In the real world I’m an above average sized female. I’m the second tallest in my office of 15 women and my legs are at least 60% larger than every man I work with. I actually probably weigh the same or more than most of my male counterparts as well—none of whom do Crossfit, squat, or lift heavy things on a regular basis.
However, the fact that I am bigger than most average humans and almost all the men I work with doesn’t have me down in the dumps and living ashamed of my King-Kong like stature. In fact, I feel pretty OK with it, if not empowered by the fact that I am stronger than most average people. (Although, I must admit that my office is full of endurance athletes, yogi’s and a pro rollerblader..which might skew the data slightly).
As a “Crossfitter” (someone who does Crossfit, however, only recreationally), I am certainly above average..especially in limb length and have been referred to as a “bigger” athlete on more than one occasion.
So, I started thinking about what makes me feel attractive and confident?
If you know anything about me, you are probably thinking…”Kelley hates everything about herself, so I can’t imagine where this is going?” And that’s kind of true, I certainly have my deeply rooted issues but those are mainly self-contrived perfectionist tendencies and no external sources will likely change my mind. It’s a forever work in progress and I have good days and bad days….just like everyone.
But when it comes to accepting myself and my body, who’s opinions do I value most? What makes me feel good about myself? Who am I trying to impress?
Should I be thanking the men of Crossfit who have taught me to embrace my muscles by concluding that strong women are in fact attractive? If the men of the world thought I was too muscular, or too bulky, would I stop lifting weights in persuit of a more slender frame?
Should I pay homage to the sweet internet memes that proclaim “strong is the new skinny” for making me feel empowered to be a strong female?
If the answer to this question is anything but “from within”, well, then I will never truly be happy because happiness is not a body shape, compliments or appreciation from the opposite sex..or same sex.
Sure, external validation feel nice, but it’s kind of like sugar. Feels good in the moment but doesn’t last long and the more you have of it, the more you crave it and cravings can be a dangerous thing.
The women I admire and envy most are those with not only strong powerful bodies but those with beautiful personalities, who have confidence and who smile often—and I am pretty sure that those beautiful confident smiles I admire don’t exist because a man told them that they looked good.
So, with all that being said, sorry for the long rambling post. My objective with this was to just reflect on where “I” gain my self-confidence from. It’s not from men, or women, or compliments. The good days are the days when I feel good about myself for the things my body can do, how my body feels and performs and those moments when I can stop comparing myself to everyone else and appreciate that we are all very different and we are all enough.
Dr. Ben House recently posted this to his Facebook page and I love it, so I will leave you with this.