Be honest with yourself, what came to your mind when you read the title of this post? Did it bring a smile to your face or did you wrinkle your nose in disgust with the thought? The topic of muscular women has become a slightly less taboo subject thanks to the rise of CrossFit and increase in interest in weightlifting. However, for the most part, society still accepts a skinny figure and less pounds on the scale as the “ideal” for women. The other day though, I came across an article re-posted on Facebook by several people on this very topic, and surprisingly, it wasn’t written by a woman who does CrossFit. The Huffpost blog post is called 1,200 Calories in which the author goes over that horrible “1200 calories a day to lose weight” rule that women have followed for some unknown reason. She actually goes into decent technical detail about what happens when your body goes into starvation mode, and the potential long-term effects of a low calorie diet, such as hypothyroidism. However, no need to cover this topic, hopefully we’re all past those “dieting” tips and you can read what she has to say on your own.
I think the best point she makes in her post is about the taboo surrounding the word “muscle” when it comes to women. She points out that if you do a Google search on women’s health magazines vs men’s health magazines, you’ll see a big difference in taglines. For women, you see “drop 10 lbs fast,” calorie torching workout, etc, and for men you’ll see taglines with words like “build,” “power,” and “strength.” So for women it’s about image and calories, and for men it’s about human capability. On top of that, she talks about how you’ll hear a lot of women talk about getting “toned,” no one wants to be “muscular.” It turns out, the toned look, is synonymous with being muscular, and if you spend your days counting calories and looking at a scale, you probably won’t get there. Instead, if women also focus on our strengths and what we’re capable of, it’s likely that the self confidence in body image will come with it.
These blog posts that you see circulating, including this one from the Huffpost, usually have before and after images to prove that the scale doesn’t mean anything. However, most of the time you don’t know these women and so it may not seem real to you. So, I’m going to do something kind of uncomfortable for me (not because I’m ashamed, but I don’t like to focus on image), but I’m going to share two images of myself. One from a summer (a long time ago) where I thought I was in the best shape of my life, and one more recent where I am now 15 lbs heavier (for the record, that’s a water in my hand ).
Anyway, none of these topics are groundbreaking in our community, however it was refreshing to see someone outside of the CrossFit community rant about it for a change. Maybe, just maybe, we’re making waves and one day we’ll see healthier and healthier young women, and men, that only care about what they can do, and less about their image. So when we hear the term “muscular woman” no one will think twice about it.
Shoulders and lats
Handstand push ups