This post from CrossFit Soutbay was so right on — I struggle with this sort of issue myself and I know I am not alone. A few years ago, my general doctor held up a pencil and said to me — some people are born like this, showing me the pencil, and some people like you will never be pencil like. It’s not how you are built. Something about him saying that to me – stuck with me. He’s was right. I am not a skinny, pencil like woman. Never have been, never will be. And because of that — I have to take care of myself and make the best of what I have. And most importantly – define for my self what fit and healthy means. I will never look like those models in magazines — and heck, those models don’t like like those models in the magazines! I am strong, getting stronger every day.
When I first saw this picture of me taken at CFI — my knee jerk reaction was oh man – i look like a dude! But the more I thought about it, I realized look how strong I look in that pic. I hated wearing sleeveless anything a few years ago and now – I wear sleeveless to workout every day with no cares. And ya know what? I am a strong chick who works hard — and it’s something to be proud of! And I clean up real nice outside of the gym too! I would rather be strong fit than skinny fat any day!
Disclaimer: I have been getting a ton of questions about this topic from both inside and outside the gym, from lots of different people, so this isn’t directed at anyone in particular. Although, if this topic resonates with you, take the time to read it. This post is more a psychological and analytical approach to body image, Sean has the scientific approach in the comments.
One of the most difficult things to fight as a coach is the thought that “Lifting weights is going to make me ‘bulk up’” from women. My first response is to shake my head and contemplate shoving my hand in a toaster to cure the frustration… Yet, when I stop and think about it, I honestly like the way CrossFit makes my body look. And I know there are many of us in the gym that wouldn’t be as enamored with CrossFit if we didn’t see aesthetic results in combination with fitness results, so I do think it is a valuable question that needs to be answered.
The first thing you need to do is look around the gym at girls that have been CrossFitting for a long time. If we created “bulky bodies”, you would see them at CFSB. All the above are CrossFitters that have been with us a long time… Strong, not bulky, don’t you agree?? (Sorry for not including all our awesome girls, but I only went back three pages on flickr).