- I have been called Hulk, brolic, and huge. This one is probably the toughest one for me. Have you ever been in a situation where someone's compliment just doesn't sit well with you? Or perhaps you just know it's a backhanded compliment to downgrade your progression or lifestyle changes. While "brolic" isn't necessarily a bad thing (it means chiseled and buff), it still makes my mind falter for a minute. I am in no absolute way, shape, or form shredded or cut. I do have some muscle definition but I am far from being a competitor. Just because I lift heavy doesn't mean I appreciate being called a Hulk (in fact, I prefer She-Hulk or just strong). Sometimes I feel people don't know what to say when I reveal that I am not a cardio fanatic and do powerlifts. I know it's been said time and time again, but girls who lift heavy DO NOT look manly and should not have a fear of that result. That being said, I am pretty good with letting things like this roll off my back now, but it took a while.
I admit it, I do like to lift things up and put them down.
- "You must be in the gym all the time!" No, I am not. The most I spend in the gym is maybe two hours. People tend to think that once you post one Instagram photo of yourself lifting in the gym, you're there 24/7. Lifting has not yet become a profession for me, it's a hobby and a healthy way to build grit, character, and self confidence. It is only one aspect of my life that I choose to share.
Selfie's or it didn't happen!
- My food must be boring. For anyone who follows my Instagram or knows me personally, you know this is not the case at all. In fact, I can tell you my diet is probably what is holding me back the most because I love food too damn much. However, when I am focused with a set goal in mind, I can be very on point with my food. It doesn't mean I stuff my face with tilapia, broccoli, and brown rice all day. Instead I focus on nutrient-dense foods and stay away from processed ones.
Get in my Bellah!!!!
- People generally don't care that you workout and will only ask you about your training when it benefits them. Back when I first started, I wanted to tell the world that I loved lifting! I wanted to be like Jack from Titanic and yell from the top of my lungs, "I LOVE LIFTING!" Alas that did not last very long. I mean, I got the generic, "do you still lift?" but once I said, yes, it was on to the next topic. Now I notice that people will talk about lifting/fitness with me only when they want to get information. It's slightly flattering to be asked because people think my knowledge is valid but it is irritating it only comes when they are finally interested in it. Now that being said, don't let that deter you or keep you from continuing your own journey! Remember that the only person you are ever in competition with is yourself.
- People think all lifting is the same. For those who don't work out or don't have much knowledge in the field, lifting is lifting. There are people who think I do Cross-fit and when I explain I don't, I've been told: "well it's pretty much the same thing, right?" I find it infuriating because I find people do not listen to what I say to them. I understand we all make assumptions, but it's not the right thing to do. When it comes to things I don't know about, I try to keep as much of an open mind as possible before I make my conclusions. I just wish everyone had the same regard when it comes to things they may not know a lot about.
I am not saying that everyone I have encountered is like this. There are many supportive friends and family in my life who encourage me to continue down this path. But I have definitely learned that not everyone will share your vision. You will get the naysayers and those who don't believe in you, but if you believe in yourself and you have a strong support system, you know you can do anything. Make your dreams (whatever dreams they may be) your reality. It will be hard work but the result will pay off.
So if you are currently starting your fitness journey, don't quit! On those days you just want to give up, push through and conquer your doubts and that workout. I'm cheering you on!