If You Earned It, Flaunt It

Gym Confidence

I could blame it on the fact that I’ve been working out more or the fact that as I grow as a person and a woman. Either way, I’m winning.

Being comfortable in my skin is something that I haven’t always been okay with. I’ve always been tall and slender but since graduating high school, my weight has fluctuated pretty often. I went off to college at about 130 pounds and by the end of my first year, I had gained about 20; maybe a little more. I was fuller everywhere but my favorite part was my booty. Don’t judge me. Not being able to fit into my clothes, though, I decided the habits that I had formed were not good ones and became more conscious of what I was eating and when I was eating. I did drop a few pounds but not anything drastic. I was a steady 145 pounds for a long time and decided that at my height (5’ 7”) it was my “natural” body weight. Fast forward a few years and I started to gain weight again. Twenty more pounds. Again, I wasn’t mad at the booty gains, but I wasn’t fitting into my clothes and I was fuller in the face, tummy, and arms. At 167 pounds, I wasn’t happy and wanted to lose weight.

Now, I’m not necessarily the type to be mad at being thick. I’ve always wanted to be thick. And when you saw me, everyone told me I didn’t “look” nearly 170 pounds. Uh, thanks? But this thick wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. I felt it. My clothes were too tight, knees ached, my thighs rubbed, I was easily out of breath, I felt heavy. I wasn’t happy with that at all. I looked back and realized that no matter at what weight I was, I always wanted something to change. I was never happy with my body. When I was thinner, I wanted to be thicker. I got thicker and wanted to be slimmer. It was a classic case of “the grass is greener on the other side.” Besides always wanting a bigger butt, I’ve always wanted muscles. Defined, pronounced, lean, and strong muscles. I never really cared about longer hair, different colored eyes, having lighter or darker skin—I just wanted muscles. Give me quad separation, give me hammies (I’ve always been a legs girl), oh and nice clothes. I do like nice clothes.

Today, I can comfortably, proudly, happily say that I am comfortable in my skin. More than I ever have been. I’m so happy to be able to say that. I am comfortable in the body that I am in. Ya hear me? I am comfortable in the body that I am in. My quads are not separated yet and my hamstrings have a long way to go, but I am loving the body that I have been building since January. After deciding that my heaviest was the heaviest I’ll ever want to be, I have been on a fitness “journey”. When I started, all I wanted to so was shed a few pounds. Seven months later, I am working out 3-4 times a week. Sure I’m only 10 pounds lighter than I was seven months ago, but I am at least twice as strong. I used to look at fitness models and athletes and wished I had a body like theirs and now I can see mine taking on that form. Now that makes me want to run a naked mile. Just kidding. Maybe.

When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things. | Joe Namath

The confidence gained since I’ve been working out is not one of cockiness or arrogance. It’s piece of mind. This may sound strange but it’s one less thing that I’m self conscious about which allows me to be more me. I find myself doing things now that I wouldn’t have been comfortable doing last summer (like wearing shorts or crop tops). It has also been beneficial in the sense that I can make one (maximum, two) trip from the car with groceries rather than three or four. That may sound funny or juvenile but those are legit goals. I know you’ve seen the memes. Sure I have a long way to go until I’ve reached my personal fitness goal and sure sometimes the workouts are hard and yes, some days are better than others. But I am enjoying every second of it. Every new line, every additional second I can hold a plank, and every extra inch I can jump, amps me up to try harder and do better. This is the happiest that I have ever been with my body and I’m not even halfway to my full potential. Maybe when I get there I’ll do a bikini competition. I’ve been recently obsessing over them.

Moral? Your health is vital. Even if your goals aren’t to be swole, maintaining a healthy weight and good eating habits will make you feel good overall. You’d also be surprised at how much of a positive effect being healthy has on non-physical aspects of your life. I dare you to try it.

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