I started strength training two and a half months ago. What do I have to show for it? Not a lot. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight. Several inches.
I’m down to *a* pair of pants, two maxi skirts…the official sweatpants of flat-butted moms…and a few shirts. I am constantly mistaken for pregnant. Someone actually walked up and started rubbing my belly.
And Graham brings up three glorious times a week that I need to quit working out, because I’m just being bigger and bigger and I look weird. His words.
I have been doing squats with weights, lunges, steps, mountain climbers, burpees, pushups, planks, and different types of cardio. I am eating the right foods. I had already cut diet pop several months ago, since I’m fasting it until my adopted nieces are home in the US.
A few people warned me that this would happen. That I would get bigger. Look bigger. Not have any clothes. Look like I’m in my second trimester. But they all ended with, “It’s worth it to be stronger.”
Every last one of them uses their strength for marathons and competitions and sports they love. And they travel. Spend time with friends. Post pictures on Facebook and Instagram of all the things their strong bodies can do.
I get to use my strength to lift a person into a crib. Bathe a person. Change a person’s diapers. Lift a person into a highchair. Carry a person from the house to the van. From the van to the house. Lift a wheelchair.
Maybe strength training is fun and appealing when you can buy bigger clothes while you get bigger. Or when you get medals and your name on a board. Or travel to tournaments. Or look cute in workout gear.
It’s not glamorous when you’re using your new skill to haul someone in and out of a van to therapy. Wearing the same shirt every week, because nothing else fits. Wearing maternity tops, because you finally built up some abdominal muscles but you still have so much fat on top that you look bad in everything you own.
No one talks about that. No one talks about how you aren’t pretty and thin anymore. And your only accomplishment is not hurting yourself during her bathtime.
No one talks about how you spend all this time to actually look at yourself less, because you don’t even want to look in the mirror. Your proportions are off. And you have nothing to show for it after 11 weeks of work.
This in between place. Not strong and cut and not thin and sleek. Just lumbering around, trying to disguise muffin tops and succeeding at safe transfers. Not so sure that it’s “worth it to be stronger.”