My relationship to food and exercise has changed over the last few years. Ever since I started lifting weights, I noticed that I no longer feel as horrible as I used to when I was trying to be a certain size.
My Struggle With Body Image.
I used to be the kind of girl who would weigh herself a lot, I would definitely not eat right, and I would over-exercise to a point where I just wanted to get results as soon as possible.
When I first started lifting weights, I started to notice how I was able to eat more. It was different when all I would do was run on a treadmill for an hour, it was a totally different approach towards myself and my body.
I could not eat as much when my goal was to lose as much weight as possible. I was also very disordered in the way I saw things. My body image was at an all-time low when I would run on the treadmill for an hour. I struggled to find a balance and I also struggled with low-self esteem as a result of not liking what I was doing to my body. I did not eat healthy foods; rather, I ate to reach a goal. I think that I tied a lot of my self-confidence to how close or far I was to that goal on a daily basis.
If the scale said I gained weight, I was definitely not happy. And vice versa. It was a relationship I had with myself that I was not proud of. Fast forward to when I started lifting weights, things started changing.
How Lifting weights made me so much more confident.
The results first of all, are so worth it. Gaining muscle as a woman can definitely give you way more satisfaction and confidence than not. I think at one point, I struggled to enjoy the process because I did not think that muscles were attractive.
I feel different on the subject now because I realised that muscles and being strong is in of itself something way more rewarding than being skinny and miserable.
Of course, I still struggle with body image at and I think a lot of other women do too.
I remind myself daily: To become fit, is in of itself rewarding.
As a woman, and one who likes to rationalize things, I think that understanding that being fit is a commitment to myself is definitely more rewarding than tying down my satisfaction to a small goal.
I think about that whenever I make that choice to go to the gym every day and when I make my food choices or decide to do some yoga.
It’s a rewarding experience to have left the gym or mat knowing you are the one who made that choice. I think that I did not believe in myself when I was disordered about my eating/lifestyle habits. I also think that body image and social media can harm our relationships to ourselves.
Things I wish I knew before I started lifting weights.
I have lost more weight and kept it off doing nothing but being honest with myself, with being aware of my food choices and committing to being the strongest version of myself. Those things seem so easy in hindsight.
To commit to yourself on a daily basis, whether it is to decide to try lifting weights or to decide to commit to losing weight is a decision that you make for yourself out of respect for yourself. I think that a lot of women wait for a breaking point, to a point where they are “fed up”. I remember when I struggled with binge eating as well as restrictive eating habits. I also used to wait, not realizing that what I wanted the most was to just take charge of my self esteem and confidence.
My advice to women who struggle with finding balance.
First of all, nobody other than you can commit to something.
Start lifting weights and adding small food-related change to your lifestyles on a daily basis if your goal is to transform your body.
For beginners, I would like to add that anxiety about choosing what fitness program to start is perfectly normal. Your intuition, women, your gut, is never wrong. Trust that.
If you feel like there is one part of your life that is missing, trust that you have the power to change it. If it is to lose weight and get into the best shape of your life, take that step.
If you want to have a nice butt, if you want to run a marathon, if you want to have a six pack. I advise you to believe in yourself and follow a process that takes nothing but that desire. Your intuition, women, is nothing but your desire.
Listen to it, and be confident to move forward and keep grinding. For those of you who do not know where to start, ditch the treadmill and start lifting heavier.