In a world that has put expectations on the way women should look and act we find ourselves in the midst of trying to please people based on unrealistic expectations. We are human and we will never be perfect so why are we held to these unrealistic standards? How nice would it be to live in a world where we aren’t being judged for our body composition, our clothing style, our views on various aspects or our daily lifestyle? I’d like to think it would be pretty dang awesome.
For starters, it’s about time more women started opposing the myth that we do not belong in the weight room. For more years than I count we have been deemed as “cardio bunnies.” Now I have nothing against cardio because it does have positive health effects but lets consider the benefits of weight lifting for a quick moment.
- Improving muscular and joint strength
- Increasing metabolic rate (muscle mass burns more calories at rest than fat mass)
- Protects your bone health
- Plays a role in disease prevention
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Gives you a sense of empowerment
- Boost confidence and self esteem
- Can take the focus off of aesthetics and more emphasis on performance
Out of all these benefits do you see one that makes you want to stay away from the weight room? I sure don’t. The benefits go far beyond what you see on the exterior. You find a sense of empowerment in knowing you can do anything you set your mind to. You can set goals and crush them and then set new goals and crush those. It is so liberating to pick up heavy weight and know that you built your body to do that but also to prove to people that being strong is BEAUTIFUL. If people want to call you “manly” for having some muscle on you well to heck with them. You don’t need that negativity in your life.
Being strong has taught me so many more things beyond the physical aspect. It has taught me how to train my mind to be mentally strong. It has taught me accountability in staying consistent and dedicated to achieve my goals. It has taught me that it’s okay to go against the social norms and do what makes you happy. All of these being something that is applicable to every aspect of life outside of the weight room.
There is also a difference between feeling good for yourself and feeling good to meet the expectations of someone other than yourself. If you are doing anything in life for someone other than yourself than I hope you can take a reality check and realize you have no obligations to anyone to look a certain way. If are doing what makes you happy than that’s all that matters.
So the next time someone wants to give you grief for being too strong for their liking or making this a part of your lifestyle maybe try saying I’ll pray for you. I’ll pray that they find something in their life that has just as a big of impact as lifting has had on mine. I’ll pray that they find something that makes them happy even if it goes against the social norms. I’ll pray that they find confidence in themselves so they don’t feel the need to put others down for their choices. But most importantly I’ll pray that they find peace in their own life and who they are as a person because you will be remembered more for how you impacted peoples lives than for how you looked.
What is being advertised in books, media and television matters and its up to us to change it for the younger generation. So find your “why” and determine what makes you happy. Be proud of what your body is capable of instead of what it’s not. All girls have strength and beauty, both inside and outside, find yours and be proud of your strong!