In my chosen career and hobby, I have to deal with people's negative comments about my physique often. I hear and read negative comments about women with muscles all the time (not always directed towards me, but other fitness professionals as well). Let me be clear, there are many different levels of "muscular"...from natural "normal" muscular to huge, supplement and performance enhancing drug muscular. I put myself in the middle of that range...I am all natural, my muscles built over my entire almost 40 years...having a genetic foundation of muscularity, but also being athletic from the age of 3, but my focus on strength training for the purpose of building muscles been the last 25 years of my life.
I feel most empowered when I am lifting heavy or running an obstacle course race, and covered head to toe in mud, I still feel feminine and badass as hell. I tell people that if they don't like me or my body, that's fine because I don't live to impress them. But words do still sting. The people that love me the most love me no matter what, and that cushions the blow of the often hurtful comments. My boys see ME...their mommy...they don't judge my body one way or the other.
They will grow to love and respect women of all shapes and sizes, though we are teaching them the importance of total fitness and healthy living. The most important lesson I can teach my children is to be respectful of others, and not to tolerate bullying from anyone towards anyone. My husband loves me and my body however it makes me happiest....he loved me when I was pregnant, when I was 160lbs and when I am a lean, mean 133lbs.
Being feminine has nothing to do with curves, breasts, fat tissue, or wearing dresses vs. gym gear...it has everything to do with state of mind. For me, for my body, soft doesn't equal more feminine...and that's a matter of personal opinion. But I don't judge others as I judge myself. I don’t compare, because we are each unique beings. Be happy with your body, whatever weight, size, shape you want to be. If you are living a healthy and happy life, so be it.
To those women that feel judged, disrespected, bullied because of how you want your body to look, I say, EFF the haters. I don't care if you choose to be heavy, skinny, or strong as hell....if you are content (and living a healthy life…now I do believe there is a difference between a healthy obsession and an unhealthy one…find the balance and live in it) that's yours...OWN IT.