Last week I talked about allowing each other to embrace our desire to look hot. It might seem obvious, but there’s a lot of pushback around training for aesthetics. If you feel comfortable admitting that you do, great – you haven’t bought into the “movements, not muscles” dogma. But these days, there’s so many voices in the fitness world dictating what we should be doing when we need to train in ways that are best for us.
There’s also a lot of pushback regarding women with visible muscle definition and larger-than-average muscle mass. Let’s forget about the idiots who leave comments like this anonymously on a blog:
Haha, that was just one snippet, though I admit I have never, in the four years of writing this blog, received a negative comment other than this one. Or maybe it just has to be in-your-face for me to see it as negative.
No, instead, let’s focus on the much more damaging effects of hearing a loved one say we’re not attractive anymore because we’re not a “size 0.”
Or that we’re “getting awfully big.”
Or the question, “How big, exactly, do you want to get?”
Or the less-common, subtle insinuation that you’re taking performance-enhancing drugs. (Ha! Sure thing… we are not health-conscious at all, we fit women.)
College-aged women new to lifting are particularly vulnerable in their self-image. Here they are, trying to better themselves by building a strong, shapely body, and their mom gives them grief because they’re no longer “skinny.”
Let me just say that if this is happening to you on any level, stay strong in your convictions and carry on with weights. You will not get “too big.” Clothes sizes don’t matter – muscle is denser than fat and will change the way clothes fit. That is, your clothes will fit better around your curves.
I’ve talked about this here, but when I get help at certain clothing stores and tell the clerk I need a size large, they look at me as if I’m batshit crazy. “You do not need a large,” is the usual response, because I’m rather petite. But my pectorals and lats simply can’t fit into a small or even medium, even though my muscles are not obviously bulging.
Curves? Do muscular women even have soft and feminine curves if they also have some vascularity in their biceps?
They do, actually.
I’ll admit that lacy, ultra-feminine clothes look ridiculous on me and I have to be careful with cap sleeves (er, dem delts). But that’s because I do like looking feminine – some clothes just make me look like a grown-up in toddler clothes so I avoid them.
No, I have many more curves than I did when I was skinny fat, and pretty much everywhere. I already have a somewhat hour-glass-shaped figure and it’s even more so now that I have a butt and a wider back. I feel attractive, fit, and quite frankly unusual in this culture, all because of weightlifting. And I also have a bullet-proof confidence that will last the rest of my life.
So if you’re getting pushback about increasing your muscle mass, breathe. Understand that other people’s opinions really don’t matter when it comes to your body. Hold your head high and let them know you appreciate their comments, but the topic is no longer open for discussion.
Photo Credit: Peter Bellis
This article originally appeared on workoutnirvana.com.