Pregnancy, Parenthood, and Beyond
‘Strong Is The New Sexy’ – Thoughts on our new standard of beauty and how we can all find our own unique version of ‘Sexy’.
Right now, everywhere you look, you will find Pinterest pictures, Facebook posts, or even tank tops in Target with the words ‘Strong Is The New Sexy’. For me this is a very welcomed trend, with my Pitta frame that is naturally sturdy and solid.
It wasn’t until this week that I realized there really has been a dynamic shift going on when it comes to the way women workout to reach this new ideal.
I love running outside, so it was only the absolute bitter cold that drove me to run after work on a treadmill. It was incredibly crowded at the gym, so I grabbed the last treadmill available, right in front of the free weight section. After some time running, I realized the completely new dynamic going on right in front of me –
In the free weight section there were more women than men; women of all shapes and sizes, with really amazing arms and legs, squatting, curling, deadlifting and benching.
These women RULED the free weight section of a very nice gym where people do serious lifting.
I started to think back to a decade ago when I decided to take a weight lifting course in college. I was so intimidated to use the free weight section, full of men grunting, and staring – mostly at themselves. I LOVED the feeling of being incredibly strong and powerful in my body, but I longed to have space between my thighs and thought I needed to be ‘thin’ to be ‘desirable’. Even though I really enjoyed lifting, I gave it up and went back to the elliptical, peddling for an hour a day near most of the other women, counting calories to fit in skinny jeans.
Now, ten years later, I enjoy a wide variety of activities, which definitely include lifting weights and body weight training. The thing is - I don’t do it to be ‘sexy’. Goodness knows at my core I am an awkward dork and I would never fit in that category, no matter how much I lift. Instead, this time, I do it for me - to feel strong, centered, and proud in my body. My natural build and temperament really fit with strength training, and I feel great during and after.
That thought led me to my last reflection – so yes, for me ‘strong’ is the best version of me, but does that mean it is the definition of what ‘Sexy’ needs to be? Ten years from now, the trend will change again. Does that mean I have to go back to the elliptical and drop my weights? My answer - maybe, but this time if I decided to change up my work out, it is because it resonates with me, not because of my desire to fit in, or look like someone else.
I am all for wearing shirts proclaiming how amazing it is to be a strong, fierce woman – I also wear them! I would just like to take a moment to help us realize that being strong, being thin, being curvy, and everything in between can be and IS sexy.
The thing that makes ‘sexy happen’ is the individuals’ ability to feel comfortable and whole in their body, mind, and spirit.
My Challenge - Take a hard look at what you are doing, not just for your workout, but what you do with your extra time, and see if it really resonates with you, or if your intent is to look, feel, or be someone else. Explore other workouts and activities until you find the ones that really resonate with you and make you feel vibrant on the inside and out.
That is where yoga comes in to play - there are so many types of yoga with different focuses and teaching styles to fit every need. Once you determine your personal style - try out different classes and teachers that resonate with you! Yoga is the perfect compliment, and can help you take some time to scrub out your mind as much as your body, guiding you to a more authentic living experience. If you want classes to support your strength training, running, or overall active lifestyle - I encourage you to check out my Wednesday night classes at Haleybird Studios 6:50 pm.
If strong isn’t your thing, then don’t worry, trends will change. If it is, own it and soak up our time in the sun. No matter what, I encourage you to look inside, and see what your version of ‘Sexy’ is. Stop comparing; stop hoping to be someone else, and instead,
Be You -
Just As You Are.