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Why I stopped saying 'lifting weights won't make you bulky'

I used to tell women lifting weights wouldn't make them bulky


And then I realised there was something wrong at the heart of that conversation.


By reassuring them they wouldn't get bulky I was reaffirming that women *shouldn't* be bulky


- bulky is bad because bulky is not small, bulky is not attractive, bulky is taking up space, bulky is 'manly'


I was reaffirming inadvertently that there was an acceptable and unacceptable way for your body to be - you can lift weights so long as it doesn't make you bigger.


But why should we be worried about taking up space?


Why should we sacrifice strength for staying smaller?


Do we need to conform to what we (society/our culture) think is 'attractive' for women? (When again, this often means smaller)


(I also ask: is a fear of being bulky actually something else? Is it fear of being seen? Can you explore that safely with someone if so?)


There are lots of good reasons for picking up a weight or a barbell, many of which can change our lives:


Humour

Grit

Accountability

Strength

Energy

Joy

Being proud of yourself

Learning to be on the same team as your mind and body

To change your body


My response (to myself): I am asking my body to be strong and I can't be mad at it for building and creating that.


What is more attractive than a strong and confident woman?


So whether you lift weights or not - let it be on your own well-considered terms, not anyone else's.


Bulky or not.


That's just an unhelpful, human label.


A judgement we don't have to accept as true, same as the word 'ugly', 'shy' and just about any other word we use to label people.


I belong in this space, without having to earn it.


I am on the same team as my body.


I am human and I will own this space.


What do you think?


What to lift some weights? Check out my new small group personal training option to find your lifting family :)


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