I learned the power gained through weight lifting about four years ago. I had never considered myself to be an athlete, or even remotely capable of anything falling under the category of “sports.” But then, after losing about 100 pounds and needing a way to firm up all the undesired flabbiness that comes with a huge weight loss, I grabbed myself a personal trainer and timidly opened the door to lifting.
Here is what I learned about myself:
1. Contrary to my lifelong belief, I am athletic
2. I am stronger than I believed
3. I push myself past the point where many people would stumble and quit
4. I love lifting
Many women are afraid of lifting because they believe weights will hulk them out like a super-charged steroid-ridden power lifter. Not so much. Even lifting seriously heavy, a woman’s body just isn’t designed to grow gargantuan muscles without some serious supplementation on the side.
When I was lifting regularly and eating clean, I was leaner, stronger, and smaller than I had been in my life. In my life, people. It only took 2 to 3 one-hour sessions in the gym each week to maintain a body that, while not as sculpted as a fitness model, was still strong and healthy.
Right now I’m on the road back to that kind of regular dedication to myself. It’s a hard battle to fight, when it’s so much easier to let kids, a husband, work – really, any number of things – take precedence.
But here’s the deal – the truth of the issue that people just don’t like to face – eating right and being healthy aren’t about the calories or the scale or the number of reps or increase in weights.
Being healthy is about being dedicated to you. And when you can master truly putting your best health before anything else? I think you’re making an amazingly impressive statement: I matter.
And when you matter to yourself, people can’t help but treat you differently. Because you’re worth it, and you know you deserve a life filled with healthy choices – from the food you eat, to the people you surround yourself with, right down to what you’re willing to spend your money on.
Funny how I learned all that through “lifting things up and putting them down.”