Strength training was the thing that saved me.
It was always so objective I never had to wonder what it meant. I was either getting better or I wasn’t. I was either putting in the work or I wasn’t.
It’s still that way for me.
For a while, the goal was chasing big numbers. Which never felt as bad as trying to chase the smallest number on the scale, but it was still an external form of feedback I used to try and decide if I was ENOUGH yet.
There’s more to this than that, though. And that took a while, too.
With no desired end in sight, practicing strength is character building. It doesn’t have to come with a PR every time- or ever, even. There’s so many ways to bring out the grit. There’s so many ways to refine. So many things to practice and improve. And no matter what, it’s all objective.
Something about *subjectivity* makes things worse when you’re trying to turn away from chasing weight loss or the thin ideal. Suddenly your body feels like a fucking Christmas tree ornament for people to gawk at and discuss. “AM I GOOD ENOUGH YET? DO YOU LIKE ME YET?” And someone, possibly even always just YOU- may always be the loudest fucking whisper that says “no.” And you’re like “but why? How not?! I’ve tried to hard!” Strength training doesn’t care about anyone’s opinions- not even yours.
It can be THE THING that changes your obsession with wanting to be small, smaller, smallest. It can be the thing that proves to you that you can take up space- you’re allowed to & encouraged to.
This isn’t about numbers for me anymore- scale or barbell. But I will say that even when it was, no small weight on the scale EVER made me feel as empowered as a higher weight on the barbell. Ever.
For me, it’s about objective progress- in any way you choose to define that. Finally progress not rooted in what you look like but what you can do. The progress is about no one but you today vs you yesterday. Sometimes the progress is strength Sometimes it’s your attitude. Sometimes it’s your ability to do one more rep. Sometimes it’s your form. Sometimes- your ability to smile after failing something or choosing to continue when you want to quit.
I’ll always choose this.
Did you know I host an online membership program for women who lift?
I only open the site for new members a few times each year. If you want to hear about when enrollment opens again, you can click here.