Sitting down to write this, I realize that this blog should actually be titled “The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good about Being a Woman with Muscle,” because as a muscular woman, sometimes the Bad and Ugly seem to outweigh the Good.
If you’re a muscular woman, chances are you’ve experienced at least some of the following:
In short, it’s hard out there for a woman who’s strong and looks like it, too.
But, there’s also a lot of good which makes all the other bulls**t worth it.
This blog explores it all.
So the inspiration for this blog came from many different places. For one, I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my upcoming exercise program, #DefinedbyDesign, which is a 14-week hybrid muscle-building and conditioning program.
Over the past nine months or so, I’ve been focusing almost exclusively on getting bigger muscles, while defining and refining along the way with high-intensity circuits and finishers.
I’ve gotten better, bigger results in the past several months than I have in the previous 5 years, and I’ve never felt sexier. Frankly, I owe it all to muscle ’cause #MuscleisMagical.
I’ve also been inspired by what seems to be a radical shift in the fitness industry:
More and more women are embracing strength training as the vehicle to improved body composition and greater inner and outer strength.
I love how women are getting out, standing up, and lifting some heavy s**t. It’s inspiring!
Being a woman who’s strong and muscular is becoming more mainstream, and there are a lot of people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for it, specifically my most recent inspiration and girl crush, Alicia The Empress Napoleon:
So when someone–specifically a woman–dares to break out of that mold and challenge convention, she is thwarting that status quo: she’s refusing a neat, little label…
And that’s where the Bad and the Ugly come in.
Alicia talks about how her grandfather told her that her legs were “too big.” Chances are if you’re a woman with muscles, you’ve gotten comments and unsolicited advice from men who think they’re doing you a favor:
“If you lift too heavy, you’re going to get bulky.”
“You should probably pull back a little; your back’s looking a little broad.”
“Be careful! You’re going to scare off all the men!”
“Why do you want to look like that?”
“You shouldn’t go that hard, you might hurt yourself.”
And I could go on and on. I’ve heard variations of these comments myself, not to mention witnessed the blatant stares, the smirks, and the not-so-subtle whispering to one another about MY body.
I’ve had my body picked apart in front of my face. I’ve had a man look at my muscles and say, “I don’t agree with that,” as if it’s a topic open for debate (it’s not).
I’ve had my own family members insinuate that my body is “too much,” and that I should “tone it down.”
I’ve had friends joke that my look is fresh from the “Lesbian Starter Kit,” because of how I look and how I wear my hair (short, because I love it).
I’ve even questioned myself at certain points in my muscle-building journey. I’ve looked in the mirror and winced because I know what kind of attention this type of body attracts.
I’ve considered throwing in the towel because it’s easier to just conform than stick out in a society that teaches women to be smaller and take up less space in order to be lovable…
But, then I remember that I’m not here to fit into a little box. I remember that I’m here to stick out, if I choose to, in whatever way I choose to do so.
I remember that I get to choose how my body looks and that choice is no one’s business but my own, just like however YOU choose for your body to look is no one else’s business.
I remember that I like looking on the outside like I feel on the inside:
Women with muscles don’t conform to any arbitrary standard of beauty or “acceptableness.” We don’t care very much what you think (or what our friends and families may think) because we know who we are.
You can be formidable at any size, but every woman with muscles is formidable. It just goes with the territory.
So despite all the ways that we go against the grain, I don’t think my sisters in strength and I would choose to be any other way.
If you wanna feel AND look strong, grab your spot on the #DefinedbyDesign waitlist! #DefinedbyDesign is my upcoming exercise program that’s engineered to help you build lean muscle mass so you #looklikeyoulift; burn more fat so your muscles can really pop; and improve your cardio endurance, all at the same time!
Free beta workouts from the program got out to waitlisters every Friday! You guys don’t wanna miss out!