Ladies, I Have a Dream…

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I look at fitness and how I want to train myself and others. I’ve been thinking about the whole fitness industry and our society as a whole. And I have allowed myself to dream.

Will you come along with me as we dream together??

Let’s dream together of a world where women are confident in themselves and their bodies.

I know it is really hard to think about because we have all been trained by our society to think of the ideal female form as really thin, almost waif like. This ‘ideal’ woman has a body that is near impossible to achieve without constant dieting and sadistic amounts of exercise.  And then since it is nearly impossible to achieve women get stuck in a downward spiral of trying to achieve this body and then constantly failing.  Eventually, women just quit trying all the while still yearning for that perfect body.

What if…

What if we gave up on what society was trying to tell us?

What if we acknowledged that our bodies are amazing and strong?

What IF we ate well and exercised because we LOVED our bodies, not because we hated them??

That raises a few questions, doesn’t it?

How can we move from believing our bodies are horrible and hating them to believing our bodies are amazing and loving them?

I have a few ideas….

1) “She is Clothed With STRENGTH and DIGNITY…” (Proberbs 31:25)

That is what our Creator said about our bodies.  That is not what society says.

Which one do you think we should believe?

I, for one, CHOOSE to believe what my Creator has to say about His handiwork.

I am STRONG.

I am SPECIAL.

I am DIGNIFIED.

I am LOVED.

NO….MATTER….WHAT…!!!

Keep repeating that to yourself as many times as it takes for you to believe it.

2) Forget about the scale.

I would say at some point we have all been slaves to the scale.

How often do you weigh yourself?  Bi-Weekly? Weekly?  Daily?  Morning and Evening?

How do you feel when you weigh yourself? Awesome or Defeated?  And how is your mood after you weigh yourself?

Goodness, it is crazy how much we allow that crazy piece of eqipment  to determine our moods and emotions?  Do we find our worth in a scale or elsewhere?

If you are following along with Number One above you know that scale has absolutely ZERO authority over your worth.  Z…E…R…O…!!!

There are also all kinds of factors that go into your weight.   The scale does not differentiate between fat, muscle, and essential organs.

You could actually carry a lot of muscle, therefore registering a high number on the scale, and assume you need to lose a ton of weight.  The reality could be that you don’t need to lose that much FAT after all.

Forget the scale.

It is not your friend.

Chunk it.

3) Focus on Goals

You’ve ditched the scale, right?

So, how can you track your progress?

GOALS.

Tangible, quantifiable goals.

And, a certain number on the scale does not count.

Pick fitness goals.  Run a 5K.  Run a marathon.  Finish an obstacle race or mud run.  Set strength/lifting goals.

Ultimately, if doesn’t really matter what you choose but choose something amazing.

Pick something awesome.

Pick something that seems impossible.  Break it down into achievable steps.  And dive into achieving them.

And as you achieve more and more goals you will realize how awesome you feel.  Your confidence will go up.  You will realize that your body is pretty awesome too.

You are strong.

You are fast.

You are an athlete.

Now you will love  your body.

You will eat to fuel it and exercise it to keep it in tip-top shape.

Here is where I share my specific dream…

4) I Dream Women Will Acknowledge Their Amazing STRENGTH.

I am mad at society for lying to women by saying they should be thin and weak.

I am also mad that society has been lying to women about their strength and that lifting anything over a 10 pound dumbbell will make them “big and bulky” like men.

Guess what?

Women are STRONG!!

And, you will NOT get big and bulky like men.  It is biologically and genetically impossible for women to get that big.  (Well, you can if you are taking steroids but we won’t even discuss that.)

We are holding ourselves back and not realizing how amazing our bodies are because we believe all the insane myths circulating on the internet and in mainstream ‘fitness’ magazines.

I could go on and on and on and on about these myths and perhaps I’ll write more posts about them at another time.

I will say it again…

WOMEN ARE STRONG!!

There is no reason why we can’t squat, bench press, and deadlift with the men.

And here’s the ironic thing……

By going against society and pursuing high levels of strength and eating good food to fuel our bodies we will achieve to lean and tight body we thought society wanted us to have all along.

Hmmmmm….Interesting.

Now go lift something heavy and put it back down.

Do it again….

And again….

And again….

…………….

Let’s Talk More!!!!

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Ladies, I Have a Dream…

73 thoughts on “Ladies, I Have a Dream…

  1. I love this post!!! This is something I’ve struggled with my whole life – knowing I’m more than a number on a scale. I have two daughters and I can tell you that it is hard shielding them from the destructive images/messages that are out there directed at us. So I just try to stay healthy and talk a lot about being strong while attempting to debunk the myths along the way.

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    1. Sarah says:

      Yes, Megan. I don’t have daughters but I feel the same way about my son. I just want him to see his Mama trying to be the most Awesome she can be….not a number. Keep up the good work. 🙂

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  2. Love the post. Love the scriptures. I like your ideas but I will probably still weigh myself everyday. Not because it defines me, but I use it as a tool. With that being said, we are making major lifestyle changes around here, more natural, good water and breathing, adapting sleep and eating to natural body time clocks. Not because of weight but to treat my body as the vessel it is.

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    1. Sarah says:

      Using the scale as a tool can be a good thing but I would say weigh one a week or twice a month for a gage on progress and then use measurements, clothes, and comments from other people to measure success otherwise. Sounds like you are going in the right direction!! Thanks for coming by!

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    1. Sarah says:

      Probably a good plan Jenn. Congrats on the new baby. I struggle with the scale too but I just keep reminding myself that my measurements are better, my clothes fit better, my husband insists I look better, etc. etc. 🙂 Thanks for coming by!!

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  3. Great viewpoint. I’ve been wanting to get back to exercising recently so that I will be in better shape and feel healthier. I always try to keep my focus on health rather than the scale.

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  4. Great advice! It’s such a shame that society makes us feel like a number on a scale or clothing size should rule our lives. Our sense of self-worth should come from from within and we should be proud of ourselves for who we are, not the number on a scale. We’re all unique and amazing people that are blessed everyday and we should be able to live our lives without having to worry about what society thinks!

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  5. I love this post! It was so hard for me to get past the numbers that last year (I’m well into my 40’s) I got rid of my scale. We don’t own one. I blog with my teen daughter and although we discuss weight, we try to focus on healthy instead of a number. I’ll be the first to admit how hard it is, but when we get down or want to change, we try to exercise more and eat healthier. Nothing drastic. And we completely ignore clothes sizes since they absolutely mean nothing since they change store to store and season to season!! Great thought-provoking, energizing post!

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  6. This is a great post. The issue of body image is serious. I’ve struggled with it. My husband & I try to enforce to our children that they are beautiful because they are created in the image of Christ.
    Thanks for the post.

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  7. Great post! I focus on health! I do the things to keep my body healthy and fit. I do this so when I am 60 I still will have energy and not ache and moan about how badly I let my body go! An ounce of prevention today will gain me an acre later!

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  8. I keep hearing over and over again to ditch the scale. I guess it is just another addiction that one must get rid of, LOL.

    I think this is one of the most important tips or advice that you mentioned: Tangible, quantifiable goals. Sometimes that gets lost in the bigger picture when our goals are unrealistic.

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  9. Great post with some awesome tips and encouragement. I grew up with horrible self esteem issues and it takes a lot to kick that. My daughter last night asked me “Mommy, do you think I will get picked on about my big forehead all the time.” She is 9. Of course I sat down and had a discussion with her about it. Encouragement goes a long way in society. I think we always think whats wrong before we think whats right. Hopefully the generations to come can shake this image that everyone needs to be perfect. I kicked that scale to the door a long time ago.

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  10. Thank you for your post! I haven’t weighed myself in so long. I have a scale in my bathroom. I find that I take care of myself by knowing my body. I can tell by the way I look or feel. Low energy? Time for working out or helping my daily intake, etc. . .
    I have started my own 20 min workout that seems to be working real well and results are faster compare to when I used to workout for an hour to youtube workout videos, etc. . . I had slacked off for the past 5 months, but recently started up again with my own workout routine. I love how I feel and seeing results is a motivator for sure. However, I am still happy with me no matter what. I know who I am in the Lord and that’s what counts!
    What I’ve found is that you have to be comfortable with you and find what works for you! Being healthy is foremost and the healthy looking body is the benefit.

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  11. Great post! Magazine covers aren’t realistic and I’ll just put it out there…I like to eat. I want to be healthy and fit, but I don’t need to be 90 pounds to do it successfully. There’s a happy medium between too thin and extra weight that hurts our health. Our bodies are amazing, we can’t let the media make us feel otherwise! 🙂

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  12. I love my little body, I have put it through a lot with having three kids, stress and the flux of weight loss. It was just this past year that I realized that my body could look worse and it was in that moment I felt more confident about myself and my being a human. I love food and knowing about food and the most important part, tasting the food.

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  13. Thanks for sharing! God made us a woman for a reason and gave us a feminine figure for a reason 🙂 Am I wanting to lose weight to keep up with the worlds view of what I should/have to be in order to be accepted? Or am I losing weight to keep the temple of the Lord beautiful?!
    A challenge I am faced with!

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  14. I do wish society would drop the skinny requirement. It is a hard thing to ignore. Self image should be anchored in a faith that sustains. When we focus too much on ourselves, we forget others and the importance of how God should guide our lives. Thanks for discussing this. It’s important stuff.

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  15. I really like your dream Sarah! I haven’t owned a scale for years. But I finally weighed myself after my doctor told me I needed to lose weight because I was borderline obese for my weight. I was surprised to find that in 7 months I lost 20 lbs. 😀 But you are right we should strive to exercise to be healthy and feel good about ourselves not to be skinny like the next girl. Comparing ourselves to someone else is very unhealthy thinking. I like your suggestions for self-talk!

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  16. Wish I could forget about the scale. I have two boys who are under three and I am still carrying some baby weight. I used to train for triathlons before and was quite physically fit, so it irks me that I can’t get back to my pre-pregnancy figure. But your post has reminded me to stop caring so much and just enjoy my life and my kids. I love exercising and wish I had more time to exercise. But, I love how much time I spend with my kids more, and before I know it they will have left the nest and I will have all this time to my hands, wishing I spent it with my kids again.

    So thanks for sharing, it has been inspirational 🙂

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    1. Sarah says:

      I am so glad I was able to inspire you, Leyla. I try to include my son in my exercise as much as possible so that we get time together and he learns a love of exercising as well. 🙂

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  17. Thanks for the encouragement! I love what you said about doing what’s best because we love our bodies, not hate them.
    I will exercise and I will eat better!
    –Gena

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  18. I have been walking as often as possible, sometimes even getting 3 miles in, as well as being very careful about my caloric intake. I don’t lift weights simply because of timing and proximity. I live in a very rural area, so going to a gym 30+ miles every day isn’t happening! LOL There is no place for our own weight bench here. I do the scale, but really don’t pay much attention when I do. If my hips feel better, I know the walking is helping. When my pants start to fit better, I’ll know the walking is helping. I DO have a weight loss goal, but it’s not big enough to be marked quickly. 20 lbs isn’t really much. BUT, at 37, the middle aged spread is hitting. If I can keep it under control now, it’ll be that much easier in another 10 years!!

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    1. Sarah says:

      Sounds like you are working hard, Amy!! Don’t forget you can also do awesome bodyweight exercises to help further your walking efforts. Pushups, lunges, burpees, situps, etc. etc. etc. and you can do those anywhere!!! 🙂

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      1. I’ve thought about those, but they scare me. I have a really nasty back, as well as the beginnings of arthritis in my hips and SI joints. So I’m taking it REAL slow. I can’t ever ever EVER do a sit up or I won’t be able to move for weeks!!! LOL But I’m getting there…….baby steps.

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      2. Sarah says:

        Do what you have to do. You know your body best. I have a bad back too so I do all my situps/crunches on the exercise ball and that helps a lot.

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  19. This is so relevant, unfortunately, to every woman! We spend so much time and energy thinking about the way that we look and comparing it to other people. I wish we would spend that time valuing ourselves and valuing others, as well. Many of us take for granted our beautiful, healthy bodies and forget to say thank you that we CAN walk and run and lift and play and exercise. It has become a burden, instead of something beautiful and healthy. Thanks for your encouragement!

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  20. As I child I was skinny, skinny, skinny … so skinny that the kids at school called me “Olive Oil” (from Popeye.) My mom would take me to the doctor and ask if there was anything he could do to help me gain weight. He’d smile and tell her not to worry. As long as I was eating good foods, I’d be fine. One day he finally told her to just wait … as soon as I got married and started having kids, her wish would come true. Wouldn’t you know it … the doctor was right. And now that I’m in my 50’s, I wish I looked like “Olive Oil,” but I wouldn’t trade my “baby fat” for anything in the world 🙂

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  21. Awesome post! What a great reminder of what workmanship we are in Christ. We need to stop focusing on following the cultural norms and instead focus on what we can do to take care of this wonderful body we have been blessed with.

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  22. I agree! I have recently lost 15 lbs, and am feeling more confident in myself. However, I am still the same person inside, and I have to remind myself of that. 15 pounds does not make who I am any different. It just makes me look different. People will love you for who you are, and that is what it’s all about. Loving ourselves.

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  23. I have been telling my daughter that it is better to be strong than it is to be thin. I feel for girls nowadays where everyone is in such competition with each other. I would rather her focus on a strong body and healthy mind than what the scale says. So to lead by example, I box – it’s a healthy activity, and I am trying to practice what I preach. 🙂

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  24. This post is great. Luved the “I Have A Dream” theme. The points you made in this post are so true. I, especially, worry about our young ladie who are consumed with being a “size zero” failing to eat properly and focusing more on “outer beauty” than “inner beauty.” I will share this with my 22-year-old granddaughter who is one of those “size zeroes.”

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  25. I agree with your observations. I lost 60 pounds since 2009 and I do step on the scale everyday to keep myself on track. I do not hate myself anymore if the number on the scale goes up a bit here and there. I just give myself a little pep talk and make better choices moving forward.

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  26. This is a great post! The funny thing is that a lot of what we see in the media isn’t even the real model. There is so much air brushing and such these days you don’t even know what is real and what isn’t.

    I was aware of the media and demands on women before, but having two girls makes me even more aware of it. It has also taught me to watch what I say about my body around them and ultimately what I THINK about myself. God has made us all unique and beautiful. I will teach my girls about loving the body that God has given them, how to take care of it and how to be modest.

    Thanks for posting!!

    Like

  27. It is so sad that there are so many things that “society” says that make girls and women feel negative about themselves. There is so much pressure for them to “fit” some sort of mythical standard. Girls should be encouraged to appreciate their own uniqueness and to pursue nutrition and fitness because it is better for their health not because of that standard.

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  28. I love this post! What a fabulous way to inspire others. And so very true. It is easy to focus on what others think our body should be or what advertisers want us to feel it needs to be but really the only thing that matters is what we think of ourselves and our bodies. Perfectly written! I struggle going up and down between sizes and most of that revolves around my stress level, and when I’m exercising for the wrong reasons. When I am doing it for me I am always successful and I feel great. When I am doing it because I feel like I have to for someone else I am prone to binge and make unhealthy eating choices, sleep in, and not take the time to take care of myself. Thanks for the reminder to love me for me! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

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