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Yay, muscles!

January 26, 2010

Go read this post by amanda at pandagon. It makes a great point that the fear of becoming bulky or looking ‘unfeminine’ is part of what keeps women out of the weight room and keeps them going back to crash diets.

This part especially

By measuring success and failure in this department strictly from the scale, we continue to encourage this ineffective strategy. It’s not that Americans don’t think exercise is a good idea—we do—but let’s face it. It’s not really treated as important as dieting by a long shot, even though it’s way more effective at reaching the health goals that this is all supposed to be about.

had me nodding emphatically.

You know, I am also focusing on weight loss because I believe in some cases a reduction in body fat can improve a person’s health. But in my real life, I don’t talk about dieting much – and by that I mean I don’t point out the calorie content of foods or engage in endless angsting at restaurants about how I just can’t eat anything! I am however a bit of an exercise evangelical. I hope I’m not annoying about it, but yeah, building muscles, improving cardiovascular fitness – just finding out all the awesome shit I’m capable of gives me more of a rush than any number I’ve seen on my scale. I don’t know how it got flipped that I seem to talk more about dieting here than exercise, but I’d like that to change.

Anyway, you should read the post and the article that inspired it.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alexandra Lynch permalink
    January 27, 2010 1:17 am

    I started doing freeweights on my arms because I like to top people in BDSM and floggers and paddles need to be used with control throughout the stroke, or you don’t put the hit where you want with the force you want. I’ve got chronic pain so this is a slow process of just working til I start feeling a little sensation then stopping. But the first time I picked up a full laundry basket and smoothly swung it to my hip without effort, that was a lovely thing. I hadn’t been able to do that for years, not since I got sick.

    I’m not worried about my poundage. I only fuss about my belly because I can see that as I get into yoga it’s going to get in the way of some asanas (of course, so will the big boobs.) But I like being big and strong and capable.

  2. January 27, 2010 8:51 am

    You rock. Thanks for linking to the article that inspired the post. I may actually have to start lifting weights, I was so inspired. That was an awesome read!

  3. January 28, 2010 7:50 am

    I hate weights, but I’m better tolerating the strength training/body sculpt classes, mostly because I love the buzz in my muscles the next day or two. I have rock hard thighs and calves, still under some flab, but I think it’s hot. I don’t bulk in the slightest, or maybe the kind of weights I do aren’t conducive to it, but I crave my previously hated strength building classes.

    You can’t tell on me yet, but there’s often a striking difference in women between those who do weights and those who don’t. Not always-some people are naturally muscular, and some will never get there regardless of what they do, but I, for one, don’t find the skin and bone look attractive at all. Not that my finding anyone attractive should be motivation for anyone, but that’s my taste. That’s why I’m so excited to date a guy who goes to the gym, he has muscles, though he’s a dieter-not sure how weird that’s going to be. I tend to date such hippies usually.

  4. meerkat permalink
    July 9, 2010 6:48 am

    I wish I could get so excited about being able to do things that most anyone can do and tons of people can do immensely better. I have pretty strong muscles for someone who doesn’t work out at all, so on the few occasions when I have done weight-lifting machine stuff, I have been able to do pretty high weights for an utter beginner. Unfortunately “good for a beginner” just means “craptacular” to me (and progress is painfully slow in most things so my level after doing it for months isn’t much different and then it’s just pathetic), and it’s not like it is through any merit other than genetics that I can do “good for a beginner” in the first place.

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