Getting thinner - if it’s your goal - feels like elation when you achieve it. (At least for a little while, until your mind starts feeding you all sorts of silly ideas like how you won’t be able to maintain it, or how you should now go eat the whole house because you’ve worked so hard, and you deserve it…).
But getting stronger - now THAT’S one for the emotional book of World Records! Going from hopeless to doing an actual push up makes you feel like a true ROCK STAR. Doing a minute-long, full side plank when you had do it with your knees on the ground before blows your mind. Being able to effortlessly run three miles when before you thought your lungs would incinerate after getting halfway down the block? The exhilaration is indescribable. Your heart and solar plexus explode in personal triumph! Glimpsing your thigh in the mirror and seeing quad muscles for the first time in your life, or seeing smooth, curvy hamstrings where before was a saggy line --it knocks you sideways.
It knocks you sideways because it’s so tangible. It’s a literal transformation. It is the actual physical manifestation of your repeated, intentional effort over time, even when you didn’t feel like it, even when it was hard, even when there was zero evidence that you could succeed, even when you had menstrual cramps, even when it was colder (or hotter) than hell, even when it was 5am, even though you were on vacation, even though your child kept you up half the night.
Getting stronger is a genuine change inside of you, inside your cells. You place demands on them, and they adapt. Period. It’s not a shift in water-weight or skewed by the clothes you’re wearing. No! It is a real thing that brings you real freedoms: the freedom to jump up and turn off the burning pan, carry in the groceries, open the jar, change the high lightbulb, move the shelf, shovel the snow, lift the corner of the mattress to get the fitted sheet on it, hold up your arms while you fix your hair, reach under the bed to find your slippers, kneel at the coffee table during date night, horse-play with your kids or grandkids, bring the potted plants in for winter and out for spring, lift the cast-iron pan to pour the gravy into a bowl, carry the deck chairs out to the yard, dig up the Tree of Heaven weed, roots and all. You name it.
Being stronger gives you access to more of the world with less struggle.
And, sisters, it makes you safer. You show up in creepy situations with more physical confidence so you look like less of a target, and you can get yourself out of them with greater speed and agility if you need to. (Not that you should go looking for creepy situations or have any false sense of security around them, but if you must be in such a situation, its better to be strong).
My thoughts as I’ve begun to experience these transformations have centered around two things:
That I’m a bad-ass (Total dopamine hit, sisters. It’s amazing).
That I want ALL women to get to feel this bad-assification.
That’s why I’m a trainer. And a nutrition coach. And a teacher. We can all do this.
There’s NO down side.
Who’s with me?