“So that’s where my boobs went…”
Lifting is awesome. It’s functional and supports our day-to-day lives, boosts metabolism, and just makes you feel good. There aren’t many downsides to lifting.
There are, however, some less-than-glamorous things that come along with it. Sorry, dudes. This blog’s just for the ladies. Though I encourage all you guys to read so you understand what your women go thru as a fit girl.
Some are kinda gross, some are kinda funny, hopefully all of them make you feel better that you’re not the only one! And because not all problems are necessarily bad, my #FitGirlProbs are divided into The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Everybody Wants You
When you’re “the fit chick” people assume you’re good at every sport and, more importantly, you want to play on every rec sports team there is. Your co-worker needs girls for his co-ed softball team? Guaranteed your name’s going to come up. Or let’s say you already play on a team but have to miss a game. You’ll be greeted with horrible, blank stares from your teammates that say, “What? WTF are we supposed to do?” I was actually even approached by a total stranger at the gym who asked me to be on his volleyball team – no clue if I even knew how to play; it was just assumed I did and that I would be good.
On the one hand, it’s pretty cool to be viewed as a kickass athlete. But on the other, it’s tough if you’re not interested in playing or don’t have time. I personally haven’t learned how to say “no” very well. Chris thinks he can help me work on that.
You Can’t Save the Ta-Tas
There’s no delicate way to put this: your boobs are going to shrink. Over the years, I’ve seen mine go from a full C → to those bras getting too big → to the newer B-cups I own starting to feel a little roomy. You can accept smaller cans, get padded bras or shell out the bucks for breast implants.
Why is this in the “Good” category? I’m a runner! Most of the lifting I do is aimed at making me a better runner. So I kind of view the ever-shrinking-boobs as a nice side effect.
Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for tiny ta-tas. Implants are really common for girls who lift, especially those who frequently compete in lifting events. If you see a bikini competitor with a nice big rack, there’s a 1% chance she has wonderful genetics and a 99% chance she bought the boobs. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that, it’s a matter of choice and your personal goals.
And, although most females (and let’s be honest, probably every dude out there) aren’t excited about smaller knockers, there is some good news for all fit chicks: Thanks to all that muscle propping them up, the ones you have are really perky!
You Can Eat A Lot
It takes a lot of food to feed a lot of muscle so be prepared to eat a lot. I often find myself going to bed, thinking about what I’m going to eat when I wake up. Sleeping is basically my time machine to breakfast.
Again, why do I see this as a good thing? All that muscle doesn’t just mean you want to eat more, it means you NEED to eat more. And, you CAN eat more, thanks to that rapid-fire metabolism you’ve got going on now. Plus, it’s not all protein, protein, protein – those who lift need carbs too.
Fit chicks can enjoy more food and a variety of food, knowing that our bodies are going to use it up in a good way. Plus, we get to enjoy an indulgence here or there, knowing it’s not the end of the world and we’ll make up for it with our next clean meal. It’s pretty great not having to pretend I love the 21-day fix (or other bullshit fad diet I’m on) “meals” I’m eating, while secretly weeping inside, just wishing I could have a pint of Oktoberfest, veggie burger and sweet potato fries without worry of whether or not it all fits into a bright-colored pieces of Tupperware.
Clothes Don’t Fit
I wish I could tell you that once you’ve been lifting awhile, clothes fit better. They don’t. Your body is rockin but designers just don’t make clothes for fit girls (though I’m on a one-woman campaign to try and change that). It sucks that the fitter you get, the tougher shopping can be. Here are a few things you can look forward to:
Jeans – If you find a pair of jeans you can squeeze your legs and ass into, yay! Same goes for skinny jeans (which seem to be the only style offered at most retailers these days). But when it comes to pairing those skinny jeans with a cute pair of heels, good luck. You know how women love heels because they make their calves look nice? Fit girls actually have calf muscles and heels amplify them. Like it’s not enough having your butt and quads hugged, now your calves look like they’re about to bust out of your pants too.
Dress Pants – The biggest challenge I’ve found with dress pants is finding a pair that fits the legs and butt – but without a huge gap in the waist. Ugh….
Shirts – They’ll hug your arms and shoulders but be baggy in the stomach. Upside: I guess you’ll be all set when you need maternity shirts?
And speaking of clothes not fitting right, you’ll have more chance at clothing mishaps. I’ve actually “Incredible Hulked” in clothes. I put on a new pair of leggings that fit when I tried them on at the store (and were actually too big in the waist) and within a couple hours, had ripped a nice hole in the quads. I may or may not have also ripped a pair of jeans last winter. But I more blame that on being too competitive while curling.
You’re going to be sore. Pretty much all the time. You may roll out of bed the morning after a tough lift and shuffle to the shower with the same speed and gait as a 90-year old woman. You may groan at the simple task of sitting on the toilet the day after leg day. Oddly enough, the days you don’t feel sore, it may be alarming – like, “Did I not work hard enough yesterday?!” Oh but don’t worry. You’ll be sore again soon.
When you really start building your arms, something happens to your armpits: they become nearly impossible to shave. I find myself pulling, twisting and doing whatever I have to in order to reach all the crevices and angles I now have in my pits. It’s a big win if I don’t miss a patch of stubble.
You can moisturize and exfoliate and do it all – you’re still going to get callouses. Oh, you like going to get manicures? I don’t. Between my polish chipping off as soon as I pick up a weight, breaking at least one during a heavy sesh, and just needing to keep them relatively short so they don’t dig into my palms while gripping, it’s a miracle my nails have even a hint of femininity.
You’ll notice bruises pop up in the most random spots. I’ve had them on my shins, shoulders and, my favorite, the outsides of my wrists (I concluded they came from the special deadlifting bar that has a unique grip set up). Weights will do that to you, that’s all there is too it. Yes, I do feel safe at home and no, no one hits me.
Other People’s Opinions
When you’re a fit chick, you become not “normal”, in the sense of what most of society deems normal. It’s not “normal” to strive for bigger legs or desire to be anything more than a size 2. It’s not “normal” to want to go to the gym on a Friday night vs. go out for drinks (um, hello it’s the only time I can get on the cables and hog them for 30 minutes without feeling like an asshole). All of this abnormality can lead to hurtful comments and judgment from others – even if they don’t realize they’re doing it.
I’ve had friends tell me they think it’s gross when women have too much muscle. Um, are you telling me I’m gross or am I okay because I don’t have “too much”? Then there are the straightforward comments directed right at you. I know, it seems ridiculous but people will make comments about your body. It’s fine when one of your girlfriends comments on your killer arms (great compliment!) but when strangers do it? That’s awkward. Whether it’s a compliment or a rude opinion someone feels the need to offer up of why women shouldn’t be so muscular, some people just won’t keep their opinions to themselves.
And finally, the judgments. I went through this recently when I bought my wedding dress. After being measured, my chest and waist came in at a size 2, while my butt and hips were between a 4 and 6. The sales girl’s eyes lit up. She excitedly informed me that most brides try to lose weight before their weddings so I was in a great position to get a smaller dress size, then not have to work as hard to fit into it. My response, with zero hesitation: No, I want the size 6.
She looked confused and weirded out, and asked if I was sure I didn’t want the size 4. I mean, why in the world would anyone pass up the chance to wear a smaller size? I then informed her that I had no intentions of trying to drop a bunch of weight before my wedding, especially not in my butt and legs. In fact, if my legs and butt did get smaller before the wedding, that would mean I wasn’t training hard enough for the Boston Marathon. She looked slightly disappointed then went ahead and ordered me the – gasp – size 6 that I wanted.
Again, most people don’t realize they’re being rude. Just have thick skin and remind yourself that you’re doing what’s right for you, not what society thinks you should do.
Ladies, can you relate to any of these #FitGirlProbs? Or do you have others? Comment or Tweet me, @runlikeagirl311 on Twitter.