One day not too long ago I was walking toward the locker room after a good, hard workout and a gym friend of mine stopped me and said “Girl, you’re getting skinny.” I was mildly interested since I didn’t think my physique had changed much in a while.
“Really?” I replied.
“Really…you’ve lost weight. You need to eat a potato.” That made me laugh and since potato chips are one of my all time favorite cheat foods I made a joke about Frank telling me it was OK to eat chips and went on my way.
Now that in and of itself wouldn’t have been at all notable except the very next day I was talking to another of my gym friends and he said “You’ve gained a little weight. It looks good on you. You’re looking fuller.” I just laughed to myself. Clearly I hadn’t changed a bit from one day to the next but in the span of 48 hours I got two unsolicited, very different assessments of my physique. Neither one of the comments bothered or upset me. I just found them interesting especially the contrast in opinion.
After 21 years of lifting I simply don’t put much stock in how other people view my physique. I’ve learned that everyone sees through their own set of filters and what one person likes another won’t. What one person sees when they look at you, another person won’t. It’s one of the things I tell other women all the time. Comments from others are interesting and you can give them a little thought but it doesn’t pay to put a great deal of stock in them. You can’t get caught in the cycle of trying to please anybody but yourself.
This is one of the problems I have with the idea of physique competitions. I’ve said over and over that they don’t suit my personality and it’s true. I don’t want to be in a competition where I live or die according to someone else’s opinion of my body. It’s just too subjective and you can run yourself into the ground trying to chase someone else’s ideal. All I need is my mirror to tell me how I’m doing. I have eyes and most importantly opinions of my own. I choose for my judgments to come first. I know what I like to see in a female body and I work toward that ideal. It’s positively too muscular for some and I’m sure, too stringy for others but I chase the ideal that exists in my own mind.
When you put the opinions of others (your friends, your mother, your husband or wife) above your own you set yourself up for disappointment. Who cares what they want if that doesn’t mesh with what makes you feel the best? Many of my own relatives, for instance think women with muscle are decidedly “unfeminine.” I don’t happen to agree and would be miserable if worked out as hard as I do and ended up walking around looking like thin, little ballerina…but that’s the kind of body they would most like to see. I always politely acknowledge the comments of others and then put my head down and keep on working to please myself. I advise you do the same!