Women Empowered by the Iron OWN It

A turning point in my life was when I became a fan of other women instead of their competitor.

This happened more recently than I like to admit. I spent many years overwhelmed with insecurity and doubt that turned outward as hot envy and judgment.

I hardly ever think of that time now; I’m a vastly different woman. But I can still remember its wretched hold over me.

Women Empowered by the Iron OWN It Who’s That Girl?

One day, as I sat in my car waiting for the crosswalk to clear, a woman caught my eye as she walked by. She took long, confident strides in a pair of high heels and a short , swishy skirt. She looked straight ahead with unapologetic purpose, an aura not of look at me, but more of I’m all that and happy about it.

She owned it.

Suzanne v.1 would’ve scoffed… “She’s acting like she owns the place. Who does she think she is?”

That I possessed that level of insecurity is not a happy memory. It came from a place of intense emotional pain.

But on that day, I remarked to my young daughter in the car that I’d just seen a woman who was beautiful because of the way she carried herself.

I realized in that moment that I had changed in a fundamental, irreversible way:

Women could own their power, beauty, and wisdom without taking away mine. 

And I never felt this way until I owned my power, beauty, and wisdom.

I did.

Calm Within

I suppose you won’t be surprised to hear that my inner transformation occured, in part, as a result of lifting heavy-azz shit.

I’ve seen it over and over again in the women I coach, too-

… becoming confident about lifting and proud of what she’s accomplishing,

… witnessing her body changing shape, and

… identifying with being an athletic, strong, and capable badass.

And so much more.

Owning it means all these things, both in and out of the weight room. You approach the weight stack without fear of what the dude sitting there thinks. You don’t care how much weight you lift compared to someone else. You’re in the zone, and if others want to watch, gawk, ignore, or envy, good for them.

When you walk out of the weight room, you know you can handle whatever comes your way. You ain’t no victim. No one can ruin your day except you. Your empowerment comes from inside and you can’t keep it tucked away just so that others don’t feel threatened.

You don’t have to.

No Fear

I saw an interview with Nobel Prize Literature winner Toni Morrison the other night. She told a story about reading her own book, Beloved, for the first time, 25 years after writing it.

When asked what she thought of it, she said, with deep authenticity: “It was really good.”

I smiled – this is a woman who owns it in triplicate.

Sometimes modesty is insanely appropriate, and other times it feels false. More often than we think, being unafraid to show our own self-love and acknowledgement is far more powerful.

More to come.

This article originally appeared on www.workoutnirvana.com.


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  1. Heck yeah lifting heavy ass weights makes you feel like a warrior. I literally can take on the world because of weight lifting. I read this article and was just nodding my head the entire time. I now see women and appreciate if they can walk around showing the world they know how freaking awesome they are. Why should we hide it, men certainly don’t. Love this and thanks for the reminder that we have to love and appreciate ourselves before we can turn off the green eye envy monster that lives in us all.
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted..WIAW #13 – New Vega One and Walnut Crumble Apple PieMy Profile

  2. Great post, Suzanne! It’s in seeing the beauty and empowerment in other women that I believe we also see our own beauty and empowerment. When I see a woman who has confidence and “owns it” I feel awe and think, “wow, she’s so cool!”

  3. I love your honesty in admitting the mind shift. I admit I am not 100% there yet, sometimes I can be too critical. But as you said it’s from a place of my own insecurity. In the gym with clients however I have NO problem sharing the love! Nothing makes me happier than tales of wearing a tank top or shorts for the first time in years because she is PROUD to show her arms or legs!

  4. This totally resonated with me. I feel like I had a similar realization along the way. For me, the inner work of finding my own personal power has allowed me to help other women find theirs. Giving myself permission to be a Tall Poppy instead of shrinking to fit in or to make other people feel comfortable has been transformational.

    I love that you shared this.

    Permission to be a badass granted! xo

  5. I love this! For me, it was learning about the concept of a zero sum game. Or really, that not everything is one. Another woman being awesome does not make me any less awesome. We can all support each other and be confident in ourselves!
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted..6 ways to wear a patterned topMy Profile

  6. What a great change, I find when I am at the gym I am admiring the other ladies I see in part because I now recognized the hard work and dedication it takes to look like they do and have the physical strength I see. It’s a great lesson to share with others.
    Jenn Speer recently posted..ET Full Moon 10k Race RecapMy Profile

  7. YES YES YES – LOVE!!!!!!!!! We are taught to compare ourselves young – LOVE THIS!!! EMPOWER!
    Jody – Fit at 57 recently posted..Thanksgiving Food Help! 5 EASY Steps!My Profile

  8. I love this. Great post! It so true. Confidence in a woman is something we should admire and strive to emulate.
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  9. It’s great to own it. Why woudn’t it be? Lifting heavy helps with that. That’s true. Looking in the mirror and liking what you see and feeling good about it helps, too.

  10. I love this!!! It is great to own who you are!! A confident women is someone to be admired not to be jealous of or feared!
    Toni @runninglovingliving recently posted..Weekly Workout Wrap-Up, Countdown to the LI Marathon, Week 22My Profile

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