My inspiration for today’s post was a combination of a few things I read in the last week that got my mind churning. I had been doing a lot of online shopping throughout the holiday season and was sick of looking at emaciated models posing all slouched over. Then I came across an Oprah interview of Gwyneth Paltrow and almost couldn’t bring myself to finish reading it. Gwyneth was touting about her trainer who “makes everything small” and “no woman should lift more than 3 pounds.” First of all, let’s poll the male population, who likes small “assets?” And 3 pounds??? You couldn’t get through a day if you couldn’t lift anything more than 3 pounds, and this coming from a mother.
Fortunately I came across a much more positive article next, Ruth’s post on 2013 goals. As I started to make my list of fitness goals for 2013, I found they were centered around strength. It took me a while to get to this point, where my strength goals became primary, and I hope that you Intrepid ladies reach that point too and aren’t afraid of making your own strength goals for fear of becoming “bulky.” Bulky is a definition saved for men who have lots of testosterone and can build huge, cut muscles. Strong women build leaner muscles that replace all of those insecure areas we have on our bodies (thighs, butt, belly, arms). Let’s start with Anna as an example, she may have never reached the 5′ mark so she doesn’t the 5′ 11″ model legs, but her legs are strong and cut and there is hardly a place we go where she doesn’t get complimented on her legs. How about Steph and Michelle C. who got many compliments on their wedding days for their cut arms and back. The beauty of a well maintained body does not go unnoticed. I came across an article on the CrossFit Community site called “Bits and Pieces of Ass,” and if you can’t tell by the title, it’s a bit over the top. However if you can look past the language and innuendos, it may give you a little more confidence in your strong body.
Beyond the looks, I think being strong gives a woman more confidence and independence. As you get stronger, you can handle the more physically demanding tasks of daily life, in the yard and around the house. Perhaps you’ll be better able to protect and save yourself/others in a bad situation. I’ve also found that I’m more willing to try out new activities because I trust my body’s abilities. Being strong isn’t just about the outside, there is a psychological aspect to it too.
If you still need a little more inspiration as you write your 2013 fitness goals, you can read about Christmas Abbott, the first female member of a pit crew for NASCAR who weights just 115 lbs, and about Jean Fry, a professional powerlifter for Westside Barbell who can squat 415 lbs, dead lift 375 lbs and bench 250 lbs at just 5’5″ and 130 lbs.
I truly believe that strong has become the new skinny, and as CrossFit continues to grow in popularity and women from the articles above continue to make the news, by the time I have a little girl of my own, the optimal female body type will be strong and healthy.