Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another Great Read - Don't tell me what to do with my body!

This great article talks about why you should never tell a woman who works out not to get too big. I want to talk it a step further, don't tell me what to do with my body ever!

If you're a woman and you've started lifting weights, you've probably been told "don't get too big". You've probably been warned not to get too muscular, or you're look manly (does anyone tell man who aren't muscular that they look womanly??). If you've taken charge of your health and decided to lose some weight, you've probably been told "don't get too skinny" or "you're too small now" or "you're going to lose all your curves and not look womanly." Who decides what looks manly? Who decides what looks womanly? Who decides what is too big? Who decides what is too muscly? Why do we care?

As long as women's body are fodder for discussion, criticism and objectification, we prevent women from moving forward. We prevent women from being more than just something for men to stare at and objectify. As women, we are so much more than the body we occupy; we are mothers, daughters, workers, aunts, friends, leaders, followers, care givers, lovers and so much more. We are not the body we occupy. We are the soul inside that body, the personality that we share with the world, the ideas we put out to the world, the things we give to the world and the things we take from it. But right now, we are still often talked about just as a body, something to look at and something we must mold to fit with some society set standard that I personally don't remember ever agreeing to.

I lift weights because I like it. I like lifting more than I thought I could. I like knowing I can carry my own luggage up the stairs, even though my husband usually insists on doing it anyway. I like knowing that if I needed too, I could carry my husband if he couldn't walk. I like knowing that I am caring for my body, ensuring a long, healthy life. I like challenging myself. I like feeling strong. And yes, I like the way lifiting weights makes my body look. But that look, that muscled up body, that low body fat percentage, that's for ME. Let me repeat - that look is for ME! Honestly, my husband probably misses my boobs now that they've offered themselves up as tributes to my weight loss.

He doesn't love the look of 6 pack abs but if/when I achieve my goal of getting a 6 pack, I know he will still love me, still be attracted to me and most importantly, he will respect the dedication it took to get that look...FOR ME.

So when you say dumbass things like don't get too big, don't get thin, don't get too many muscles, don't gain weight, don't lose weight, don't do this, don't do that, YOU are the problem. Your issues are clouding the bigger image that women ARE NOT simply their bodies. They are not something to objectified. They do not need to meet your standards of beauty. They don't not need to validate you.

Encourage each other. Strive for health and encourage others who are doing the same. Ask women for their views, thoughts and opinions; don't ask them to look a certain way that makes you feel comfortable. And remember, those women lifting heavy things up and putting them down again...they can totally kick your ass.

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