Strong is Beautiful
I posted this photo on Facebook and mentioned that it motivated me to do Tabatas (a supra-aerobic training protocol that is a very intense, painful and productive four minutes). I was surprised at the response. Women were overly critical and made comments about how she looks like a man and all that muscle is unattractive. I didn’t get defensive but I did feel the need to respond. Here’s my response:
The wonderful thing about not being part of a couple is not believing I need to listen when someone else tries to discredit my dreams. I look at this woman and see all the hard work and dedication she put into sculpting every muscle she was born with to near perfection. I see it as an incredible act of self-love. Why haven’t I done it yet? Because I was with a man who would become passive aggressive when the woman he was with drew any attention away from him. You all can think and say what you like, but this is my dream and I refuse to give anyone else any power to shape it for me. This is mine.
For too many years, I gave up the power to choose my fate. I had dreams but they always came second. I’ll own the fact that I allowed that then, but I don’t allow it anymore.
My mother and I had a chat yesterday. She said when she looks at my pictures now, she sees something different in my eyes.
It is life.
The eyes are the window to the soul and there are photographs of me that show a near-dead soul, but not anymore!
I’m living my life on my terms now. There are people who take issue with that, like the friend early on in my transformation who reamed me out for posting unattractive before photos and being so public about my changes, and the friends who suggest that taking the best possible care of one’s body and turning back the aging clock is unattractive.
Here’s what I have to say to all of them:
I believe strong is beautiful.
I believe healthy is beautiful.
I believe loving myself enough to take the best possible care of ME is an important step in finding that someone who will love me for who I really am rather than who he thinks I should be.
I don’t need anyone’s approval.
There are too many shrinking violets out there just trying to please their family, friends or significant others. I say screw that! Be the sunflower and reach for the sky. Be as bright as you can possibly be!
This is a photo of Rachel McLish, the first Ms. Olympia (women’s bodybuilding) back in the 1980’s. It was women like her, Cory Everson and Anja Langer who inspired my dream. It took me long enough but I’m finally going after it.
I really don’t care what anyone says, strong is beautiful!