I am writing this after an hour after writing and then losing the ENTIRE post!
Some deep breaths, feeling angry, and then having a conversation with a friend I am attempting this again.
It's Day 16 almost 17 of the Month of Weights, the first experiment of my year long 12 experiment challenge and I am feeling soo good!
When I first started this challenge my main intentions were to: get over my fear of the weight room, explore something different and feel over all stronger.
But what I’ve noticed more than anything is how much I love the FEELING of doing these workouts. I love the little tiny muscles that feel sore, and feeling stronger in my legs and arms. I feel super solid all the way to my bones.
Weight lifting is also surprisingly a mindful practice that doesn’t allow my mind to wander. This was definitely an unexpected element.
I also expected that my body would change, though I consciously made this a challenge that wouldn’t focus on before and after pics, weight loss stats and body size dimensions.
As expected my body did change. I noticed my thighs growing wider, my bootie getting rounder, my shoulders broadening and a line appearing on my abdomen.
And right on cue my inner body critic peeked her head up and asked in that teenage valley girl voice:
“Uh, are you getting too bulky?” “OMG are you gaining weight!?!” “You kinda look manly?” “Maybe you should eat less”
Its to be expected that anytime we start paying attention to our bodies our issues around body will rise to the surface. Even still that doesnt make them any more comfortable to deal with.
What I kept coming back to in my mind was how amazing I have been feeling. How good I feel when I do a pull up or how empowered I feel when I bench press any amount of weight over my head.
I want to choose good feeling over good looking, and so I am.
I don’t get to banish my inner body critic, but I do get to make the rules about how my inner body critic gets to influence my life. I’ve told mine that from now on we are choosing the path of good feelings over the external outcome.
Body image stuff is complicated. I don’t claim to have any answers, but for me personally it's a conversation that needs to continually be happening between myself, my inner body critic and all the societal, social, and cultural ways that women have been made to think that our bodies are broken and are something to be improved upon.
My motto for the rest of the month and forever:
Feel Good? Keep doing it!