To Women Who Lift Weights: “You look bulky.”

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“You look bulky” is probably one of the many offensive comments women, who lift weights, constantly hear. I have never gotten into weight lifting but I have done it enough to get those comments. I’ve heard, “You look like a man,” “Your arms are bigger than mine (coming from a man)” or “You look buffy.” As much as I didn’t want them to affect me, I couldn’t help it. I was discouraged and decided to stop. I moved into doing more cardio hoping to burn all the muscles I’ve gained. Whatever.

Coming from an asian culture, it’s different. The expectations for women are very different. We are not supposed to look too muscular or too “cut.” Beauty or sexy is defined as skinny; like really skinny. There’s nothing wrong with being skinny. Unfortunately, some people (usually those who are close to you) are closed-minded and very easy to judge those who choose to be different. I had that mindset before but after a while, I got over it. I got inspired by women like Anne Phung (check her Instagram here), Ashley Rivera (click her Instagram here), and Aubrey Miles (click her Instagram here) to break the norm for asian women like us. I just started weightlifting again and I still need to learn so much more about it. It can be challenging (sometimes, even dangerous) so I’m taking it one workout at a time.

Weightlifting still scares me. I do think about getting “bulky,” and hearing those comments from time to time. However, I’m starting to realize that I’ll be damned if I do, damned if I don’t. So why the hell should I care about what people have to say about it, or about me? The more important thing is how it makes me feel right? Truthfully, weightlifting empowers me. Every rep is such an accomplishment and moving up to heavier weights is even a bigger deal. I love feeling sore the next day. I just need to process and embrace the fact that the goal is not to fit in 0 or 00 anymore. I’m not trying to become a bodybuilder (yet). The main goal is to shut negative comments out the door and focus on myself, my happiness, my strength, my own progress. It’s a process and doesn’t happen overnight.

For those of you who don’t appreciate weightlifting, it’s totally okay. We all have different fitness goals. BUT…and I say this in the nicest way possible…shut your mouth if you have nothing encouraging to say. Be sensitive enough and keep your unsolicited advice to yourself. Even if you mean well, certain comments can affect people in a bad way. I do have a couple of people who I completely trust and gave them permission to be completely honest and straightforward with me (you know who you are <3).

Do you lift weights or scared of lifting weights? I would love to hear from you! Let’s encourage and empower one another. 😉

Lots of love!

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“Strong is the new skinny.”