Strong NOT Skinny!

Today ladies, I am talking all about lifting weights and why you need to start taking strength training seriously into consideration!

I’m 37 and this is the first time in my life that I have been “fit”. I was athletic until college but that’s pretty much about it.  Growing up in a family where obesity has been a chronic and at some times progressive condition, I always focused on being “skinny” and thought that if I was skinny I would be healthy.    The fear of gaining weight caused me to hop on every fad diet bandwagon.  With my heaviest weight being 242 lbs after having Jonathan I tried everything to get back into my pre-baby weight and size from the  LA diet to Atkins, to Beachbody, to Isagenix etc.   They worked in helping me to lose weight after the kids, but it was never sustainable.  I juggled between 150-185 for 12 years. For 12 years I focused on being skinny, that If I could be a size 4 I’d be perfectly healthy! WRONG!!!!  I really wish I knew then what I know now because I would have saved myself a lot of bad, stupid choices, a lot of unnecessary restrictions and a hell of a lot of misery ( and lets not mention money!)   

And so, as I sat to write this blog I thought to myself if I could share the most important piece of information regarding women’s fitness, what would it be?  With no hesitation, the answer is Strength Training! Ladies, your only goal should be to become  strong. Not skinny, not a size or scale number, but strong. 

By now you have already heard so many fitness gurus say weight over cardio, and there is a reason why we so strongly recommend strength training. ANd you are probably thinking and wondering what so many of us women think?  ” I don’t want to get bulky”  am I right?  Well, let me put your mind at ease, that will not happen! I think there is just a pre-conceived notion that if women lift weights they will look like a man.  it won’t! I promise you.  Unfortunately, there are so many stereotypes and so much bullshit out there that keep women from experiencing the profound benefits of strength training.  

Here are the reasons why you should start lifting weights!

Weight loss : When compared to just cardiovascular exercise, resistance training always comes out on top. You burn more fat during and after your exercise with every training.  Although Cardio has it’s place and is essential in daily routine ( I firmly believe it keeps your internal organs healthy) resistance/strength training increases your metabolic rate and oxygen consumption. You will burn more fat in 30 minutes lifting weights than you would 1hr on the treadmill.

Lean Muscle- As you build your strength and lean muscle, your body uses more calories. As you build your muscles, the more inches you will lose. The stronger you get, the more fat you burn, the more muscle you gain, the more inches you lose…make sense now?  Okay good!  

Increased Energy-Resistance/strength  training increases your energy long after your workouts. It actually sustains your energy throughout the day. Increased energy helps you stay focused and well, you don’t have that 2pm slump or need for coffee or that craving of something sweet.

Joint Health-The more muscle you build around your joints, the more protected they are. Take this form someone who has RA. Build Muscle, protect your joints. Resistance/strength training also helps to maintain bone mass. The older women get, the less estrogen our body secrets. The more resistance and strength training you do, the less loss of body mass.  Building muscle is probably the healthiest thing you can do for your body.  

Strength-First, it is a great way to relieve stress, or it helps you manage it better anyway.  It will also does very one important thing- makes you feel powerful. When women feel powerful, they are determined, confident and strong. When we feel all those things we are happier and  healthier, both physically and mentally and we all know that happy and healthy women are unstoppable! Right?  ( hope you are nodding your head with me on this one)

I need to be honest with you though, when I first started, I was intimidated, insecure and had so much doubt. self-doubt! But let me tell you this, it takes time, it takes patience, and it takes determination.  You don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to look good doing it, you just need to start and you need to try.  Your body will start to change, you will start noticing differences in how you feel physically and mentally.  It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger.   The strength you build,  will not only build your confidence and feed your determination, it will make you feel better overall.  Answer this questions- is there really anything better than feeling 100% confident in your own body? No, right!  There isn’t, Being comfortable in your own skin is probably one of the hardest things for us women to do. 

So how do you start? Finding the right program that is right for you is challenging, but we all start somewhere, the point is just start! Pick a program, get a trainer, join a gym or  workout at home- whichever you decide, but just start and grow from there. If you have any questions or want more information on training – just send me an email and I’ll answer! 

Happy Lifting

Xo Denise

 

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