Stop Playing Small. Unleash Your Power.
If you're a woman, it's highly likely that you've spent at least some time training to shrink.
The gym is male-dominated territory, and in no place is this more prominently displayed than in the weight room.
The free weight area is often full of grunts, stringer tanks, gallon jugs, backwards hats, and egos, with the women relegated to the 5-pound dumbbells (you know, for toning.).
We've all paid our dues: every woman I know has spent hours on a treadmill, elliptical, or stair stepper, not feeling a workout is complete until there are puddles on the floor, wrapping ourselves in waist trainers and sweat bands to hasten the process, always hoping to...get smaller.
"You'll get big and bulky if you lift anything heavier than your purse," we've read (and believed). We fall for the scare tactics without even realizing that "big" looks different on everyone, that that may not be the case (gaining muscle is hard work, folks, and it doesn't just happen because you used a 15-pound dumbbell instead of your usual 5), or that maybe we could have another goal besides...getting smaller.
A big shift happened for me when I began to train for strength.
In the past, I was chasing a number. Specifically, a number I weighed in 8th grade. It was too much then, but, I figured, in my 20s, that was probably what I *should* be. Back then I was a little chubby, so, with a few inches of added height, I'd probably end up at that number, with all the thinness I so desired.
Record scratch: I PICKED A NUMBER AND DECIDED I WAS GOING TO CONTORT MYSELF INTO A BODY TYPE THAT I HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN. Just so we're all on the same page here.
I wondered what I wasn't doing (because, clearly, whatever I was doing wasn't enough). I counted & measured & put a towel over the treadmill clock & hated every second. I never stopped to even take stock of what I was doing; I just did it because SOMETHING had to soothe this disgust I had for my stomach. I was "too smart" to be failing this hard.
Okay. Except for the part where, while simple, almost nothing about body change is easy.
I got really sick one year, and that brought the marathon workouts (that weren't "actually working," an interesting choice of verbiage whose baggage I will leave packed here, but pin it) to a screeching halt. I couldn't even eat a Popsicle. I asked my partner to go to the store to pick up chicken broth, but he didn't want to catch what I had, so he wouldn't bring it to me. I felt so weak and so alone. When I returned to the gym, I just wanted to feel like I did something right.
So I picked up a barbell, and everything changed.
For the first time, I felt what it felt like to use movement as catharsis rather than distraction. I felt what it felt like to to enlist a muscle for a specific feat of power. I tuned in to my body & heard her tell me, "yes please, this is the kind of difficult I've been waiting for," and I never looked back.
The power of strength training lies in its ability to change not just our bodies, but also our minds and, therefore, our entire lives. It shows us we can do hard things & that our work matters.
That's incredibly soothing & empowering to me in a world that often tells us otherwise. What makes YOU feel big and bad may be entirely different, but I'd urge you to find it.
I'm opening up coaching slots this month, and I'd love nothing more than to help you uncover your power (it's there, you know, waiting for you to tap into it.). Whether you'd like to lose some body fat, gain some muscle, or simply finally feel at home in your body, I can help.
Learn more about how I coach here, and, if you're ready, set up a call here!