Bodybuilding and Body Image

This is something I wanted to talk about after seeing a tweet I really relate to.
Someone tweeted out that bodybuilding has made them feel more confident with their body but also more critical….which is true big time.  I feel like i’m in an awkward stage of building… my muscle build up is slow (which is why i’ve stopped cracking down on my diet, when I start limiting intake solely for aesthetic reasons my progress slows down big time.)  I feel personally I still have my trouble areas, trouble areas that are purely from my genetics and hormones as women experience.  I’m talking about the saddlebag area and the under butt line that gets even worse when your shorts don’t fit! (Last years summer shorts no longer fit…. #bootygrowthFTW)  But like women I’ve been having mood swings stemming from hormones/time of the month… like this week has been BAD.  I don’t normally have a mood swing like I used to but it was REALLY bad this past week.  I completely broke down and hated my body.  Felt like i’ve gotten no where within these past 2 years.  It’s just been a mess.

But you know not everyone progresses as fast as others, everyone is different.  Everyone has different genetics and different problems.  Different areas that collect fat.  And definitely different muscle build time frames.  I also started off knowing NOTHING and going in clueless, slowly learning along the way.

I’ve had progress for sure, more numerically than aesthetically.  I haven’t accumulated enough muscle for it to take over fat… if that makes any sense.  My body fat percentage isn’t high, but my muscle percentage isn’t high enough to shine through.  I tear myself up more than anyone else.  I just lack patience, and I expect so much more results than what is reality at hitting 2 years.  But then again I went in blind and I went in all by myself, and have learned along the way and i’m still learning.  My workouts have been pretty amazing recently and my goal to tackle my quads and glutes is working tremendously with a lot of pain.  I can engage my glutes A LOT more than I ever could before, which makes for more results whenever I do an exercise to focus on glute growth.  But I feel the results don’t show like I would like.  But then again if you do really look into all these fitness people that are big in the business, look at how long they’ve been training… look at how long they’ve trained before the sexy results we all desire shows…  4 years for one, 6-7 years for another, were all different.  But were striving for the same thing.

No one can tear myself apart like I can, something that’s sad but i’m so sure of.  Weight training changes your body like you’ve never seen before… Here’s some before pictures of me that I recently stumbled across:
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I was skinny, sure.  But I was skinny-fat.  I carry my weigh in my hips, my love handles, thighs, and my lower back.  I have terrible genetics in that way.
My dad was lanky as hell when he was younger, never fat, and now he just carries weight in his stomach.  My mom is the furthest thing from athletic and sporty, she tried once but ended up in the hospital.  So on neither side do I have, or do I know I have, easy or quick muscle build up.  Although I think my brother had quick muscle build up but that was unintentional…and clearly didn’t transfer to me <_<.
But look at how tiny my legs and arms were.  I was never comfortable in my body here… like never..  I was never toned, I was never firm, I jiggled.  I’d have a ton of bad days and few good.  I was boney, and felt fat whenever I put pants on because my hips, thighs, and love handles.

Now my favorite pants that I used to wear ALL THE TIME, I can’t wear anymore.  I have too much of a butt, my leg muscles are too big, they just don’t fit.  My shorts don’t fit.  Jeans don’t fit, last auction I worked I tore two of my black work pants… (that were like kids jeggings, looked like black jeans but were stretchy…not stretchy enough for this butt) It’s unfortunate but funny and I was like F-IT wearing these anyway lol.

It’s learning my new body, learning to like and love my new body, work on this project even harder, work on myself till I love myself, till i’m comfortable, and learning to love these muscles.  I’m very weird about my legs.  Big muscular arms don’t phase me one bit.  They aren’t big, but I want those muscles, I have a decent muscle base there.  But my legs make me struggle.  I don’t know why, I guess because I struggled with my legs a lot and always have.  Now adding muscles but not enough to overcome the fattiness that resides there makes me feel insecure.
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^ This picture is from this previous week

This is why I train my legs SO MUCH.  I’m hitting these areas hard because I want them to change.  No more saddlebags, firm glutes, firm quads, and firm, hamstrings.  Fix that shit up so I can wear whatever I want once I find the things that fit and I don’t feel restricted because I look fat, or fatty, etc.  Once I build up enough muscle i’m definitely going to start hitting the macros and restricting myself but I know if I were to lean down now bulking will be incredibly hard, and I wouldn’t look toned and firm like i’d like because not enough is there.  I feel like this journey is interesting…depending on the person.  There’s awkward stages like in middle school.  But in the end you look amazing.  It’s deceptive because people think it’s easy and only takes a year or two but it doesn’t.  But these awkward stages make you feel like is this what I really want?  Even though you know it is.  Maybe some people do it for how they’ll look in the end, but I also want to be strong and powerful.  Protect myself and be my own person.  Be a ninja 😉

On a side note, my absolute favorite weight training shoes are these.  The Nike 5.0 TR Fit.  They’re amazing, great underlining grip, doesn’t hurt my arches, and makes it easier to put my weight in my heels.  Highly recommend.

This wraps up my personal, bloody truth, and struggle of a time with this journey and my current feels.

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5 thoughts on “Bodybuilding and Body Image

  1. elizabethfredrickson says:

    I relate to having weeks where you feel like you’ve made no progress and start hating your body all over again. I’ve made a lot of gains but I still have weeks like that where no matter how hard I’ve worked I’m still not content with how I look. So I just wanted to say I feel for you, thanks for being so vulnerable and honest. Keep up the good work! And I’m not just saying this – you really look amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dani Everyday says:

    You’ve made some brilliant progress there! I love bodybuilding and powerlifting not only to test and increase my strength but for the physical transformation too. Changing body shape so drastically can be difficult to deal with mentally but once you’ve passed that barrier there is no limit to what you can achieve and working on weak areas is great motivation. Never would I have thought I could look better AND gain significant amounts of weight. Body composition is key!

    Liked by 1 person

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