How Long Will You Hate Yourself?

fat

My site has been getting a lot of traffic lately from Pinterest.com, mostly due to my sweet hoodies. There are a few of my fellow lifters on the site, representing the LiftBigEatBig mentality, but after checking the site out I have to say I am pretty shocked at some of the posts–partly because I work with a lot of women whose goals are throwing a lot of weight on the bar, and feasting on a big steak afterwards, with little regard for the numbers on the scale.

It really disappoints me to see women caught in a cycle of hating themselves and their bodies, while simultaneously pronouncing freedom from society’s oppression on their self image. I’m not pretending to know what it is like to be a woman by any means. I do know, however, that subscribing to magazines like Cosmo will only continue to teach you that you need to improve yourself and lose weight so you can please your mate.

The entire magazine is devoted to how YOU, as a woman, should change yourself so men will like you more. All this does is set you up for a life of inner self-loathing and a feeling of inadequacy. You may think that if you just “lose that last 5 pounds and then everything will be fine”, but in reality, you will just move on to find something else about yourself that disgusts you.

Instead of devoting your life to visually pleasing another and focusing on your looks, instead try to build your abilities. For example, I don’t want a rock hard 6-pack, and neither does my wife. We would both rather increase our strength as much as possible, and have the ability to teach others the same knowledge we possess. 

My wife and I.
Let’s face it: your body type is your body type. Let’s not waste time looking at pictures of people whose body type we wish to have, because you will never have their body type no matter how much you starve yourself or how many miles you run. Take your focus off of a weight goal that is not only unattainable, but extremely unhealthy. Yes there is such a thing as a healthy weight, but everyone remembers that muscle is more dense more than fat and if you are a solid 150 and look great, who cares what your weight is?

Do you really want to spend your entire life obsessed about your weight and despise what you see in the mirror? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Cancel your subscription to Cosmo, toss the scale, grab a barbell and a t-bone and start lifting big.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00107924708918989612 Killerkrk

    This just turned my day around!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16886595468525372380 LinaD

    I stopped looking at the scale after my 31st birthday in October… Have beer been happier with the way I feel about myself. I’ve been committed to eating healthy, doing Crossfit 3-5 times a week and increasing my strength as well as endurance. Thank you for this post… It’s what I’ve been sharing with my friends who want to “lose weight.” there is a huge difference in what it takes to transition from a “want to be skinny” way of being to a “want to be strong” way of being. For me it’s a matter of being committed to strength, and my actions are in line with my committment. I can’t wait to sport one of your hoodies at my box!! I’ll be sure to share a picture!

  • MichelleK

    I have the opposite problem. Let’s go eat a steer.

  • http://www.liftbigeatbig.com/ Lift Big Eat Big

    Thanks ladies, glad I could be of some use today.

  • Anonymous

    Muscle and fat weigh the same…a pound of either weighs one pound…muscle is more dense. You get “lean” by swapping denser mass for less dense mass. Women have inherent limitations to their body fat. Anything beneath 13% is not realistic. If a woman wants to look “lean”, they need muscle mass. Building muscle mass requires lifting weights and eating appropriately to support it.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been lifting a couple of months and LOVE it. I enjoy it so much that I rant about how awesome my last workout was, or my latest PR to my twitter/fb friends kind of all the time. Thing is, while I feel great and happy that I finally have a clearly defined and ATTAINABLE goal that I see progress on continually (lifting heavier, vs. trying to be thinner) people seem to think I must be starting to look really fit (I don’t, I started overweight and still am) and want to see “before and after pics”. I am not an after pic, I am a somewhat overweight middle aged mom, but I can probably squat you (most of my women friends). I thought that was pretty great, but I am starting to feel like I have to qualify every new achievement with a “still not a fitness model!” so people are not disappointed when they see me.

    My husband (even after reading your post) is doubtful about focusing on strength so much and thinks people should work on getting a low resting heart rate, losing body fat, etc, and then get strong without impinging on those traits. I want to train for strongman competitions, and generally just get really fucking strong, though it would be nice to actually look good too. I find leaning out to be tremendously difficult, in spite of a pretty clean highly carnivorous diet (did that for years prior to lifting, probably why I can lift what I can as a rank beginner) with adequate fish oil. I still have a lot of inflammation but it’s getting better as I continue lifting. I guess I just want to let you know that even if/when more people decide to adopt this state of mind there are going to be many many more who will be critical. (I hope I’m wrong!) Any tips for breaking the news to my old friends who expect me to look ultra lean b/c of my lifting? (or will that maybe happen eventually as I continue to lift heavy?)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08012681757696079407 forkyim

    Wow, your post really blessed me this morning. As a mother of two young daughters I struggle with how to teach them about self love when I hate myself so much.

  • http://www.liftbigeatbig.com/ Lift Big Eat Big

    Forkyim- Send me an email and let’s talk about how we can find that swagger you are looking for. Brandon@liftbigeatbig.com

    Anonymous- Like it says in the post, your body type is your body type, if you aren’t surrounded by people who are happy that you are squatting and bettering yourself, find some new people (husband excluded). That being said, some conditioning would help with lowering body fat. How is your conditioning? Ever tried barbell complexes?