When I was born I was just about 5lbs…happy, healthy, energetic…..and scrawny. I stayed that way all through my childhood, always grazing the bottom of the height/weight charts. My small stature certainly didn’t slow me down and on occasion was a nice advantage. For instance, when I played “farm” with the other girls, I always got to be the mouse which means the horses spent recess running around with me on their backs!
I was always athletic and played many sports well but I stayed tiny. As a young girl, it didn’t matter to me but as I moved deep into adolescence my extreme thinness was less appealing to me. There were people who thought I had an eating disorder although I’ve never had any such thing. I made a new friend in high school who didn’t say anything about my weight but brought “extra” lunch each day and encouraged me to eat it. She did this for months until she’d been around me enough to realize I ate constantly. I did use this to my advantage in college once when I was late with a paper due to poor planning (like going to the football game and staying out having fun all weekend with friends instead of studying). I knew this professor thought I was anorexic so I smudged some dark eyeshadow under my eyes, hunched over pathetically and went to her office. I told her I had been sick and asked for more time. She put her arm around me and begged me to eat, to see a professional about my problem…and yes, she gave me an extended deadline for my paper!
It was about this time when I first saw fitness competitors in a magazine. I was entranced by their beautiful muscularity and came to understand that weight training was the key to moving toward the kind of body I wanted to have. Eventually, after some thinking and reading I made my way to the gym. I saw wonderful changes in my physique and that was enough motivation to keep me going back. It’s been more than 20 years and I still enjoy my time in the gym. Lifting does many great things for me emotionally and spiritually but on a physical level it’s been pretty fantastic too. How gratifying to be able to change the way we look with desire and consistent effort!