I was completely inspired by my friend Marina’s post on Self-Image and Crossfit . Read it. Also, note her brilliant ability to work in a Jersey Shore reference. That is gold-star blog material. This post is dedicated to Marina and all the other chicks out there who have ever had a negative body image thought go through their head….
Summer is over (not me, the season) and fall is here….that means it is time to put away my skirts and shorts and bust out my jeans. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve walked downstairs in jeans and Fully Primal Husband has said, “I like those jeans….are they new?” In the past my first reaction would be to say, “no! these are my fat jeans….my other ones don’t fit right now.” And sulk…stomp away… and contemplate going back to Zone blocks. Alas, these past few times were different! I simply said, “No, these are older…thanks! I like them too!” And it DID NOT phase me that I had somehow overcome my negative thoughts. It was when I read Marina’s post that I reflected and realized I hadn’t put myself down and that I had ‘owned it’ or ‘worked it,’ if you will. This was big.
The truth is that yes, my old ‘skinnier’ jeans don’t fit anymore. In fact, I split the crotch in one pair because I could no longer squeeze them up over my thighs. Side note: it took me months to overcome that incident and I made excuses that they had somehow shrunk due to the humidity. I am a different girl now. Now I realize that the reason my jeans don’t fit is because of something that I am so proud of….MY MUSCLES! I have put on about 7 pounds over the past year or so….100% pure muscle baby! (picture me crushing a beer can on my head as I scream this). By shifting my goals towards lifting heavier weights and getting performance gains, I have also lost my obsession with trying to be skinny. Now I embrace the fact that my ‘fatter’ jeans are the ones that I’m fitting into because it is also a sign of the strength that I have gained. I also realized the other day that I haven’t stepped on a scale in over 2 months. For me, that is a huge accomplishment. But none of these things would have come to my attention unless I had stopped to reconcile why I was not upset about my skinny jeans fitting.
I’ve seen many different slogans lately at various Crossfit functions including, “Strong is the new Skinny” or “Strong is Sexy” or “Redefining Beauty”. That is one of the things I love so much about Crossfit and the community. Let us keep pushing this message and hope that Gwenyth Paltrow and her group of malnourished, 3lb weight-lifting followers one day wake up and eat a nice big (grass-fed) steak post a heavy deadlift session. The world would be such a better place.
The lesson here is that heavy back squats are the cure for all negative body image issues. OK, maybe it is not that simple. But if you shift your focus to getting stronger and faster, and eating clean and mindfully, add in some Vitamin D and fish oil, and you surround yourself with positive influences, all that negative self-image B.S. will go away.
Now when Fully Primal Husband or anyone tells me they like my jeans, I’ll reply “Thanks. These are my HEAVY back squat jeans. BIATCH!”