feeling like you rock, not about how flat your stomach is. Healthy vanity is not being afraid to show off a little.
  • Compliment yourself. I spout off on social media occasionally about how I rock and roll. I do this because (1) it gives others permission to do the same, and (2) I deserve it.

We assume others will look down on us if we display our self love and confidence, and maybe some do. But most often our self confidence ends up being a magnet.

People are drawn to strong women who have self confidence – weight lifting vanity.

In the end, we’re always our own worst enemy. You don’t need to protect me from your self love. You can show me and tell me how hot you look one day. I’d love to hear it. I’d love for you to get that feeling from whatever activity you love doing – weight lifting, running, cycling, or whatever. Feeling like a hot mama should shine through, not be modestly put away to help other people stay in their comfort zones. So give vanity a try. Start in the weight room, and then see how it walks out with you.

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Comments

  1. Running gave me a self-confidence I’d never really had before. When I got injured and couldn’t run for awhile I was worried about slipping into a depression. I started weight lifting to keep myself sane and it worked wonders. I grew to love it so much–almost more than running! And I love seeing the changes. Flexing in the mirror and SEEING muscle definition is an amazing feeling!

  2. Great post! Women shouldn’t feel intimidated to walk into the weight room! Besides, if I had a dime for every time I walked into the weight room and a man (even several) is lifting weights incorrectly, I’d be filthy rich. You can’t tell them that they’re doing it wrong either… especially since I’m a woman. Bunch of pansies. 😉
    Samantha recently posted..Jump Into YOUR First Yoga ClassMy Profile

  3. I love this post! Too many women are afraid to admit that they care about the way they look, or that they are proud of their accomplishments in the gym or on the road (running). I say be proud and rock what you’ve worked hard to achieve! Love it!!!!
    Paige@ Two Runners And A Brown Dog recently posted..Surprised!My Profile

  4. LOVE THIS! 🙂 I just started getting back into strength training after a long bout of laziness/intimidation because I felt like I let myself go. I’ve always felt like a million bucks when I lift weights, and cannot wait to regain that feeling.

  5. LOVE this post. So true!

    Words like “vanity” are tricky just because everyone has their own definition. I’m loving your definition, though 😀
    sui recently posted..are you honoring your hungerMy Profile

    • Lisa: You look so amazing! I can’t help but be proud of you. Look how far you’ve come – now you’re a weight lifting sister.

      Samantha: It’s so great to see you at my blog! TY. I couldn’t help but laugh at your comment about form… I see it too. A lot of men do try to lift more than they should and then end up swinging their body during curls, etc.

      Paige: TY doll! You are so right that women are afraid to admit they are proud of their accomplishments. We need to convince each other that it’s really ok to brag. I wish I heard more of that!

      Amy: So glad you’re getting back into weights! Love hearing that it’s made you feel great in the past. You have a lot to look forward to :).

      Sui: Thanks so much for stopping by, love seeing you here. You are right about the word vanity being tricky, and that’s why I thought it was a provocative way to express how I felt. Sometimes a completely new definition is needed for a completely new phenomenon – the ability to strut it without shame. Love ya!

  6. well I share this info info in my FB account and hopefully my wife will get to see this too. Might stop her from stopping me to the gym 🙂
    Sean recently posted..Muscle WorkoutsMy Profile

  7. Suzanne, I absolutely get what you are saying. Vanity in this context is about self-love; you’ve got the confidence to look and feel your best and conquer what once seemed intimidating or unattainable. For the past month, I’ve been lifting at least once, sometimes twice a week with a group of three amazing friends at my gym as well as doing it on my own. All triathletes, they are fierce and each of us had to get over a fear at some point – even if it was 20 years ago – of entering the weight room as the only woman in a sea of guys. So yes, I’m proud to embrace vanity for how you define it!
    Shira recently posted..Born this wayMy Profile

    • Shira, a testimonial like yours is so inspiring. Even strong, athletic women can have trepidation about the weight room. But kicking ass in there makes you walk out feeling even more confident and strong. Love it.

  8. I know this is probably getting old..but YOU ROCK.

    I LOVE this. Every woman on the planet needs to read this post.
    ragemichelle recently posted..Deep Dark Truthful MirrorMy Profile

  9. Yes! Yes! Yes!! So true, girl! I haven’t weight lifted regularly since I was in college, but I completely agree with you. If gym memberships weren’t so dang expensive, I’d definitely still be doing it. Anyway, great post. 🙂
    Rach recently posted..Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!My Profile

  10. Things that might relate to this post:

    A) The best training partners I have ever had have been women.
    B) I’m not a “sister”.
    C) I haven’t worn a shirt with sleeves in nearly a decade, that I show off the proof of the weights for the world to see.
    D) The only thing sexier on a woman, more than a well developed upper back, is confidence in the gym.
    E) When one puts on a show in the wight room, one gets bigger rewards.
    Emergefit recently posted..Masses Of Mammals…My Profile

    • A) I have heard this from men before. Women rock in da weight room, that’s probably why.
      B) Oops. This post is for brothers too :).
      C) Wow. You really are vain! In a good way…
      D) Ooo! I must keep developing my back. Confidence – check.
      E) AGREED.
      F) Love it when you stop by.

  11. Ha! Sexy is a well defined upper back and confidence – love the wise brother!

    I you and your kind, uplifting, positive energy – I’m not sure vanity is the right word. Maybe confident? Accepting? Proud? I’m all about all of the above – and when I’m not feeling it – my sista’s bring me up! xoxoxo
    Kris @Krazy_Kris recently posted..Buena Vista Social Club- Chan Chan Music MondayMy Profile

    • Kris, you’d love Roy’s blog if you haven’t seen it already. And thank you Kris, I could say the same about you (and will!). I know… all those words work. But they’re overused in my view… I needed something that described this special kind of confidence. I like that we can hijack a word and make it our own. Love ya! xox

  12. Unless you have a training partner then weight lifting is really an individual pursuit so it shouldn’t bother me what other people do, but it does. Your post about form really hit on a pet peeve of mine (so my rant is not my fault haha).

    Whether it is someone “curling” heavy dumbbells using their entire body to swing up the weight or someone with the barbell packed with plates for squats but only going about a quarter of the way down makes me want to scream take some weight off a do a real squat or real dumbbell curl.

    The reason to do a dumbbell curl is to isolate the bicep so incorporating the entire body just to move heavy weight really defeats the purpose of the exercise. Might build the ego, but that is about it.

    Sorry for the rant 🙂

  13. I wrote an article recently about how training for aesthetics is a great way to train for health, since the two are so closely related. I never thought about it this way though—that training for aesthetics is a great way to train for confidence.

    Very cool.
    Shane recently posted..The Skinny on Why You’re SkinnyMy Profile

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