Embracing the Buff

You may have seen this blog post floating around the internet for the past couple of weeks– On Warped Beauty Standards, and Embracing the Buff. If you haven’t yet read it, I highly recommend it.

If you’re a woman who needs extra reassurance that you won’t look like a female bodybuilder if you lift heavy weights, then you should read this article.

If you’re a woman who needs affirmation that strong is beautiful (and the new skinny?), then you should read this article.

Likewise, if you’re a woman who needs help accepting your muscular shape, then you should read this article.

I admit that I sometimes have trouble accepting my body for being the way it is. I know that I will never look like a ballerina, no matter how hard I try (and believe me, back in the day, I tried…). For me, trying to look like Natalie Portman makes about as much sense as trying to grow 4 inches.

It’s only within the past few years that I’ve been able to happily accept my body– to embrace my shape– for what it really is and stop wishing that it were different. Now I work on improving my real shape by lifting heavy things and eating whole, real food. I’m much happier when I’m working toward my goal of improving my real body than I am when I’m pining for a body that I’ll never have.  It’s okay that I have to buy some clothes a size bigger than before and that I can rarely find jeans that fit me– being able to lift heavy things totally makes up for it.

Let’s hear it for the strong,  pear-shaped women of the world!

What’s your shape? How do you celebrate it?

On Warped Beauty Standards, and Embracing the Buff by  Kristin D.

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9 Responses to Embracing the Buff

  1. Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan December 20, 2010 at 5:43 PM #

    What’s my shape? I’m short-ish (5’3″) and have been re-training myself to describe myself internally as “petite” instead of “short.” I have broad shoulders, big feet, and 36Cs… but narrow hips and not much of a waste. If I’m being unkind, I’m kinda cube-like. But I’m also pretty strong. My little legs are damn good at squatting and box jumps and lunges… and my wide shoulders love to press. I didn’t always love my shape, but one time my husband, maybe 15 years ago, said, “You’re my Tonka Truck of love.” Best compliment ever.

    • AllieNic December 21, 2010 at 9:53 AM #

      Ha! Tonka Truck of Love…that’s great!

      I think we might be the same shape. I say that I’m “pear shaped” to conform to the well recognized feminine shapes…and because I have a big butt…but I’m 5’4″ and my shoulders are broader than my 5’10” sister. It’s cool though…because, like your shoulders, mine are awesome for pressing. I have big thighs and a big butt, and my jeans may never fit, but I’m pretty good at squatting and deadlifting. I have narrow hips and no real waist…so I like to refer to myself as “tank-shaped” to my friends…like an army tank.

  2. Jessica December 20, 2010 at 9:42 PM #

    Well, I am 5’4″ and could not tell you my true shape. I have forced my body to be a shape that is not right for it for a long time. I am on the road to figuring it out now though : ) I love feeling strong.

    You mentioned cross fit in a comment to me. I have heard about it but I don’t really know a whole lot about it yet. I LOVE the concept. I really want to try it out. The tough part for me is that I am a cardio addict and I am kinda scared to cut back on it. I have this freak fear that less cardio will mean gaining a bunch of weight (irrational I know.) I would love to be comfortable doing less then 50-60minutes of cardio at a time.

    Can you tell me a bit about cross fit and how it is working for you? I would love to hear what you have to say!
    Thanks : )

    • AllieNic December 21, 2010 at 10:03 AM #

      I was once a cardio addict too– I used to be on the arc trainer for at least an hour EVERYDAY. I don’t know why, because I never saw any changes in my body, but my mind NEEDED that arc trainer…and I used to literally freak out if I couldn’t get to the gym.

      Two years ago I started going to the gym with my boyfriend and lifting weights. I had lifted in college for track and field, but I was always afraid of bulking up…I started reading Oxygen and Women’s Muscle & Fitness and I figured out that I should be lifting weights for a variety of reasons… but after a while of being intense about weightlifting (and almost turning into a weightlifting addict), going to they gym and doing 3 sets of 10 reps got super boring…and we stopped going all together.

      My boyfriend is the one who first introduced me to Crossfit. At first I didn’t want to try it…because I was afraid that I’d look silly doing Crossfit workouts at my Gold’s gym…but after reading blogs and following the Crossfit main site for a while, I tried it…and honestly, I’ll probably never go back to conventional weightlifting again! I love the variety of crossfit style workouts. I love the emphasis on being strong. I love olympic lifting…I just like lifting heavy things. I’m a very competitive person when it comes to fitness, and crossfit style workouts give me an outlet– I like to challenge myself to see how much I can lift, and how fast I can do WODs…I think that crossfit works for me because it caters to my competitive nature, it’s varied enough that I don’t get bored, and I am ALWAYS improving.

      I’m going to post about some awesome blogs written by strong women– most of whom do crossfit…I would totally recommend reading them– hearing other people’s stories definitely motivates and inspires me…

  3. danielle December 22, 2010 at 5:58 AM #

    hooray for C-shaped butts! that is my FAV ad!

  4. Emily Titterton January 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM #

    Al- I love this post! I struggled in college with not feeling feminine and even feeling “butch” due to my hockey butt, broad shoulders, and “solid” build. My body was serving me a purpose and I felt strong and in-shape but not proud. Strong girls shouldn’t feel this way!

    I have a better body image now. I’m 5’6″ 138lbs and I consider myself to have an “athletic build.” I also love my crossfit workouts and will never go back. Now if we can get LuluLemon to start making jeans so I have something that will fit over my thighs… that’d be great.

    Keep it up girl

    • AllieNic January 9, 2011 at 11:27 AM #

      Ditto on the Lululemon jeans! I’m glad you liked this post! It took a long time for me to be okay/happy with my body the way it is too–I’m glad that your body image is better now! You’re a strong lady whose strong body serves you a purpose– I bet you could do anything you set your mind to whether it be something athletic, like running a marathon, or something intellectual like teaching a class full of bratty high schoolers! Miss you lady! Talk to you sooooon!


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