Bulky. Manly. Beefy. Muscly.
All things I’ve avoided being.
As women, were taught by society that muscles mean manly, and that the ideal woman is one who is long and lean. We are taught to “tone”, not to build muscle. And that if we do have muscle – god forbid – that takes away our feminism.
As a self described short and stalky woman (I’m 5’2″ and have never weighed less than 130, even at my smallest), I tried for years to deny my shape.
I used to compare myself to my friends when I was younger – another societal norm for girls – and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t like my friends. Why I had thick thighs and not skinny legs. Why I had wide hips. And bigger shoulders. And big boobs. Why wasn’t I skinny like my friends?
As an adult I continued to deny my muscles and strive for skinny instead.
I dieted. I did cardio. I “toned”. I made myself miserable in the pursuit of what I thought I should be. And yet still: thick thighs, wide hips and shoulders, and even still boobs.
Shaking off this notion of what I should be and look like as a woman didn’t happen for me until 7 months ago, when I became a mom to our little girl, Lilith.
Watching her grow has me in awe on a daily basis. She was grown from scratch, a perfect little miracle I made. She is perfect in every way, and it’s my mission as her mom to teach her that. It would break my heart if one day she hated her body for what it is the way I hated mine.
But I can’t just tell her to love herself. I have to show her too. In order to teach her to love the skin she’s in, I must do the same.
So today I am declaring myself. I am accepting my truth and giving “societal norms” the middle finger. I am letting go of what I am told I “should” look like. I am no longer going to deny my body shape. Instead, I’m embracing it – muscles, curves, and all.
My thighs aren’t just big, they’re thunderous. My hips aren’t just wide, they’re bootylicious. My shoulders aren’t manly, they’re supportive. And my big boobs aren’t something to be ashamed of either, they’ve helped my baby grow.
So please excuse my muscles. Or not… doesn’t matter to me. Because I’m done explaining my body to others.
I am not skinny. I am not toned. I am beefy, bulky, and proud AF of it.
Because I love lifting heavy shit. I love smashing PRs. Nothing makes me feel sexier than when I lift heavy weights. And I love muscles, especially my own.