Hey friends! Wishing you a very Happy Halloween today on my favorite day of the year! I have the BEST childhood memories from this time of the year and appreciate being able to run around with friends and neighbors, sorting candy on the living room floor, and eating candy for breakfast on November 1st – that was always mandatory! So today I’m thrilled to be in our own house and pass out candy (with lots of guests hanging out with us this evening!) to trick or treaters and will be so happy if we get a handful of kids in our little Inglewood neighborhood.
This year…I’m a lion. Or a tiger. Or a liger. Just happy to dress up! PS – for all those parents who aren’t sure what to do with the sugar on Halloween, I think this is an awesome article about learning to have a healthy relationship with food and sugar!
To that end, I certainly won’t tell you to only have 1 fun size piece of candy today, or to do a certain number of burpees per candy bar ingested. Nope! I’m a proponent of enjoying all kinds of food, especially on the holidays. Will a day of going overboard make you gain fat? Not at all. BUT…Lately I’ve been eating a little too freely. I’m still tracking everything in My Fitness Pal as per my Eat to Perform (use my link and the discount code “1mofree” to get a free month of nutrition coaching!) so I’ve been still mindful of my carbs (within range), fat (sometimes over, sometimes under) and protein (too often under my goal), but I’ve been hitting these numbers with some junk. The reality is that even though your calories matter, you don’t want to fill up your macros for the day with junk – at least not all the time. 😉 So I will plan to have a few of those little candies tonight, but I’ve already had my fill leading up to Halloween, and I don’t want to go nuts eating more just because it’s here. I’m ready to clean up my diet for a bit – no restrictions, no off-limits, but boundaries set – as we move into November. Who’s with me? Just a little bit of extra accountability to fuel and nourish my body well.
On that note, I’ve noticed that my recent heavier lifting and embracing attitude towards carbs has not only helped to increase my strength and performance in the gym and flushed out my upper body muscles, but it’s grown my lower body as well. I’ve been thinking about learning to embrace the body you’re in, because as I’ve upped my food and changed my lifting I’ve seen changes to my body. I have 3 options:
- Complain about it and compare my body to others (yep – my jeans are tight and squeezing into them doesn’t make me feel great).
- Change my style of moving to complement a different look or aesthetic.
- Buy new pants and embrace my new shape.
I’m leaning towards number 3, although sometimes I fall prey to number 1. In many ways, I lovely body! It’s so much stronger than it used to be and people who see me after a few months of not seeing me tend to comment on my arms – they never say, “Oh wow, your legs sure are meatier now!” or, “Well, sure you’re strong, but you’re looking a bit thick…” No way! They say, “Your arms look awesome!” and someone event complimented my butt, which made me feel awesome, as my lower body is the larger part of me. 😉 Lifting weights WILL change your body. Will you “bulk up,” like so many women are afraid of? Not exactly…that’s pretty hard to do unless you’re supplementing and eating a LOT; many powerlifters are actually smaller and defined, but typically with some strong legs. There are ALL types of bodies out there and the way you move will, to some degree, contribute to how your body looks (taking into consideration that your metabolic type and genes play a large role in the kind of body you have):
I love Camille Bazinet-LeBlanc. I think she’s an amazing CrossFit Games athlete, is incredibly strong and cute, and is a “real” person! Sure, her strength is off the charts and she’s got the muscles to prove it, but she’s also not unrealistically lean. I like what this article has to say about her:
“What set Camille apart, though, was that she looked real. By that I mean – and I need to walk gingerly here – she looked normal. Not overly ripped, not overly muscular. She has the build of someone who is interested in performance over aesthetics, in strength over cut. By choosing not to lean out to a scant 10% body fat, she allowed herself to remain strong. You don’t see every last vein in her arms, abs, and traps. You see a normal, strong, confident woman.”
(source) Strong and fit to be sure, but not the skinniest or leanest.
(source) Those strong quads won’t be tamed to fit into non-muscular kind of clothing, amIright?
Now compare her body with Tracy Anderson’s body:
(source) A very different body type and shape, right? Her legs would look awesome in skinny jeans!
And you know what? Both bodies are fine! Both bodies are healthy! But both bodies are very, very different, and we can’t expect the same things from them strength-wise, cardio-wise, clothing-wise or ability-wise. I really think that every body type is fine, and if you’d rather look like Tracy than Camille, that’s okay (barring, like I said, your genetics – they will to some degree affect or limit how you look). The types of workouts you do and the way that you eat will also affect how you look, and I’m learning that I love not only being strong but looking strong, too, and that comes with a different set of challenges in terms of how I view myself and why I think looks strong and beautiful.
More articles/videos of interest on this subject:
Why I Encourage Women to Be Bigger – by Noelle at Coconuts & Kettlebells,
and, from Self Magazine:
Just thought it would be neat to start a dialogue about your bodies too – not in terms of comparing them to mine or Camille’s or Tracy’s – that’s not the point of this post! – but in terms of how you view yourself, what you struggle with, and if you’re going for option 1, 2, or 3! Let’s embrace strength and own who we are!
(photo by Jeremy Fokkens)
Here’s to strength! Own your body and use it to the best of it’s ability. Live well & be well,